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May 6, 2015

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Letter to the editor:

Wealthy benefit at the expense of others

Another view?

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Let’s examine real class warfare by the Republican Party using numbers and statistics provided by the Internal Revenue Service and the CIA, which offers comparisons with other countries.

Eighty percent of people making $10 million or more don’t make their income from working wages or salaries.

The top 10 percent of the wealth holders own 81 percent of the stocks and mutual funds on Wall Street, so don’t believe that when the Dow Jones is up the economy is on the mend. Your trickle-down share is inflation at the pump and store through quantitative easing.

Income inequality finds the United States No. 93 in the world and more unequal than Iran, Russia, China, India, Egypt and all Western European countries except Switzerland. The ratio of CEO-to-worker salaries in the U.S. is 344:1. Europe has remained at 25:1.

The six Wal-Mart family members have more financial wealth than the bottom 40 percent of the U.S. population.

The 25 richest Americans’ financial wealth is nearly 60 percent of all the dollar currency in circulation in this country. These support Mitt Romney’s PAC funds.

Can you afford to vote Republican?

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  1. This is precisely the reason why I find it unbelievable how people who are not a member of the wealthy elite would even consider voting for Romney.

    Do they honestly believe Romney will look out for them?

    The filthy rich do not care a hoot for the poor. Just look at salaries. While the CEOs make millions, they choke the peons with salaries that hardly support one person, much less a family. Look at their executive lounges and compare it to employees lounges. Look at parking garages for both!

    The rich have the capability to ease unemployment, but no... They would rather keep their billions

    than risk making this administration look good. In their effort to keep the administration look bad, they squeezed the middle class and the small business owners. This administration have been 'playing' with them to get them to help with reviving the economy, but their greed and their promise to each other not to make this administration look good win.

    These people make the masses drink their 'koolaid' to make it appear that they are voting for their Christian beliefs. Ha, ha, ha. There is nothing more un-Christian than greed.

    Once in a while the truth leaks out especially during unguarded moments: "you people, that is all you get" according to Ann Romney. "no hope for learning personal responsibility so you mooch off the government" says Mitt.

    The economy tanked, and guess who made it so? Who made billions out of the mortgage scams? Who made billions in oil? Who made billions in the two wars? Who made billions in medicines and healthcare? Who made billions in credit card interest and fees? While you pay over 25% in credit card interests, they pay your savings pennies for interest! Who will make billions if the pipeline goes through? Who are still making billions while you can't find a job!

    And you think Romney will change all that and make your life easier? HA!

    Spare me your recitation of data and websites. Those do not mean anything. The media is controlled by them.

  2. As a small business owner and operator for many years who "gambled in the stock market" and worked for the Federal government in Washington DC for many years, I would answer the letter writer's question: "Can you afford to vote Republican?" simply and plainly: I can't afford not to.


  3. President Obama and the Democrats propose to raise income taxes higher on the wealthy and raise capital gains taxes to bring more revenue into the government. They also seek to have government spend a good deal more than it spends today.

    I think many Americans now believe that the wealthy not paying enough taxes is 'most' of the problem in America today, and I think that this will be proven in this election as President Obama wins re-election.

    Math however, says that due to the high amount the government spends ($ 3.7 trillion currently, and rising), even if the wealthy are taxed a good deal more but the middle class isn't, deficits continue and our debt gets bigger and bigger.

    Here is the REAL problem...the one D's and R's don't want to talk about. America now does so many things that we simply cannot afford the bill without large tax increases on ALL Americans.

    The politicians know that if they propose to cut ANYTHING, some group will be angry, and if they do cut ANYTHING, some Americans will lose their employment and benefits. Consequently, neither party is really willing to stop doing ANYTHING the government currently does. Politicians are also unwilling to raise taxes on the middle class due to the certain backlash.

    Math also tells us that if we took every dime the wealthy make that was more than $ 100,000, we still could not pay for what our government spends.

    The 'plan' of President Obama and the D's is to demonize and tax the wealthy and businesses, not raise taxes on the middle class and most importantly not reduce spending on much of anything while growing the size and cost of government.

    Mitt Romney's plan is very poor as well because again, it fails to recognize that we have reached a point where some combination of much higher taxes on every American and or large reductions in what our government does and spends ARE REQUIRED.

