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Progressive taxation would be more fair

Why has all the talk about raising taxes to deal with the deficit focused on the general excise tax and not on increasing progressive income taxation?

The GET is particularly hard on those many citizens who have low incomes or are just plain poor. Progressive income taxes are fair because they can be set to coincide with ability to pay.

President Franklin Roosevelt got us through the Great Depression and the worst war in history with progressive income taxes, and they continued for a couple of decades after the war until the fat cats used their wealth and influence to shoot them down.

I’m happy that our Democratic governor does not want to increase the GET, but I don’t hear him talking about a more progressive income tax.

Governor, why not?

Richard Miller

Elected BOE member wishes successors well

I voted for Gov. Neil Abercrombie because he had the best intentions for our public education system. For the sake of our 177,871 students, I want to see the governor’s appointed Board of Education successfully carry out his comprehensive plan for education.

I will support the governor’s appointed BOE by offering insights, concerns and solutions through public testimony at BOE meetings.

Before being elected into office, I had a long history of advocating for children, which included testifying at BOE meetings.

As a BOE member, I found public testimony incredibly valuable to understanding the impacts policies have in the community. I hope the more than 150 candidates for the appointed board fulfill their intention to serve our students any way they can.

It does not matter whether we serve on our own volition, at the will of the people or at the will of the governor. What matters is that we manifest that willingness to do our best to make a positive difference.

This ability to make a difference is within all of our reach.

Kim Coco Iwamoto
Outgoing Board of Education member, Honolulu

Florida pastor causing more harm than good

The recent killing of 12 United Nations workers as a result of a mock trial at the Dove World Outreach Center in Florida is a travesty of justice.

How did the Rev. Terry Jones expect Muslims to react in Afghanistan as a result of the burning of the Koran? Is he that dense to believe that freedom of religion exists in that part of the world?

If he wants to expand his church, he certainly is not going about it in the proper way.

How do you explain the deaths of innocent U.N. workers trying to help people in that part of the world? Then he has the audacity to demand the U.S. and U.N. retaliate against all Muslim nations.

If he is looking for publicity for his church, he certainly has it now.

Roy M. Chee

Windmills are useful but should blend in

Why are windmills white ("Wind farm in Kahuku powers up," Star-Advertiser, March 24)? The landscape is darker, earth-tone or blue sky, so why aren’t windmills similarly colored?

If it is for low-flying aircraft, a blinking light on the wind tower, unseen from the ground, would be sufficient.

Research in England shows that purple-colored windmills would kill the fewest birds because they attract the fewest insects.

Our Hawaiian landscape’s value isn’t just aesthetic, but monetary, thanks to tourism. At the same time we need increased energy independence.

Given these constraints, camouflaging our windmills would be a win-win.

Philip Brewbaker

Don’t take money from tobacco program

As a pulmonologist, I am tired of seeing patients become ill, disabled, and die as a result of tobacco.

Tobacco is directly related to the top three causes of death in the U.S.: heart disease, cancer (lung), and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Ultimately, we all bear the burden of tobacco as it affects family, friends and co-workers. Tobacco costs our community in higher health care costs and lost work due to illness.

I am shocked that our Legislature is looking to cut tobacco prevention funding. This is a short-sighted, short-term budget fix that will eventually burden Hawaii’s people physically, emotionally and financially.

Hawaii’s tobacco prevention efforts work. They’ve reduced youth smoking from one in four youths to nearly one in 10. We have one of the lowest smoking rates in the nation.

These gains will be lost, as they have been in other states that have decreased funding and tobacco prevention efforts.

Christine Fukui
Niu Valley

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