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Letters: Taxes, Revenues And The Rolling Stones

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Audie Cornish and Melissa Block read emails from listeners about President Obama's meetings with union and business leaders, and the Rolling Stones.


From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.


I'm Audie Cornish, and it's time now for your letters.

For the past few weeks, we've been covering the ever-looming fiscal cliff. On Tuesday, we heard from Mary Kay Henry. She's president of the Service Employees International Union and was one of several labor leaders invited to the White House this week to talk about the fiscal cliff. She told us her top priority is ending the tax cuts for the richest Americans. Then yesterday, I got a different view from Gary Loveman. He's CEO of Caesar's Entertainment, the worldwide casino company, and he's associated with several business groups who are talking with President Obama about the fiscal cliff. Loveman stressed that he does not support ending any tax cuts.


GARY LOVEMAN: It is certain that raising tax rates on any group of earners is retardant to job growth. I can't speak to the specific numbers that the minority leader proposed, but at a time when the economy is very weak, the last thing you want to do is to raise marginal tax rates on anyone.

BLOCK: Well, Wynne Hegarty, of San Mateo, California, writes this: A quick check of history shows plenty of times when we had higher tax rates and lower unemployment. One instance was during the Clinton administration.

CORNISH: And Molly Galvin of Takoma Park, Maryland, adds: I find it outrageous that CEOs such as Mr. Loveman talk about how detrimental it would be to their businesses to raise taxes on even the most wealthy Americans and then in the next breath insist that entitlements such as Social Security need to be reformed. If Mr. Loveman and his fellow CEOs are so worried about their profits, perhaps they would do well to look at their own compensation.

BLOCK: Moving on now to my interview yesterday with Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts. This week, we've been talking to each band member about a song from the Stones' archives. Watts picked "Satisfaction." And I told him I thought it was a great song to talk about backbeat. Watts didn't disagree, but Tom Neely, of Grand Rapids, Michigan, thinks he was just being polite in not setting me straight.

CORNISH: Neely writes: "Satisfaction" is a famous song that does not have a backbeat rhythm, so were the other two songs you mentioned: "Pretty Woman" and "Uptight." These songs have what we call a straight-four rhythm, which uses snare drum accents on all four beats of each measure. The backbeat rhythm accents only beats two and four, not one and three.

BLOCK: OK. OK, Mr. Neely, you're right. So how about this?


THE ROLLING STONES: (Singing) If you start me up, if you start me up, I'll never stop.

CORNISH: And don't ever stop those letters. Write to us at and click on contact us.


THE ROLLING STONES: (Singing) If you start me up, I'll never stop. I've been running hot. You got me ticking, going to blow my top. If you start me up, if you start me up, I'll never stop, never stop, never stop, never stop. You make a grown man cry. You make a grown man cry. You make a grown man cry.

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