Summit Daily letters: Make sure your Halloween costume is safe
Costumes that ignite
I get it. You were working in your lab late one night and didn’t remind your youngest superhero to watch his cape near open flames. Accidents happen. That’s why it’s so essential to choose costumes labeled “flame retardant” or “fire resistant.”
“Flame retardant” refers to the ability to inhibit fire from spreading. Numerous substances can achieve this effect by disrupting combustion, creating a physical barrier, or releasing water or flame-choking gas. Even synthetic fibers like nylon and polyester have better fire-resisting capabilities than many natural fabrics.
Although federal law prohibits clothing made of rapid-burning fabrics, costumes can still ignite in as little as three seconds. Despite this very real risk, the use of flame retardants has received relentless criticism, with some actively campaigning against the safety feature in Halloween costumes.
Deliberately avoiding flame retardants when children are guaranteed to run around open flames while clad in dinosaur tails and oversized skirts is utterly irresponsible.
It’s important to remember that manufacturers don’t introduce chemicals haphazardly. Compounds like flame retardants were carefully developed and tested because society professed a need for them.
Instead of fearing chemistry this Halloween, embrace your inner mad scientist and appreciate the advancements science brings to holiday safety. And above all, check your children’s costumes for fire safety.
Dr. Joseph Perrone
Center for Accountability in Science
The truth about tax cuts
RE: “Represent the other 99 percent”
Marcy and David Woodland’s letter, “Represent the other 99 percent” is full of inaccuracies that require correction.
They state that the Bush tax cuts created a $6 trillion deficit. The error here is confusing spending with actual changes in revenue.
Contrary to the “tried and failed” mantra of the tax and spend crowd, when tax rates have been lowered economic growth has always risen and government tax revenues have always increased. Here’s the proof:
1. The Tax Cuts of the 1920s
After the GNP fell by 16 percent between 1919 and 1921, taxes were cut sharply under the Revenue Acts of 1921, 1924 and 1926. Tax revenues increased from $719 million in 1921 to 1.164 billion in 1928, an increase of 61%.
2. The Kennedy Tax Cuts
Tax revenues climbed from $94 billion in 1961 to $153 billion in 1968, an increase 62% (33 percent after adjusting for inflation).
3. The Reagan Tax Cuts
Tax revenues increased by 99.4 percent in the 1980s. By the end of the Reagan years, the American economy was almost 1/3 larger.
4. The Bush Tax Cuts
Income tax cuts in 2001 and capital gains tax cuts two years later created a period of economic prosperity which lasted until the housing crisis in 2008. Annual GDP rose from 1.7 perce t in the six quarters preceding the 2003 cuts to 4.1% in the following six quarters. Capital gains revenues to the government more than doubled to $106 billion.
But what about the success of the Clinton years?
Proponents of higher taxes often fall back on the “Clinton defense” since he pushed through a major tax increase through Congress in 1993, and as the story goes, the economy boomed. While this “story” is superficially plausible, it fails under closer scrutiny. The real boom occurred in the latter half of the decade after the party majority changed in Congress and a 1997 tax cut was passed and reluctantly was signed by President Clinton. The economy averaged 4.2% real growth per year from 1997 to 2000, a full percentage higher during the expansion following the 1993 hike. The economy grew by a full percentage point year to year during Clinton’s second term compared to the first.
The current Treasury Secretary pointed out recently that only a one percent increase in GDP will completely offset the projected personal and business tax cuts. Also the repatriation of corporate cash held offshore has been estimated to generate between four to eight percent additional growth. If the Obama economy of under a 2 percent GDP were to continue, the deficits will continue to rise and the disaster the Woodlands referred to will surely occur.
The impacts of molybdenum
Recent disagreements between Denver Water and Climax Mine regarding increasing the acceptable levels of molybdenum in the water supply, highlight the extent to which health is threatened by pollution to the environment. Residents of Denver rely on this water, and increasing the permissible levels of the chemical has no benefit to them. It will likely not make their water bills any lower. It may decrease the treatment costs of water for Climax, but the difference will be made up by Denver Water.
The research “proving” increased levels of molybdenum in the water are harmless reached its conclusions by testing on rats, and was funded by Climax itself. These caveats make this evidence insufficient in determining the impact increased levels of molybdenum will have on the people of Denver, especially when previous research has found a slew of negative health effects associated with its chronic consumption.
Against Referendum 4B
I will be voting against Referendum 4B. It is not because I do not believe in higher education and the value thereof. In fact, this year I presented my first $500 Robert Irvine Memorial Scholarship in honor of my late husband. I presented it to a wonderful young man who is attending CMC.
The reason I will vote against Referendum 4B is for the same reason I would not sign a loan that has a fluctuating, undetermined interest rate.
Referendum 4B would allow CMC to raise our taxes anytime it so wishes. I proudly give to a deserving student for I know the monies go directly toward his/her tuition.
For Referendum 4B
I was reminded over the past few weeks how important it is to vote “Yes on 4B” for Colorado Mountain College. Recently, I heard two students tell their stories of getting a higher education at Colorado Mountain College. They talked about their struggles, dreams and successes of reaching their goals and receiving a degree from CMC. They shared the many loving sacrifices made by family members working two to three jobs, watching their children and helping pay their tuition. These students selected CMC based on excellence of programs, staying close to home, great faculty, class size and most importantly, cost. Over the years, the college has worked diligently to keep the cost affordable to our students. It is critical that we continue to do this.
If you are unfamiliar with the details of 4B and the Gallagher Amendment, I ask that you read over the materials on the website http://www.yeson4b.org and vote “Yes on 4B”.
What are these students doing now? One is a nurse working in our community and the other is an educator helping students realize their dreams can happen, too! Success stories.
Remember, Colorado Mountain College is your community college! Vote to keep cost affordable! Vote, “Yes on 4B”! Vote!
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