IRS scandal requires an independent investigation

Re: "Tea Party leaders vent anger at IRS for targeting them," May 17

Anyone who has ever visited Arlington National Cemetery should be outraged by revelations that the Internal Revenue Service conducted in an unethical if not illegal manner.

Tea Party and Patriot groups who have labored for four years attempting to resist the abuses of power at the federal level are now under clear political assault for doing nothing more than publicly exhibiting the very freedoms defended by more than one million veterans who gave their all to protect them.

To simply suggest that the Department of Justice will investigate this is laughable. Either the FBI or an independent counsel must be appointed since no one, particularly in the Patriot movement, has an iota of trust in Attorney General Eric Holder or this corrupt and morally reprehensible administration.

Given what is at stake, we can't afford to trust the assurances of a president who is clearly a political animal. And the feckless cowards in Congress of both political parties can't be trusted either.

Absent a thorough investigation, litigation might be our only resort.

Bob Shannon

King William, Va.

Planned Parenthood should be defunded

Re: "Planned Parenthood should be applauded," From Readers, May 16

Dennis Middlebrooks asserts that Planned Parenthood should be applauded for "its many decades of service to women's health," which has "saved lives."

PP kills over 325,000 per-born babies annually. It started as a racist organization to eliminate black people, and a large majority of its Gosnell-like abortuaries are located in black neighborhoods.

It wants no restrictions on abortion: no limit on late abortions, no ban on sex-selection abortions, no requirements to inform parents of a minor's abortion, not even safety regulations to protect women from unnecessary risks.

The organization receives over $500 million from the federal government annually and millions more from the states, but is under investigation in several states for repeated overcharging for their services.

Planned Parenthood should be defunded, not applauded.

Carolyn Naughton

Silver Spring

Contractor depresses concrete wages for everybody

Re: "Help wanted for the Students Construction Trades Foundation," May 15

I was surprised by Harry Jaffe's naivete. Construction Trades Foundation founder Miller & Long Concrete Construction Co. is one of the primary reasons there's a lack of interest in construction careers in the District.

The company does more than 50 percent of the concrete work in this area and its market share allows it to set wages for the entire industry. Miller & Long pays $13/hour on its concrete construction projects, with optional benefits that are out of reach for many workers earning such a low hourly rate.

On the Marriott Marquis Convention Center Hotel Project, which requires companies to pay the federally mandated wage of $27/hour for concrete work, Miller & Long pays $13 and requires employees to contribute $14 per hour into a "Plan B" retirement account that workers cannot access or opt-out of, and which many employees don't even know exist.

This company is rabidly anti-union because unions negotiate to ensure employees receive family-sustaining wages. And paying for one electrician instructor at one school won't fix that.

George Gilbert