It's no surprise US companies move to avoid taxes

Regarding "Tax revenues vanish as firms move from US to Bermuda" (May 22): In a time of recession, the government shouldn't be targeting corporations that manufacture goods. Instead, they should be finding ways to balance the budget and reduce government spending. How easily the government can point fingers at "the rich," all the while conveniently overlooking the fact that it's successful corporations that create wealth, provide jobs, and already pay a large portion of taxes.

The function of any business is to create profit. If it becomes too much of a financial burden to remain within the borders of the United States, then the only rational decision is to move outside the borders. Stanley Tools isn't moving their manufacturing concerns to other countries – just their corporate headquarters. No jobs will be lost. In the end, it is only greedy bureaucrats seeking to micromanage the economy that lose.
Ed Dunnigan
Canby, Ore.

The decision of corporations to move to Bermuda to avoid taxes isn't surprising considering the number of US companies that have moved operations to foreign countries in order to hire cheap labor. Why should middle-class taxpayers bear the brunt of high taxes while corporations make ungodly profits and find loopholes to avoid paying – not to mention the outrageous salaries paid to their CEOs?
Irene Wilson
Lakeside, Calif.

Jeffords gained more than he lost

Regarding "What Jeffords got, a year after switch" (May 24): I was disappointed in the emphasis on loss in your article about Sen. Jim Jeffords. Mr. Jeffords gained much more than he would have achieved had he stayed in the Republican Party. Foremost, he gained the respect of many who have stood astride the parties' divide and anguished over which way to turn. He made a personal decision that allowed him to represent his constituents faithfully and honestly; forced both parties to rethink how they might be treating their colleagues who stand outside the party mainstream; and raised awareness of the importance of education and the Republican Party's choice to decrease the funding of it. Most of all, I suspect Jeffords gained peace of mind.

Those in Washington who turned their backs on Senator Jeffords lost much more than he did by showing their intolerance for differences of opinion. The so-called political power Jeffords may have lost pales in comparison to the power derived from a clear heart and mind.
Edrie Irvine
Arlington, Va.

Listen to students with academic drive

Regarding "Taking on the principal to preserve advanced foreign-language classes" (May 21, Learning): Every high school principal in the US should read high-school senior Catherine Housholder's column on preserving foreign language classes. Unfortunately, these, as well as fine arts classes, tend to be the first to go when public schools make cuts. As she pointed out, these are the classes that help the most in understanding and respecting different cultures – something we should definitely be teaching our children.

Public school teachers and administrators spend much time and taxpayer money at workshops learning how to better educate students. Perhaps they could learn more from simply listening to them. School administrators should commend students like Catherine Housholder. Principals should be grateful for such bright and responsible students with high academic goals and a sincere desire to understand other cultures.
Heidi Kleinsmith Van Patten
Petoskey, Mich.

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