Cut regulations that block jobs
The Star-Advertiser carried two articles illustrating stumbling blocks placed by government agencies that discourage investment, which means jobs.
The first article was about state Public Utilities Commission regulations that prompted Castle & Cooke to form four companies to develop a 120-acre solar farm. The project is expected to lower our electricity bills, but it will need four design, construction, maintenance, management and accounting teams to do the work of one. Does this make economic sense?
The second article reported that H&R Block will no longer be able to offer customers short-term loans secured by expected tax refunds. The Treasury Department has taken the position that many of the loans are to individuals with spotty or no credit history. So if you want a fast tax refund, you can’t get it, so wait for the mail to come. This won’t help the unemployed needing cash to buy food.
It would be great if regulators on all government levels make New Year’s resolutions to review and eliminate job-discouraging regulations.
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Michael Vick did his time
I am probably the most devoted dog lover I know. I take offense, however, with activists who criticize our president who commended the Philadelphia Eagles for giving Michael Vick a second chance.
Vick served time. He is a spokesmen for The Humane Society and has given back to the community in numerous ways. No one would ever condone his horrific treatment of those poor dogs, but to deny anyone a second chance at life, who has atoned for his past mistakes, is judgmental and unforgiving. What about dog owners who leave their dogs tied up on a chain day and night, exposed to the elements, and who deny them human and animal contact?
Maybe these activists should focus on laws that allow dog owners to neglect their pets on a daily basis.
Most taxes are paid by wealthy
Vern Lentz asks: "Isn’t it about time the wealthy do their part like everyone else?" (Star-Advertiser, Letters, Dec. 28).
They do, Vern.
Of the total U.S. population, about 47 percent will pay no federal income taxes at all for 2009. That’s according to projections by the Tax Policy Center.
And, from the National Taxpayers Union: The top 1 percent pay 38 percent of the taxes, while the top 5 percent, who earn 34.7 percent of the nation’s adjusted gross income, paid approximately 58.7 percent of federal individual income taxes.
The top 5 percent are paying more than half of the total income taxes in this country. The wealthy are doing their share!
Obama should visit other bases
I’d like to wish President Barack Obama and the first family a Happy New Year. It was great to see our commander in chief visiting Kaneohe Marine Base and talking to and thanking our heroes and their families. After nearly 30 years in the Army, I find our military to be well informed and able to read their commanders better then anyone.
I would ask the president not to forget the other bases here in Hawaii.
Tax break is to preserve history
A recent front-page article framed the city’s historic preservation tax reduction as a boon for the rich ("Obama party stays in home taxed at $300," Star-Advertiser, Dec. 27). However, the purpose of the tax credit is to ensure the preservation of historic structures in Hawaii.
Preserving physical reminders of our historical past serves important purposes, such as stabilizing neighborhoods and retaining examples of exceptional architecture. Neighborhoods such as Manoa and Ewa Villages serve as reminders of a different era. The tax break is meant to encourage the owners of any historic home to retain the look and feel of that house, rather than demolish it for higher value. Since the tax break is for the preservation of historic homes, any repairs to the tax code should focus on the purpose of the tax break. This includes visual accessibility and actual maintenance.
The city should also consider establishing a Certified Local Government program to access federal funds available for historic preservation.
An owner’s income, or whether or not they are residents, should not be a factor unless it affects the preservation of the home. Otherwise, Oahu would stand to lose some of its most significant architecture.
Administrator, State Historic Preservation Division