The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA


December 1, 2012

Readers' Forum 12-1 | Material things won’t bring true happiness

— As I see all the ads for Christmas gifts and think of the money that will be spent finding that “perfect” gift, I can’t help feeling sad that we allow the world to tell us how to find happiness and satisfaction through material things.

My husband and I raised three boys and I know we spent more than our share of time shopping and way too much money trying to make Christmas just right. When in fact God made the first Noel just perfect, by sending His son Jesus Christ (the light of the world), who would bring us the only gift that will ever truly make us happy. Through faith in him the gift of salvation is freely given.

This year, maybe we would all be the wiser if instead of buying into all the world tells us we need, we would just take the time to remember the reason for the season. Wise men still seek him.

Cathy (Mellott) Williams


Cut wasteful spending, avoid the ‘fiscal cliff’

We keep hearing about the “fiscal cliff.” We have a $4 trillion budget and plans to avoid the fiscal cliff would cut about $100 billion out of it, or roughly 3 percent.

The entire federal budget has way more than 3 percent waste in it. Cutting back on money we give throughout the world could put a dent in that.

There are more than 200 military bases around the world, certainly some of which could be cut.

Now comes the taxation: The top 5 percent of wage earners pay 60 percent of all taxes. The bottom 47 percent pay ab-solutely nothing in federal income taxes and in most cases get back more than paid in through earned-income credit per child.

What’s wrong with everyone contributing something, say 3 cents on the dollar?

Whoa, I hear. Tax the rich and they will “pass” the tax back onto the so-called poor at a much higher rate than 3 percent.

Middle-class tax cuts should remain the same. From 2006 until today, the number of millionaires has dwindled 50 percent to 250,000 from the high of 500,000.

Fifty-five million baby boomers have retired. Most of them were the major bread winners, many as business owners.

If the majority of them had not retired and left the job market, unemployment would have reached 35 percent.

Government must cut spending, or face the fiscal cliff, as has Greece.

Ed McGarvey


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What is the biggest key to reducing gun violence in Johnstown?

Tackling the area's drug problem.
Controlling folks moving into city housing.
Monitoring folks in treatment centers and halfway houses.
Tougher sentencing by the court system.
More police on the streets.

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