The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Editorials

December 12, 2012

Readers' Forum 12-12 | Where’s help for other struggling businesses?

— I have great memories of the Candy Store. My daughter grew up with the Candy Store, as did her kids. It was a great part of childhood for many and some adults, too.

I applaud the efforts of the volunteers for helping store owner Bill Felix. But I have some issues with the whole thing.

There are numerous businesses all over this town that struggle daily to keep their doors open and people employed. It’s nice to see people coming together to help, but is it a business or a charity? Asking for donations to keep his shelves stocked was offensive to me. There are many small-business owners who would love to receive donations to keep their inventory stocked, not to mention the free advertising that was given not just to the Candy Store but all of the other businesses listed.

“Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.

“Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.” Matthew 6:1-4.

Beverly Johnson

Johnstown

Pull the plug on wind energy funding

The U.S. House and Senate should not extend the wind production tax credit that has subsidized the wind industry since 1992. This tax expenditure is due to expire at the end of this year, and it should be allowed to do so, permanently. Renewing the production tax credit would cost billions that our nation simply cannot afford.

It has been evident for years that government support for wind energy development is very costly and has failed to establish industrial-scale wind as a self-sustaining contributor to meeting our energy needs.

After more than three decades of government subsidies, the wind industry cannot support itself, does not make a significant contribution to meeting our energy needs and has no realistic prospects for doing so in the foreseeable future.

Since the production tax credit was first introduced in 1992, the government has provided $40 billion to the wind energy industry in tax credits and cash grants, with these costs dramatically increasing in recent years. In the past year alone, nearly $5 billion has been distributed.

There is no plausible justification for continuing this spending, and certainly not when the nation is facing the huge debt and deficits prevailing today.

Our federal legislators should let the wind production tax credit expire.

Stan Kotala

Altoona

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