    The difficult to hear message that some really brave and farsighted leader needs to deliver to us is this:

    While we are the biggest, wealthiest and most powerful nation on earth, there are still limits to what we can afford to do.... and we have reached them and then overreached. Either we tax everyone much more or we start deciding what we can't afford to do and STOP doing it.

    It is very disappointing to me that we have two candidates and neither one is brave enough to tell the truth. We are all going to suffer mightily because of that.


  4. Nancy,

    I know you will vote for Obama for the reasons you stated. I hope you do come to realize though that facts and charts do matter.

    Those facts and charts show that neither Romney's or Obama's plans will work. We are fast approaching a point where a President, any President, will be unable to protect any of us from the financial tsunami that is coming. Greed was responsible for much of what has happened but the hole we are in and the disaster that is coming CANNOT be avoided simply by taxing the wealthy and business more.

    America must STOP doing some things we now do and taxes must go up, for everyone, including the wealthy. That isn't the 'Obama' plan or the 'Romney' plan, and that will spell disaster for the rest of us.

    I don't think I could vote for Ron Paul, due to some of his kooky ideas. I did vote for Ross Perot, in-spite of some of his kooky ideas. They do have something in common though. They tell 'truths' the the rest of these guys run away from as fast as they can.


  5. Carmine,

    I know you'll vote for Romney and I understand your reasons, but I have two questions for you.

    1) Do you believe that no matter how successful Romney's tax cutting might be, he will still need to substantially reduce government spending?

    2) Do you believe Romney will actually make an attempt to substantially reduce government spending?


  6. The answers Mr. Casler depend on your and my definition of "substantial."


  7. Carmine,

    My definition of substantial would be at least 20 % overall. Let's use that. Now what do you say?


  8. <<... and worked for the Federal government in Washington DC for many years...>

    How's that government pension treating you, Carmine?

  9. We don't need to fight over who gets what part of the pie. We need a bigger pie and we won't get it unless the middle class is prosperous too. Impoverished customers are bad for business.

  10. Michael:

    What I really want the candidates to do is: Eliminate the waste in government. There is so much of it. The entitlements are abused not only by the poor moochers, but also by the rich moochers. They are alike. The rich moochers are the worst because that is simply greed.

    If a candidate can assure me that his administration WILL eliminate abuses in most government programs and entitlements, I will work tirelessly for that candidate.

    I did not vote last election for President because of my disgust for politics brought on by Bush. This
    time, Romney to me is really dangerous because there is a disconnect between what he says he
    would do and what he had done. To me, what he says he would do is what his handlers tell him to say, but I do not believe it is what he honestly believes. I simply wish he would fire his handlers and talk to people what he really believes and who he really is.

    You have to experience poverty to understand what it does to a person. My husband then had a terrible accident and could not work. I had three small children and a baby sitter's fee would take half of my net pay, so I opted to stay home and sought government help in the form of food stamps for the children. I did not know about disability benefits and such. I have always been working.

    When we went to the grocery, I chose food carefully and when it was time to pay, I'd go to the car
    and let my then husband pay using the food stamps because I felt so embarrased to do it. There were times when the children got sick and I had to decide whether to spend my money to see a doctor or buy milk for them. There were times when I thought my head would split from a toothache, but I couldn't afford to go to a dentist.

    These are the things many of those who Romney considered moochers have to go through due to bad luck. There are many of them. I mooched and applied for financial aid, went to college, and got my masters and doctorate degrees. I am self-sufficient now and paying back my student loans.

    If you removed these safety nets, you remove a trajectory for the realization of the American dream and condemn many to poverty all their lives. Obama understands that and I do not think Romney does.

  11. Michael:

    If you haven't already, please read:

  12. I will take a risk on the current administration because the other one already gave up on many of us.

  13. Nancy,

    I've not to struggle like you did. I've been on unemployment a couple of times, but that's all. I live a pretty good life right now. However, I got taken in two bad business deals where the other party was a crook, my saved money has been reduced by half due to our stupid government, my house has lost 50 % of its value and my business is struggling due to the bad economy, again caused by our stupid government. Now my wife and I don't have enough to retire well at all.

