Letters to the Editor: April 17, 2020

Consider a wealth tax before pay cuts

Just when you thought Gov. David Ige had run out of bad ideas he surprised us all with another doozie. His plan to cut the wages of teachers by 20% and police and fire by 10% to offset costs of the pandemic is insulting. Police and fire personnel are on the front lines of this pandemic and teachers will be soon as a plan to reopen has schools, daycare and camps the No. 1 priority.

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As if things haven’t been hard enough on these employees over the years now, he wants to balance his budget on their backs. How about clawing back the huge tax cuts to the top wage earners that Trump enacted last year? That would be a better starting place. The current stimulus package now gives additional cuts to these top earners and $170 billion to real estate developers and other pass-through entities, such as hedge funds. Eighty-two percent of this money will go to the 43,000 top earners who make more than $1 million a year. This includes people like Charles Schwab who famously cried poor when it came to completing his promised road (in Palamanui) and others who mysteriously ran out of money before building their promised affordable housing.

The state and counties should consider a wealth tax from the resident uber rich and tax the second homes and investment properties of residents and nonresidents. These could be subject to the net wealth of the person, excluding their primary residence. There is no reason police, fire and teachers should suffer when the ultra rich are sitting back in their gated communities with their multi-million dollar bank accounts.

Once Ige has clawed back every penny they have received in tax breaks then come talk to the working people who are on the front lines and struggling paycheck to paycheck.

Joseph Appleton

Waimea

Our freedom and economy will come back

I read the April 14 “My Turn” essay by Tom Beach titled “Will our freedoms and economy survive?” with interest because it touches on the freedoms we hold dear, but misses the whole point of why our country is sacrificing at this time.

Government has not created “this health hysteria” but is responding to a very real and present danger for all of us. This is not the common flu. If the aggressive guidelines had not been put in place, the number of deaths would be shocking. How many would have to die in order for us to think our sacrifice was worthwhile?

Our society has risen to a worthy call, putting aside our own desires for the sake of others. We have gone from the importance of “me, me” to “we.” We are caring for others by restricting ourselves. This is not the time to undermine such an altruistic act by disparaging those who are willing to give up their freedoms so others might live.

Our freedom and economy will come back, probably stronger and more caring, more aware of the value of life, with changed priorities and more understanding that we are in this life together. “Love your neighbor as yourself” has become a worthy goal.

Marion Moe

Kailua Kona

Be ready to act come November

I don’t know about my fellow Americans, but I am outraged by what I witnessed last Friday on the daily update of the virus in America. What I witnessed was The President of the United States America turn what should have been a process on how to manage the downward curve of the virus into a president more concerned with his ratings instead of some compassion for the 23,000 real Americans that have died due to his total mismanagement of the crisis.

Wake up America. This man is dangerous. He is dragging this country down passed what we have been told was the greatest depression of the of the 1920s-30s.

Please do not forget what has happened to you, your family, your neighbors, the world when November rolls around. Please, please, vote this very demented individual out of the Greatest Position in the world. Stay alert, stay tuned in — even when it hurts. Be ready to act come November. Be informed because your life and the life of your children and their children will count on eliminating four more years of Trump.

Barry Christian

Kailua-Kona

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