Letters: Remove GET on food, medicine; Trump’s poor record; Aloha spirit inspires passing-down of legacies
Here’s big idea: remove GET on food, medicine; Trump’s record reveals capacity for dark deeds; Aloha spirit inspires passing-down of legacies.
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According to a Jan. 13 article in the Star-Advertiser (“‘Big ideas’ finished at Legislature, critics say”), our legislators lack the courage to pass — much less seriously consider — progressive measures.
For example, during last year’s session the Legislature failed to pass a much-needed increase in the minimum wage or do anything substantial to address our homeless problem.
Here’s a “big idea” measure the Legislature should pass: Remove the general excise tax (GET) on food and medicine. This regressive tax imposes an unfair burden on our struggling poor and middle-class citizens. The problem: How can we afford this loss of tax revenue? The solution: Abolish one house of our bicameral legislature. Unlike the federal system, where the House of Representatives representation is based on population and the Senate provides equal representation for each state, our House and Senate representation are both based on population.
Abolishing either the state House or Senate would not only save money, but result in more efficient and transparent government.
Trump’s record reveals capacity for dark deeds
Donald Trump’s three casino bankruptcies reveal that his business record was so poor, no U.S. bank would give him a loan. But the no-collusion Russians provided Trump money to escape this debacle. These and other events demonstrate Trump’s delusional behavior, claiming he knows how to succeed, even though dozens of his botched businesses prove otherwise.
This pattern could have forecast that Trump — boxed in with impeachment hearings and a Supreme Court justice who believes in following the Constitution overseeing the impeachment trial — might start a war to take the spotlight off impeachment.
Trump already revealed his desire to be America’s dictator. How much of a stretch is it for a dictator, about to undergo an impeachment trial, to embroil the country in a war and then use his dictatorial powers to declare martial law and decree the impeachment findings null and void?
Aloha spirit inspires passing-down of legacies
While I was offering discounted Hawaii Symphony tickets at a local fairground booth recently, a jaunty middle-aged Hawaiian man wearing a vivid black and white geometrically decorated aloha shirt approached me. I complimented him on his stunning shirt.
Instead of merely saying thank you, the man proudly stated that he has held on to multitudes of multicolored aloha shirts that he has worn since grade school. He added that all of them were remarkably still in pristine condition. Then, he poignantly revealed to me that he intended to bequeath his resplendent collection of shirts to his grandchildren, an inheritance to remind them of the spirit of aloha that he himself so ebulliently embodied.
My life-long devotion to classical music is a legacy that I hope to pass on to my grandchildren in the resounding spirit of aloha.
Milestone events show history repeating itself
Columnist Rashid Khalidi, in “Blindness to history leads to brink of another calamitous war,” noted the recent problems with the USA and Middle East (Star-Advertiser, Insight, Jan. 12). I agree blindness to history is a problem. British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain promised an illusory peace with Adolph Hitler in 1938 after signing a peace treaty with Nazi Germany. He stated it would give Britain “peace in our time.” He was hopelessly, dangerously naïve about Hitler’s intentions. A year after Chamberlain waved the signed Munich Agreement, ceding the sovereignty of Czechoslovakia in return for Hitler’s promises of peace, Germany had invaded Poland, and Britain was at war.
When President Barack Obama gave his second inaugural address, he stated that his actions in the Middle East, including giving Iran about $50 billion in “usable liquid assets,” had given us “peace in our time.” The liberal media gave him a pass on his phrase, which had become a synonym for appeasement. Now here we are a victim of history, which repeats itself.
The deal didn’t get congressional approval. The Obama administration had maintained the agreement wasn’t a treaty, which would have required Senate approval.