    I believe both Romney and Obama to be world class liars as are the rest of our political class. They all know that tax cuts won't fix what is wrong. Neither will tax increases on the wealthy and more government spending.

    These people are cowards because they will not admit that there is no easy and painless way out. Doing less and having less while trying to grow the economy is the only way. Yes, waste is a big part of it, but you name me the last R or D who did anything but talk about government waste?

    I'm not wild about Romney, but I know that with the political capital and the numerical advantages this President had when he came into office, he could have done some really good things, things that we've needed to do for a long time, before the 2010
    mid term elections and some even with R opposition after the mid terms. Instead, after doing the emergency things (for which he deserves and gets credit from me), he turned into a typical politician and went for things that might have been reasonable if our economy was running at 4 % growth, but were WRONG when our economy is running at 1.7 %. Even after being in Congress for 2 years and seeing how it runs so badly, he handed trillions of dollars of stimulus and ACA money to Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, John Boehner and Mitch McConnell and all the other numnuts in Congress, walked away and let them screw everything up.

    MY GOODNESS! How could he do that? He used to work there!!!!! Now he's in campaign mode and everything is focused on that....while we just keep heading down the road to financial disaster.

    I know you don't know what Romney really stands for and frankly, neither do I, but I can sure see what Obama stands for and what he has done for almost 4 years and much of it is pretty bad.


  14. One party wants to kill us the other only severely maime us. Maybe they shouldn't let us vote it's farcical anyway. It's now a fascist state. Thanks trickle downers you'll just buy Obama after he wins anyway.

  15. Such an amazing lack of understanding on display here daily. Sad. Very sad. Agustin, although you have a decent ability to use the language, you do so with illogical vitriol for your fellow man. Moreover, you and most others on this page truly lack the ability to reason and connect more than one dot at a time.

    Most of you, including the letter writer, are simply wrong-headed. Your mantra that the "wealthy" and the Republican Party are one-and-the-same is quite untrue. Saying it over and over will not make it so. Strange.

    Please don't vote.

  16. "The 25 richest Americans' financial wealth is nearly 60 percent of all the dollar currency in circulation in this country."

    This would qualify as the definition of Aristocrats. In Europe, at the time of the American and French Revolutions, the Aristocrats controlled the finances of the country and fought Democracies and personal equality with the force of State Laws. Aristocrats never paid taxes for public education or health services.

    Vast wealth is used to control the legal and financial systems at the same time, making fairness in taxation and income impossible.

    This same condition is beginning to take place in America. The wealthy buy controlling interests in companies in order to set the financial rules, which reward a few upper management types for channeling the vast share of profits to the owners. This activity qualifies them as parasites.

    The additional profits are spent buying up media and news outlets as well as representatives in Government who carry out the European tradition of looking out for their benefactors at the public expense. Thus, they pay less or no taxes whatsoever on enormous wealth. 1% tax paid on gross income is the same as no tax.

    Real money and wealth are made by control and they work for themselves all day. No one with a 40 hour/week job can ever hope to establish themselves when the system is stacked against them.

    The last, massive recession and real estate failure was man-made, a result of deregulation which allowed greed and lawlessness to control the financial systems. Republicans are fighting to eliminate Dodd-Frank and all other regulations, preparing the path for another all out recession. I can't afford a single Republican in Government.

  17. Most of those states making money are from oil leases on public land not from any nut fascist ideas.

  18. Purgatory:

    I say the same to you, but I won't tell you not to vote because that is your privilege. Your attitude is exactly what makes your opinion and your beliefs irrelevant.

    If Romney wins, that is a big IF, I really hope that he makes all your dreams come true. It would really be heartbreaking if he doesn't.

    Good luck.

  19. ByASadTeacher,
    Nancy, your story is somewhat sad and very believable.The good that came out of your
    misfortune is that you realized the American drean and grabbed it by the horns and held on.It'people like you that inspire others to not give up.There is always a way to move forward,good luck to you and your family.

  20. Agustin,

    I couldn't care less who is elected the next President -- and as such, I will not vote. It matters none to me, as the path we have chosen is cast in concrete, thanks in part to many of our collective wrong-headed emotional decisions.

    Although my reasoning, logic and understanding is spot-on, you are correct, my opinions are irrelevant. However, your vitriol toward half the population of this country is relevant. Please stop.


