I have to respond to a couple of letters in the Dec. 16 Gazette.
Joan Stirlen ("Wealthiest already keeping crisis at bay") claims that the wealthy have kept us from economic disaster by spending and filling the tax coffers, but she may be unaware of the nifty little tax dodge that allows Oklahomans to purchase high dollar luxury (or any other) goods, have them shipped out of state for a nominal charge and pay not one penny to the state in sales tax. Audit any luxury retailer's receipts, and see how many of Oklahoma's wealthy elite actually paid sales tax on their fancy diamond rings and flashy watches. I guarantee it won't be very many.
Perhaps we wouldn't need to look for other sources of revenue or make draconian spending cuts if the wealthy paid their fair share in sales and other taxes. It's time to close that loophole.
As to "unfounded entitlements," apparently Stirlen doesn't believe that people who work in low-paying, no-benefit jobs deserve any assistance from the society that allows those jobs to exist. I'm no advocate of free rides, but anyone who works deserves a level of economic security that allows them to provide food, clothing and decent housing for themselves and their families. When the private sector refuses to provide that security through living wages and decent benefits, the public sector must pick up the slack. Anything else is uncivilized.
Meanwhile, Judy Wesselhoft's ignorant screed ("Children deserve better than evolution") demonstrates that she knows little or nothing about science and its methods. Where are the peer-reviewed scientific journals in which these "renowned scientists" have published their refutations of evolution theory? Her claim that there is "not a speck of evidence" for evolution is patently false. Intelligent design is not science, period, and the Discovery Institute has no credibility with real scientists. We are already the laughingstock of the nation for the clowns we send to Washington, and now Wesselhoft wants to throw away established science in favor of religious belief? Save it for Sunday school, and keep your Dark Age beliefs out of my children's classrooms.