Opinion

Recently, prompted by a Republican rant about how America’s economy and the world would be better off if we would only get government off the backs of corporations, I engaged in a sometimes dangerous exercise. I started thinking about it. Almost every speech Mitt Romney or his surrogates make contains the same philosophy. They talk about how, if we simply gave tax breaks to corporations and rich people, and did away with the oppressive regulations, we would free up the job creators to produce untold numbers of jobs, and we would all once again be prosperous, rolling in dough.

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The Beaumont City Council has been a fairly congenial body in recent years, mostly devoid of the grandstanding, pandering and petty bickering often seen among elected officials who represent diverse constituencies. The norm on this council has been to build consensus, finding areas of compromise and agreement. This is often accomplished out of the public eye, which is a discussion for another day. But in recent weeks, an ugly strain of racially tinged discontent has surfaced at city hall in Beaumont.

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The long goodbye from Beaumont Independent School District Superintendent Dr. Carrol “Butch” Thomas is still an ongoing drama at the district’s Harrison Avenue headquarters. Apparently he isn’t willing to just retire and spend his days counting the loot he stashed during his 16 years as one of the highest paid school superintendents in the state. Word out of Austin is that Thomas has applied to Gov.

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For many years, property taxes have been a source of conversation and consternation in Texas. Even though overall, Texas ranks among the lowest taxing states of the union, property tax remains a sore spot with almost all citizens. In Texas, property taxes have risen from near the lowest in the United States in the mid-1950s to among the top three or four in the U.S. today.

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The first book I seriously ever worked on was one written by Dr. Elmer Towns, “The 100 Fastest Growing Churches in America.” Dr. Towns went on to be the dean of Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., and was a good friend to Dr. Jerry Falwell, but Dr. and Mrs. Towns were originally from Savannah, Ga., and in fact lived in the beautiful home once owned by the legendary Johnny Mercer, who wrote “Moon River” and many other hits. Dr.

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It seems to me that come election time, people would give some thought to what impact electing one party or one person over the other would have on the things most important to them. Of course, family usually comes first, but tied to the family is that one earns a living to provide for the necessities of a family. I am constantly amazed at how easily people are distracted by collateral issues and seem to forget about voting for their own interests or selecting candidates with whom they have much in common.

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Our cover story this week is a sad tale of greed and fraud perpetrated on mostly elderly victims by a slick group of tricksters who ought to be ashamed of themselves. If they aren’t now, they likely soon will be as local, state and federal law enforcement officers catch up with them and put an end to their nefarious scheme and hold those responsible to account in a court of law.

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A recent column in the Houston Chronicle by Lisa Falkenberg caught my attention. Her article centered around the pride felt and expressed by most of us Texans. She pointed out that unfortunately, in spite of our Texan bravado, Texas leads the nation in too many of the wrong things. Her article went on to point out we have been recently rated as the worst state in the union for delivery of health care.

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In this space last week, we expressed regret at the timidity of Beaumont Independent School District superintendent-in-waiting Dr. Timothy Chargois, who did not see fit to instruct his attorneys to remove an ill-gotten clause in his contract granting him an automatic pay raise despite the stated objections of virtually the entire BISD board. The board’s outside counsel Tanner Hunt allowed the clause to somehow slip into the contract.

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