  21. Good point jon becker we can't afford one more Republican or Conservative Democrat!

  22. Can you afford to keep your head in the sand? People inherit wealth cause their parents didn't spend every dime they made. Duhhhh. They already paid taxes on it. Our economy is in the tank BECAUSE we reward spenders to the detriment of savers. Think about working and middle class. If you don't save for college, you wind up with lots of loan debt. If you don't SAVE and maintain an emergency fund, you get it all sorts of trouble: payday loans with loan shark interest. You get to pay overdraft charges. You get to pay interest on those credit card balances. If INSTEAD you live well within your means, you bank (save) all those fees and charges. After a couple of years, you pay cash for that used car instead of a 6-year loan with lots of interest on a new tank, hummer, SUV, or truck. You get to keep blaming everybody else that the world is on your shoulders INSTEAD of sleeping tight at night knowing all your bills are paid.

  23. Michael 4:39: Thanks for doing the math--the wealthy cannot pay for it all. President O. and company plan to INCREASE taxes on the middle class and the working class. He has to. He can't say no to anyone but the 1%ers so he must raise revenue. He's also making more plans to send more of our money overseas--look into the treaties being formulated with the third world--we're going to redistribute our income with the third world. Gee, 6% of the world propping up 89% of the rest. The average standard of living sure is going to trend down and down and down.

  24. Purgatory 10:02: Living proof that common sense is not so common. Purgatory is uncommon.

  25. Arrogant and haughty people calling us moochers , and "those people" ? Do you silver spoons really expect to get elected ? Are we to describe the progeny of governors and heads of major corporations as "self made" ? You Republicans have shown yourselves to have no sense at all.

  26. Three kids and no way to support them? What level of intelligence and coherence does it take to figure out that just because you married him, he didn't volunteer to support how ever many babies YOU want. Your mom thinks birth control is not good? Your church doesn't recommend it? You don't want to PAY FOR BIRTH CONTROL? But you think he wants you to spend all your time on the kids and none as a couple? You think the taxpayers should pay for your errors? Perhaps you'll make it up to us and work until you're 90 and pay lots of taxes--to pay your fair share of national defense et cetera AND repay with interest all you took? And do so with a good spirit towards all of us who covered for you.

  27. Europe is not looking to good right now, Switzerland and Singapore have very low tax rates are quite healthy, same goes for Hong Kong. Should the Wal-Mart family spend their family fortune and send every citizen $1 or should they continue to give to charity and help communities in which they make their money? Why do we never hear about the taxes the Hollywood producers and actors pay? Where is the outrage of paying those sports salaries? The pop stars Obama hangs out with make more in 1 performance then most people make in a lifetime. So many here whine and moan about CEOs and wall street but are blind to their very own living off the poor masses. Such a double standard. Romney is evil with a $50k plate fundraiser, Obama is the king at his $39k plate fundraiser. And Nancy, do some research, the Obama's surround themselves with the very thieves you detest, actually all presidents do, it is part of the business of being president. This is how they have 39k plate dinners. Donate another 100k and they let you sleep at the white house.

  28. Why do we only worry about deficits when a democratic president gets in ?

  29. Bykepi,
    Parts I and 11 are a very good rundown of what the Republican party and Mitt Romney really stand for,and for who they represent.

    The video which I have seen before supports what you have said in parts 1 and 11.For anyone who is torn on who to vote for, this is a must read. Thanks for another great post.

  30. Whatever is planned by our next President and Congress will likely not get us out of the mess we are in as fast as people would like. They won't take the drastic measures that should be taken.

    Stagnant wages and less taxes due to tax avoidance schemes and tax havens have but us in an imbalance with commitments previously established.

    We are in a global economy, and corporations are dependent on exports as well as domestic sales. The global market is shrinking.

    Effective demand created by wages has been falling in relation to economic output the last 40 years and the gap was plugged by the rising debt.

    Cut the debt injections and a large part of the global economy will disappear.

    This crisis is a global problem underpinned by imbalances in income distribution and rising inequality - too much capital for speculation on one hand but relatively weak incomes on the other side - the solutions must be global.

    Reducing spending and drastic cuts in programs will not benefit the majority of people.

