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Home / Articles / Views / Letters /  Close tax loopholes
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Thursday, February 11,2010

Close tax loopholes

The Colorado government is struggling with the worst recession in 70 years. Declining tax revenues and waning federal stimulus funds foreshadow deep cuts in state government spending. To cope, the governor has proposed eliminating special tax exemptions for some corporations to raise an additional $125 million. Closing tax loopholes is the only option available in a state in which revenue-raising capability is crippled by the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR).

A projected $132 million funding shortage for education, public health, poverty reduction and public infrastructure will have serious negative consequences for most Coloradoans as teachers are laid off, health care facilities are closed, government services are cut, and aid to poor and disabled residents is reduced or eliminated. More than 7,000 jobs in education, public health and other government operations would be lost, shoving many state workers onto already bloated unemployment rolls.

Most distressing is the reaction of some corporations, who have long enjoyed special tax treatment. These corporations are openly threatening to lay off workers if their sweetheart tax breaks are ended. For example, Evraz- Rocky Mountain Steel and Pepsi Corporation threaten job cuts if they have to pay the same taxes as the rest of us. These threats appear particularly cynical when one realizes that for such monstrous multinational enterprises the proposed increase is a minuscule portion of their global operations. Evraz took in more than $20 billion in 2008, earning more than $7 billion in profit. Pepsi’s revenues were $43 billion with profits of nearly $7 billion. The additional $2 million that Evraz would pay the state is less than three one-hundredths of 1 percent of its profits.

These corporations are really telling us that their first response to paying a fair share of taxes will be to fire several hundred workers. Never mind reducing energy consumption or implementing new production efficiencies. To me, these threats are little better than blackmail.

Another disturbing aspect of this situation is the United Steelworkers (USW) union apparently has fallen for this standard corporate divide-and-con quer tactic. Rather than unite with public employees (and their union representatives) to demand fair taxes for quality public services, the USW, in contradiction to its members’ long-term interests, is siding with industry bosses who would rather fire union workers than pay their fair share of taxes to fund public services.

Please call your state legislators now. Ask them to do what’s right: Close the loopholes. Fund our public services.

Ken Bonetti/Boulder

Government nonsense

I love our great U.S. of A. I served my country during the Vietnam War era. My wife and I are both very positive people, considering the almost unendurable circumstances we’ve weathered. We are both disabled and undergoing physical rehabilitation, living on limited Social Security incomes.

On the bright side, we have and always will be happy to serve and give back to our community in numerous ways.

However, I have little tolerance for nonsense when politicians send fundraising letters touting so-called “Big Change with enormous progress. The Democrats are also moving forward with President Obama’s agenda.” They go on to say, “In less than a year under Democratic leadership, the U.S. Senate has passed the economic stimulus package.” The way we see it, our federal government is out of control. Most federal representatives completely ignore us, “We The People.” What happened to the solemn oath to uphold the Constitution? Your dollar is no longer backed by silver and gold. How can the Federal Reserve be sheltered from public scrutiny and protected from political accountability? I say “your dollar,” since most of us seniors live way below the terms “limited income” and “poverty level.” “We The People” want to know how much more can we tighten our belts?

The majority of the stimulus package went to Wall Street banksters.

CEOs and high-level executives were all provided with a windfall of taxpayer money for no other reason than their obscene greed and paying themselves limitless bonuses. These banksters have plunged our country into chaos. In addition, millions of dollars of stimulus monies are still unaccounted for. Why?

The scandalous behavior of Wall Street banksters, with their illegal behavior, has caused yet another loss for “We The People” and our children’s grandchildren, and so on, down the line. How do we allow a runaway federal government to break the Constitution and continue in these detrimental ways? What can “We The People” do? We seniors have worked tirelessly all our lives using a good set of values and trust. We did our contracts with a handshake. It saddens us to see today’s set of values. This continued incredible greed and selfishness that exists in the ruling elite in America has placed “We the People” in jeopardy. We feel the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, along with the feds, could aid us cash-strapped old timers with a fundraiser. “We The People” on Social Security see no raise in 2010, while Congress votes to sacrifice the entire $2.42 trillion surplus accumulated in our Social Security account. Why not million-dollar bonuses for senior citizens?

Us old fogies are in deep awe each month when we receive all the nasty surprises in our utility bills. The user fee is OK. It’s all the additional fees tacked on that make it impossible to understand. Even with our thermostats set at the lowest possible settings, to keep our plumbing from freezing, amounts due skyrocket beyond our limited budgets. Our bare necessities of heat, gas, food and insurance are all financial issues for the majority of average Americans.

Let us remind you that life, friends, family and love are the most important gifts in life. Will these survive?

David L. Johnson/Erie

Treasonous leaders

Many patriots, within hours of the Northwest Airlines near-disaster, pointed to the waffling statements of Attorney General Eric Holder and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano. Their excuses, failing to recognize reality, insisting that foreign, Islamic individuals creating disasters are criminal actions rather than acts of terror, were astounding. Obama’s weak “better not do that anymore” statements are worse than keeping quiet.

The current American political establishment is loaded with nothing short of an incompetent gaggle of cowards. Nothing new here, either. They would penalize the American people through child-like restrictions on air travel rather than lift a finger against the sovereign nations supporting the terrorism war against America.

President Bush did many things right fighting terror, but his administration, like the Obama administration, failed to confront the sources of the terror. All seem fearful of what others think. Reflecting more concern over international reaction rather than protecting America’s national security is simply treason.

Harry Riley/via Internet

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