Description of Elmbank block was incorrect
I read the article Missing mother found dead in her car trunk
(Jan. 9) concerning the condition of the 4400 block of Elmbank
Avenue by Christine Byers. I am president of our block unit and am
incensed by her comments.
Our block does not consist mostly of crumbling homes and vacant
lots. The majority of the homes on our block are occupied. They are
occupied by families.
We have numerous properties that are being rehabbed. We have
three vacant lots on the entire block that we worked with the city
to have those homes razed. We have a home that was occupied and had
a fire on Thanksgiving morning. The owners have not had time to
repair the building.
We have an active church in the middle of the block, Gregg Chapel
AME Church. In the spring, one of the lots (vacant) has a flower
garden that is maintained by homeowners on the block.
We may not have homes like those in the county, but we have pride
in the property that we own. The entire block is very disturbed
about the incident that happened here, but people outside of our
community commit these heinous acts and visit them on our quiet
We are all very hurt by what happened to the young woman whose
body was discovered on our block, and our sincere sympathies go out
to her family.
Saundra White St. Louis
More revenue is still needed to balance federal budget
In George Wills Jan. 10 column (A rally cry to tame spending), he
continues to make his ongoing mistake that merely restating a
Republican position makes it true, final and binding. Not so! Wills
latest example is repeating that They cannot now increase government
revenues as a share of GDP because Republicans insist that the
Taxpayer Relief Act closed the revenue question.
According to data obtained from the Tax Policy Center, in the
last three years of Clintons presidency and the first year of Bushs
presidency, where there were revenue surpluses, revenue averaged
approximately 20 percent of GDP and spending averaged approximately
18.5 percent of GDP. 2011 revenue was 15.4 percent of GDP and 2011
spending was 24.1 percent of GDP, after the downward trend of the
Bush years into Bushs Great Recession and the slower-than-hoped-for
rebound of the Obama years due to the obstructionism of Republicans.
Clearly, revenue must be raised and spending must be lowered by
approximately 5 percent of GDP in the next several years to balance
the federal budget. This must happen in concert will the extreme
need to increase jobs. These issues are all short-term issues that
must occur gradually, whereas reducing the federal debt is a longer-
More difficult issues to address must be on the table. They
(1) Closing many loopholes and special interest exemptions in the
tax codes on big corporations and rich individuals.
(2) Eliminating the salary cap on the Social Security tax.
(3) Instituting a minimum individual tax for people making over
$1 million a year.
(4) Instituting a minimum corporate tax.
(5) Funding teams to investigate fraud at all levels in Medicare,
Medicaid and the Childrens Health Insurance Program.
However, the most essential task is for Congress is to raise the
debt ceiling immediately with no strings attached.
Paul M. Jeannot Foristell
No chance that Obama would reduce deficit
This statement by the White House press secretary would be
laughable it wasnt so tragic. Jay Carney said, The presentation of
the question was, we will only raise the debt ceiling if this and
that happens, and he continued. Lets just remember what danger
awaits the pursuit of that path. We can and should negotiate over
how we continue to reduce our deficits in a balanced way, be we
should not play chicken with the full faith and credit of the United
The most striking thing about that statement is that the so-
called White House press corps didnt immediately have the man tarred
and feathered for saying something so void of meaning. …