Letters to the Editor


POSTED: Saturday, August 08, 2009

Gaming tax law is hypocritical

Thanks to the new law shepherded by state Rep. Pono Chong, Hawaii residents going to Las Vegas will owe taxes on all of their winnings which cannot be offset by any of their losing hands.

The law makes the state Legislature look hypo-critical. For as long as I can remember, all efforts to pass legalized gambling in Hawaii have failed.

The state Legislature has stuck to the position that gambling is not a panacea to solve our budget shortfalls or worth risking the 5 per-cent of our residents who become hopelessly addicted. Legislators have also said that gambling sends the wrong message to our keiki and that we should be teaching them to build a good life through education and hard work instead of encouraging them to just “;roll the dice”; with their future.

Chong has sold the soul of the Legislature for a measly $300,000 a year of potential tax revenue. The Legislature should move to repeal the new law. It appears two-faced not to allow gambling in Hawaii and still say it is OK to tax winnings that Hawaii residents receive in another state. They can't have it both ways.

Rowena Akana

Trustee, Office of Hawaiian Affairs


Keep government out of private business

Last week, under the guise of protecting us from risky practices of financial institutions, the U.S. House of Representatives passed HR 3269, the Corporate and Financial Institution Compensation Fairness Act.

This mandates the government to determine what is a fair and safe compensation and incentive plan for not only officers but employees of financial institutions as well. While the rhetoric sounds noble, it is just another step in the government regulation of the free enterprise system. The requirements will increase government agencies and cost to taxpayers, as well as costs to the financial institutions.

Government has no business in business. Compensation amounts for employees and managers should be approved by owners, not a government agency. Our reckless politicians have shown no competence in identifying or restraining any risky practices when it comes to spending.

Both of our representatives, Mazie Hirono and Neil Abercrombie, voted for this socialistic regulation of government controlled salaries and incentives. They should be replaced by anyone who will stand for the principles of free enterprise that made America the great country it is.

Richard Webster



AARP wrong to back health care reform bill

Since senior citizens will be negatively affected the most, it was astonishing to hear President Barack Obama boast recently of AARP's endorsement of his health care reform legislation.

Reducing Medicare by over $500 billion in concert with new enrollments of millions of uninsured, including illegal aliens, and millions more baby boomers will result in rationing care based on age.

Bureaucrats will determine who receives knee or hip replacements based on the treatment's cost and patient's age, rather than the treatment recommended by their doctor. Most disturbing, the legislation includes mandatory end-of-life counseling for seniors every five years. That intrusion and the creepy euthanasia implication should never be a government intervention. Medical privacy? No one will have it.

Finally, the waiting period to receive care will inevitably increase as doctors' increased patient loads and a decreased payment structure assure a doctor shortage. In Canada, which has a similar health care system as proposed by Democrats, over 800,000 people are on waiting lists for treatment. AARP has betrayed seniors. Perhaps it needs to review whom it serves.

Janice Pechauer



The paradox of buying a bunch of 'stuff'

Why is it I can buy a printer for my computer with color and black ink cartridges for less than the cost of the ink cartridges alone at a local discount store?

Why is it I can buy two flashlights with four batteries for less than the cost of just buying batteries?

Why is it at a local garden store I can buy a planted tree in a pot for less than just the cost of the pot?

The reason is people in America love stuff. How can we control our landfills when we can buy all this stuff for less than replacing parts on stuff?

Finally why should I buy a newspaper when I can read it for free online?

Some things I just don't understand, yet love it nonetheless.

James “;Kimo”; Rosen





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