Honolulu Star-Advertiser

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Letters to the Editor

Conservative tax policy resulted in huge debt

Robert Chaffee repeats the conservative line that taxpayers know better than government how to spend "their" money ("Taxpayers spend own cash better," Star-Advertiser, Dec. 9).

I’ve listened to this line most of my adult life. Over the past 30 years, following this line, three conservative Republican presidents steadfastly refused to raise taxes to pay for what their governments were buying. By my calculation, roughly 80 percent of our current $13 trillion-plus national debt was run up by Presidents Ronald Reagan and Bushes 1 and 2.

Putting this debt on the backs of our children and grandchildren could very well be the greatest example of selfishness in all of human history.

Rick Lloyd


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Government is awful at managing our money

Cheers to Robert Chaffee! The only activities government should be involved in are those surrounding national defense and the administration of basic rights.

Granted, while the former is fairly clear-cut where the need for funding is concerned, the latter is somewhat ambiguous regarding the need for costly social programs. But the fact remains that government has far overstepped in assuming the role of managing our money.

America is what it is today because of the hard work, ambition and ingenuity of its private citizens.

Joan Rank


Federal bill will make for healthier students

As children’s health remains a national health concern, passage of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act couldn’t have come at a better time. The bill will make for healthier schools by improving school meals, removing junk foods and sugary beverages from snack shops and vending machines, and strengthening wellness policies.

I’d like to personally thank Hawaii Reps. Mazie Hirono and Charles Djou for voting for this strong child nutrition legislation to help curb unhealthy eating habits among children and premature health conditions such as high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes.

The president must now make it official and sign the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act into law. The sooner our kids have healthier food in schools, the sooner we can reduce obesity rates.

Jone Flanders
President, Oahu Metro board of directors, American Heart Association


Poll result suggests few now support rail

On Monday, the Star-Advertiser online poll asked readers if they had changed their position on rail after the new higher-cost projection was released, and 41 percent said yes.

Higher costs for rail would not convince any anti-rail people to change their mind and now support it; therefore, all those who changed their minds must have been previous supporters of rail who have turned against it, suggesting that there are very few rail supporters still standing — perhaps 15 percent, if we assume the community had been evenly split on the question.

Dennis Callan


Hawaii needs funding to fight drug problems

The U.S. government is responsible for the outcome of the drug cartels’ infiltration of America.

The individuals given the authority to curtail the drug problem waited too long to stop the drug dealings before it reached proportions of such magnitude. Look at what’s taken place in Mexico and elsewhere.

Sooner or later, Hawaii will be the next place to experience an out-of-control influx of drug problems. We need more federal money to fight this problem now.

Richard Lee


New ‘Hawaii Five-0’ has lived up to its past well

"Hawaii Five-0" is faithful to several "Five-0" traditions. Alex O’Laughlin captures the hard-nosed dedication of Steve McGarrett, and Chin Ho’s electronic screen reminds me of McGarrett’s see-though whiteboard. Filming on location was a Jack Lord must and the producers have done a great job with that. Also, the original show had many murders, multiple murders and serial murders. The tourist industry, nevertheless, flourished. No search warrant; no problem. That was television then, and that’s the way it is now.

Richard Lightner


Question biased in favor of Laie expansion

Thursday’s Big Q asked, "Do you approve of Brigham Young University-Hawaii’s plans to rezone agricultural lands around its Laie campus to address the area’s need for jobs and affordable housing?"

When a question presents only the upside of an issue, it would not be surprising if a majority votes yes. Ask if you would support 100 or more homeowners displaced in order to widen Kamehameha Highway to support the added traffic, as has been suggested, and you might get a few more Nos. Laie and environs are not structured for such expansion, which would permanently deform the character and ambience of the area for residents and visitors alike.

Ken Rubenstein


Article gave credibility to BOE critic’s unproven ideas

Dave Koga quotes Island Insurance CEO Colbert Matsumoto describing Hawaii’s elected Board of Education as an "obstacle to education reform" ("Who will pick the BOE?" Star-Advertiser, Nov. 28).

By seeking Matsumoto’s view as if he were an educational authority, Koga does a disservice to readers. The paper also conceals a conflict of interest: Matsumoto sits on the board of directors for Oahu Publications Inc., the Star-Advertiser’s owner.

The BOE has passed policies that have led to steady academic growth, with reading and math scores rising under tough standards that earned an "A" from Harvard University. Hawaii won a $75 million Race to the Top award following the BOE’s adoption of common standards.

One big obstacle confronting Hawaii’s schools is negative critics such as Matsumoto, whom the media treats as a reform expert. Giving credibility to Matsumoto’s unproven ideas perpetuates a misperception that schools are broken, when just the opposite is true.

Garrett Toguchi
Chairman, Hawaii State Board of Education
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