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Subcontractors don’t get GET exemption

As a subcontractor I’ve always paid my full 4 percent general excise tax on my income. The prime contractors I’ve worked for have been able to deduct my charges because I’m paying the GET.

That is a deduction, not an exemption, as the state is trying to portray it. The state’s present attempt is to make the primary contractor also pay GET on subcontractor fees. That means the total GET on subcontractor fees would go up to 8 percent (9 percent on Oahu) by making the primary contractor and the subcontractor both pay the GET fees. That’s not fair, and it is dishonest of the state to try to push this through by saying it is eliminating an exemption.

Bill Pyle


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State needs to define what is essential

The government should reduce costs to balance the budgets and not increase fees or taxes. However, reducing costs does not necessarily mean reducing services.

The purpose of government is to provide essential services to us, the taxpayers. Government needs to determine what is essential by doing a top-to-bottom assessment and categorize each program as being "essential," "got to have" and "nice to have" — the key being that only one-third of all programs can be "essential," one-third can be "got to have" and one-third "nice to have."

Hard choices will need to be made, but that is what the politicians are paid to do. Once this is done, take a long look at the "nice to have" list and decide if government still needs to perform these services to the taxpayers. If so, then contract them out.

Doing so not only would save direct employee costs but also significantly reduce funding requirements to the Employee Retirement System.

Bob Volkwein


Marijuana is illegal to protect our children

You allowed a former law school dean 600 words to let us know how "dumb" we are for not being "smart" enough to see that if we allowed the laws concerning marijuana to become no worse than jaywalking, we would then save money and solve other problems ("Let’s be smart about how we regulate marijuana," Island Voices, Star-Advertiser, March 8).

Please allow me just 25 words to state my reason why it is smart, not dumb, to leave the laws as they are: It’s because in Hawaii we love and cherish our children, and we see those laws as helping protect them from getting into harm’s way with drugs.

Ross Moody


Human remains need dignified treatment

Nobody wants to disturb Hawaiian burial sites. Respecting their final resting place should be a priority, and we should do everything we can to preserve their dignity.

In that spirit of respect, wouldn’t our ancestors want to be buried appropriately, with the honor they weren’t given at the time of their demise?

My suggestion is that we meet in the middle.

Upon discovering remains, can’t we provide them with a proper burial ground so they will never be disturbed again?

The recent tragedy in Japan teaches us that the earth shifts and Mother Nature can be violent. A simple earthquake or flood can unearth many past events that would make a tragedy even more upsetting.

There must be a way we can bring remains back into our hands and prepare them to be put back into the earth with the utmost respect and granting them eternal peace.

Brian Donnelly


UH can’t afford to give coach a raise

When are the folks who are in charge of University of Hawaii athletics going to wake up?

At last report they are nearly $10 million in debt. Now they are considering giving a raise to a coach who went 19-13, when he already makes $240,000.

They will never get out of the red doing things like this. If he can get more money by going someplace else then the UH should pat him on the back and say, "Aloha, my friend." But to even be thinking of giving the UH basketball coach a raise from the great salary he already gets is foolish.

UH may have to change the black trim around their block green "H" to red trim, because it appears it is not serious about digging out of the debt hole. Instead of a raise, maybe just let him move his family into the president’s mansion on campus.

Gregory A. Poole

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