    Austerity is punitive for most, while allowing those responsible to escape free of responsibility.

    Some thoughts on how we can move in the right direction:

    A) Global admission that the debt cannot be repaid, some of the capital on loan must be written off.

    B) Global debt restructuring is needed, with protection of pension funds.

    C) Set a minimum 30% corporation tax globally to make sure that corporations give back to society, and cannot blackmail governments with disinvestment in an attempt to reduce corporate taxes to zero.

    D) Cut tax avoidance schemes and close tax havens.

    E) Adequately increase progressive taxation of incomes, including capital gains and dividends as income, creating a more equal society and one where there is healthier demand that can support a global economy funded by real incomes and not debt.

    F) Re-institute the Glass-Steagall Act with whatever adjustments are needed for current globalization, without diluting it's effectiveness.

    G) There must be a change in the thinking of more output with less worker's, and growth in profits while maintaining stagnant wage growth, or the economic and environmental havoc that is lurking will not be that far in the future.

    The arguments against higher taxes on the most wealthy is spurious in light of their capital gains for doing nothing, and the many ways they can keep their incomes in tax avoidance schemes, not practically feasible for those on the lower scale of income.

    Additionally, history shows us that upper incomes bracket was around 90% at times of great economic difficulty, which decreased as the economy improved.

    It was not an ill-informed public who got us into 2 unfunded wars, nor who approved the schemes that gave the banks and Wall St. a free hand in creating this havoc, or the advantage to the wealthy and powerful.

  31. PS: The public is responsible for not saving enough, and that must change.

    With more equity in real wages, this will become possible once again. Then, personal preferences must also change. Desires and wants must be tempered to meet income, and saving goals.

  32. "How's that government pension treating you, Carmine?"

    Not that good but it gets me by. I'm still collecting what I paid in for years and will for a long time to come.


  33. "Carmine,

    I know you'll vote for Romney and I understand your reasons, but I have two questions for you.

    1) Do you believe that no matter how successful Romney's tax cutting might be, he will still need to substantially reduce government spending?

    2) Do you believe Romney will actually make an attempt to substantially reduce government spending?



    My definition of substantial would be at least 20 % overall. Let's use that. Now what do you say?


    A resounding Yes to both questions. If I didn't think so and could not answer yes, I wouldn't vote for Romney and Paul Ryan. The ads that typically air by the Obama campaign say in order to do so, cut, Romney will have to raise taxes on the middle class. That's flat out false. The tax study doesn't take into account growth of GDP and the economy which results from broadening the tax base and reducing tax rates. The study falsely assumes that reducing tax rates will not result in an increase in worker hours. BOth assumptions are wrong on their face. And if you read and research the study, and others by this organization, you'll find they don't. It is a valid criticism of them and their veracity. Instead the study assumes American workers won't increase their hours and the economy and GDP will stay the same. It's almost a 100 percent certainty that both [worker hours and GDP] will [increase].


  34. "I will take a risk on the current administration. The other one already decided to give up on me."

    Cute play on words but sadly and wrongly quoted. Governor Romney said he does not want the votes of those who have already given up [on themselves] and took the easy way out: Government handouts. In Romney's eyes, work is vital to the fiber of people and society's very being. It gives meaning and purpose. If you don't get that, then by all means vote for President Obama. He shares your views.


  35. What will we have if we cut taxes any lower ?

  36. Much of income inequality is due to one's worth in the market place. OK, some people, a very few, are born with the silver spoons in mouth and Mommy and Daddy hire them into the family business paying millions in compensation. For the rest of us, the market place is not always perfectly fair but does have some level of paying what a worker is worth--excluding discrimination and hostility. I saw some people (friends and acquaintances) who had trouble keeping a job. Some could find a job pretty easily but those jobs were "eliminated" whenever there was an internal restructuring. It takes honest self-examination to see that if this happens to you several times that you might not be "carrying your weight" in the job performance arena. And, it's rather apparent that if you cannot keep your job, you're not going to get lots of pay raises to increase your income. And then there are those who cannot find a job, any job, at any time. Some correlation with dropping out of high school and/or poor performance in school. Employers don't go looking for C average employees. When they need an input clerk, they want people who can input quickly and accurately, not people who "fat finger" the keyboard. References are nice when they reveal that a potential employee can tell time and show up when scheduled. Many employers show income preference to those who work their full shift with the employer's bottom line in mind--helping coworkers, pitching in by rescheduling breaks when customers are waiting, being pleasant, taking constructive suggestions to heart rather than reacting defensively.

