Letters to the Editor


POSTED: Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Jobless tax hike doesn't add up

It seems to me the state administration is gouging businesses by raising the tax employers pay into the jobless fund from an average of $90 per employee per year to $1,040. Is the state administration being honest that all the moneys collected will go only into the unemployment fund?

The state unemployment rate has been around 2 percent in the past years and may be approaching 8 percent in the next year. Should not the increase in the tax employers pay also be around four times, instead of over 10 times?

Is the state receiving federal moneys for its unemployment fund to offset the rise in unemployment? If not, then I believe our congressional delegation will step forward to help businesses in Hawaii.

Carlino Giampolo


There is still a lot of 'fat' in schools

Please, colleagues and friends of education, take a stand. The Department of Education, Board of Education and our governor would like to take 17 or more days from our pay. The DOE and BOE would like you to believe that they already trimmed the “;fat”; in the first budget cuts done last year. Not true!

I took my students outside to read the other morning because of the noise from the construction on our campus. As I toured the campus looking for a little shade, I found several employees just sitting around talking story (and not about education or the children). When I returned to my room 75 minutes later they were still talking story. Later in the day, I noticed an employee who took a two-hour lunch. This wasn't the first time I have experienced this on my campus.

Colleagues, it is time we spoke up about company abuse. I know I have heard from others that this happens on many campuses. If we report the use of “;company time”; for personal use, maybe we can draw attention to the waste in the system and cause our superintendent to do a complete overhaul of the system—the one that exists outside of the classroom. I would imagine that if she did a complete overhaul, we could save some money for the state. Oh yes, Gov. Lingle, there is more fat to trim.

Leilani Nautu


Clunkers critique was misleading

Richard Webster's critique of cash for clunkers (”;Program for cars was real clunker,”; Star-Bulletin, Letters, Sept. 19) is clap-trap circulated by the Americans for Tax Reform front group linked to convicted felon, lobbyist Jack Abramoff. But even ATR readers saw through the bogus math, noting:

1. Cars run on gasoline, not crude oil.

2. One barrel of oil yields 20 gallons of gasoline. If you save 224 million gallons of gasoline per year, that equals 11.2 million barrels of oil (not the 5 million Richard Webster cites in his letter). At $75 per barrel, that's $840 million.

That would mean the $3 billion clunkers budget would be recovered in gas pump savings for U.S. motorists in three years and nine months, and would generate $840 million a year in additional savings for drivers thereafter, even if—fat chance—oil prices don't rise.

This doesn't count the value of reduced greenhouse gas exhaust, and of jobs for U.S. auto industry workers who make both foreign and domestic cars in U.S. factories, and of jobs at your local car dealer.

Walter Wright





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