Honolulu Star-Advertiser

Saturday, June 22, 2024 77° Today's Paper


Letters: Trump avoided taxes, just like the rest of us; Hirono shows no aloha for high court nominee; Training in Hawaii crucial to preparedness

The rather lengthy article about President Donald Trump’s taxes only indicates that he practices what we all do — avoiding the payment of taxes we are not legally required to pay (“Trump’s taxes show chronic losses, years of avoidance,” Star-Advertiser, Sept. 28).

The choice of words here is critical to understanding this article. Avoidance is legal and evasion is not. So if the Times had used the word “evasion,” it would indeed have been news. When you and I deduct a legal contribution to a retirement account or deduct a donation to a charity, we are avoiding paying taxes on that amount — legal.

When your friend brags that he paid no taxes because he was paid in cash (under the table or off the books) that is tax evasion, and illegal. His employer is also guilty of evading paying required payroll taxes.

However, if the article was trying to make the point of fairness then it loses credibility, as “fairness” is in the eyes of the beholder and not in the law.

Ron Palma

Hawaii Kai


Trump paid only $750 in federal income taxes?

Really? I paid three times that in federal income taxes for my Social Security income last year. Obviously, I’m in the wrong business or not taking advantage of Internal Revenue Service rules.

Ray Taba



Senate Republicans scorn fairness, equality

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s judicial accomplishments helped make our country fairer, and thereby greater. She sought protections and equal rights under the law for all, regardless of gender or political affiliation. We, and future generations, all benefit from her legacy.

Yet the Republican Senate shamelessly pushes forth the immediate nomination of Ginsburg’s replacement. They want to seat a new justice less than 40 days before the election, while earlier they denied President Barack Obama the right to seat a replacement for Justice Antonin Scalia for nine months before the 2016 election. Where is fairness and equal treatment?

Such a double standard is not unexpected from a president with a distorted sense of moral decency. However, the lack of enough good men and women in the Republican Senate with the backbone to uphold fairness, and to have the grace to honor Ginsburg’s dying wish that the selection of her replacement be left to the next president, is truly dismaying. This hardly makes our country greater.

Ursula Retherford



Hirono shows no aloha for high court nominee

The tradition for a Supreme Court nominee is to informally meet with senators on Capitol Hill before the actual Senate confirmation hearings. Some Democratic senators, including Hawaii’s U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono, have chosen not to meet with Amy Coney Barrett.

Hirono said before the Brett Kava- naugh hearings that women must be listened to. I guess Barrett doesn’t get that privilege. Hirono has no aloha and obviously discriminates against people who don’t share her views. No diversity of thought, no humanity, or no civility.

John Berry



Training in Hawaii crucial to preparedness

Bill Prescott’s comments on the importance of Hawaii’s military training sites are most timely (“Isle training sites crucial to combat preparedness,” Star-Advertiser, Letters, Sept. 24).

These training lands are absolutely essential to forward-basing U.S. combat-ready forces in Hawaii that guarantee peace and security prevailing in the Indo-Pacific region. This contribution enables the U.S. and Asia-Pacific nations to maintain the level of security needed to protect against domination by rising opposing forces such as China. We simply can’t allow China to gain military and trade dominance in the region.

For Hawaii, there’s more. It means that our immigrant-based state is protected by maintaining close business and family ties with Indo-Pacific partners and peoples. Moreover, the military’s presence accounts for 72,000 military personnel and federal civilian employees, generating nearly $7.5 billion for our communities and providing excellent jobs for thousands. Clearly the loss of military presence would cause devastating impacts approaching the current pandemic proportions.

It is pono to protect all of Hawaii and our people.

Charles Ota



We need more forests, not more cemeteries

Shame on the state Land Use Commission for its approval of the Hawaiian Memorial Park expansion (“Hawaiian Memorial Park gets approval for Kaneohe cemetery expansion,” Star-Advertiser, Sept. 24).

Must the whole community turn out for questions that require only basic scientific knowledge?

The Earth’s biosphere as we know it, our only home, is dying due to excess greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide. Forests, especially mature forests, efficiently and inexpensively sequester carbon.

It isn’t difficult to think of green solutions to the problem of human burial. For example, bodies could be interred in the forest, and a plaque erected to bear the names of those so interred.

Neil Frazer



Candidate’s age isn’t indication of ability

Although one might think there is something to Ricarte Agnes’s letter, in which he discounts Rick Blangiardi’s mayoral candidacy based on Blangiardi’s age and relatively recent retirement, it is clearly age discrimination (“For 1 voter, age is factor in realizing city plans,” Star-Advertiser, Sept. 24).

As with all candidates, the decision would far better be based on the positions and advocacies the candidates express. Vigor might be a consideration, but there are plenty of people still at the top of their game at even more advanced ages.

Richard Stancliff



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