  37. Patrick, how is it at ANYONE's expense when you let me keep what I earn?

  38. Government retirees deserve a measure of respect. Many governments hire those who have performed well elsewhere: in school with high gpas and / or job experience that showed they have what it takes. Retirees performed the job for 20-50 years. Line workers who do their jobs but the jobs are not in our best interest cannot be blamed. We can blame Congress of whatever politician set up a program that didn't make sense, that was ineffective, that costs too much. Just like blaming John O. for over-paid firefighters makes a lot of sense. He collected and continues to cash in yet did NOT do the stewardship REQUIRED of our politicians. We overpay those firefighters by at least 100%. Yet John O. kept advocating for additional taxes to raise their pay further.

  39. Carmine,

    "In Romney's eyes, work is vital to the fiber of people and society's very being. It gives meaning and purpose."

    However, "work" doesn't mean "working for someone else". Their are a variety of benefits and ways that people can reap more from their labor, i.e., self employment and owner/worker business co-ops, to name a couple.

    Those who wish to work for others and reap only a portion for their labor should do so, and those who want to reap more benefits from their labor should also do so.

    It would be beneficial for people to explore the various mean of "work" and discover alternatives to the standard model that many accept as the only way to go.

    In some cases, it may call for a value shift. That is OK. Change is good for some, and threatening to others. Depends on which end of the economic rope one is on.

    However, we are a competitive people, so let's begin competing with each other, rather than competing against cheap labor and losing our own economic ground by becoming cheap labor ourselves.

  40. Jeffery:

    You're not paying attention. My business was my passion. My government job was a vocation. I was granted a government job, IF I QUALIFIED, as part of a court settlement awarded to me by a judge after a 3 year IRS audit by a rogue agent, joined by the State of NJ taxation department, almost put me out of business, wrongly. The agent was fired too as part of the court judgement. The litigation, for accountants and lawyers, cost me a small fortune. Not to mention that as a sole proprietor, all my personal and business assets were frozen and impounded by the government, wrongly, due to the rogue agent and before I got due process.


  41. "However, "work" doesn't mean "working for someone else". Their are a variety of benefits and ways that people can reap more from their labor, i.e., self employment and owner/worker business co-ops, to name a couple."

    Please read my response above to Jeffery.


  42. "Do elephants fly too, Gilligan?"

    Only if they're republicans.


  43. Jeffery:

    You still don't get it. I won the law suit and it cost me a fortune of my out-of-pocket money to do so to hire tax attornies. As part of my winning, I was awarded a government job BUT I HAD TO QUALIFY for it.

    The IRS [read government] took away my livelihood and that of those who depended on me and my business for 3 years. Wrongly. IRS froze and impounded all my assets without due process. Wrongly. The judge said it was a miracle I didn't go bankrupt and "ordered" that the rogue IRS agent be fired and never allowed to work in a federal job again.

    So I repeat: I got the government job because I qualified for it. And kept the job for 33 years because I proved it.


  44. Carmine, I think I understand. Best wishes. You made it through and you're still willing to share your experience. Some posters don't always allow that they don't have enough information to JUDGE you. My personal irritation is Kepi and such who condescend and say it's nice that I donate a few things--when they have no real knowledge of what I've been thru financially and how generous I am on a daily basis.


    Finally! A breath of fresh air. Couldn't have said it better myself.

    100% SPOT-ON!

  46. "Another frivolous lawsuit --"

    Exactly. If the rogue IRS agent was doing his job, rather than trying to make a name for himself at my family's my expense, it wouldn't have.


  47. "Carmine, I think I understand. Best wishes. You made it through and you're still willing to share your experience."

    Thank you. My business not only made it through but thrived for another 20 years after the IRS and State of NJ taxation Dept tried unsuccessfully and wrongly to close it/me down. Using every means at its disposal, mostly illegal, to do so. The store and business, which I sold, is still in the same location and going strong. It is a local landmark.


  48. Comment removed by moderator. Refers to removed comment.