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Taniguchi never met a tax he didn't like

Sen. Brian Taniguchi should resign. His record speaks for itself:

>> 2001 -- He proposed eliminating the tax cut Governor Cayetano and the Legislature passed to balance the budget.

>> 2002 -- He proposed borrowing monies from the state Hurricane Relief Fund to balance the budget.

>> 2002 -- He proposed appropriating $8.5 million to purchase the Japanese Cultural Center.

>> 2003 -- He proposed raising the general excise tax from 4 percent to 4.5 percent to use the monies for education.

He has done nothing to help people in his district (Moiliili, McCully, Manoa), except to try to raise taxes.

For the good of the state and his district, he should resign immediately.

Steven Sofos

'Road sharing' also would trim traffic

I mostly agree with Otto Cleveland's letter suggesting we stagger work times to cut down on traffic (Star-Bulletin, April 16), but I suggest a different approach. While Cleveland suggests we change our work hours to coordinate better with the mainland and Asia, I recommend an alternative approach that has been proven effective.

I suggest "road sharing" among the four biggest employers in the state: the state of Hawaii, the City and County of Honolulu, the Department of Education and the U.S. military. Members of the U.S. military are used to working early, so they should adjust their work hours to begin at 6:45 a.m. The City and County of Honolulu should start at 7:15 a.m., followed by the state of Hawaii at 7:45. Last, the Department of Education -- principally the University of Hawaii at Manoa -- should start at 9 a.m.

The problem has long been that all of our government employees start work at 8 a.m. Why not coordinate these time shares so traffic is more efficiently routed? A study was performed by the city some years ago that found the idea very effective, but it was a negotiable item for the public workers unions and was forgotten.

Garry P. Smith
Ewa Beach

Long-term care plan is tax, not insurance

As a former health insurance underwriter, I feel compelled to correct R. Miller's April 21 letter claiming that the Legislature's long-term care proposal is insurance, not a new tax. In fact, the latest committee report explicitly said the long-term care plan is not insurance, and that the company administering this plan wouldn't be required to have any insurance background.

It's not insurance if:

>> people with virtually no chance of using the benefits are forced to participate;

>> the "premiums" charged bear no relationship to the person's risk;

>> the "premiums" start immediately, but no one is eligible for the maximum benefit for 10 years;

>> the directors of the program (the legislators) have no fiduciary duty to the recipients;

>> the directors can raise the "premiums" or change the terms of the "contract" at any time;

>> the directors are legally entitled to raid the accumulated "premiums" and spend the money on anything they want.

Any competent underwriter or actuary will tell you that the technical term for the long-term care program is "a state-run Ponzi scheme." If any private company had the gall to run such a scam it would be shut down and the instigators jailed.

It's a tax, not insurance!

Jim Henshaw

Isolationism harms U.S. relations with Iraq

The articles "U.S. eyes post-war bases in Iraq" and "Clerics envision an Islamic state" (April 20) reveal the future of the Bush war against Iraq. He rejected U.N. inspections for Iraqi weapons of mass destruction in favor of war. What Bush wanted most of all was oil, money and power.

Are post-war bases in Iraq signs "of rapid withdrawal from Iraq?" We, not Iraqis, specifically named four sites for permanent U.S. military bases, one at the "international airport just outside Baghdad." Not exactly signs of a democratic government by the Iraqi people.

A senior administration official declared that there will be "some kind of long-term defense relationship with a new Iraq, similar to Afghanistan." That disaster area will not be widely welcomed as an acceptable model.

The following quote from one of the articles should remind us of predictions by Bush critics: "Nearly 100 Islamic clerics have affirmed an emerging fundamentalist, anti-American position for Shiite Muslims." Also, the predicted outcome of our Iraq policies is outrage throughout the Muslim world, resulting in more terrorism rather than less.

Bush unilateralism has rejected more than 100 other nations in an international criminal court, environmental protection and family planning, among others. He also has refused to ban land mines. Doesn't that all appear like Bush vs. much of the world?

Jerome Manis

Evil men sometimes make force necessary

As American troops uncover the detestable atrocities of Saddam's 35-year regime, I hope those who marched to protest the war will see the truth. A flawed ideology, through social Darwinism, has poisoned many minds into thinking that truly evil men do not exist, and that men have evolved to a level that we are all reasonable and therefore we can prevent war.

Is it not obvious that good and evil are here to stay? Americans and the world are not better people for having evolved. It is America's foundation on Biblical principles that has set in our hearts a moral compass to rightly desire to defend the weak and uphold justice, and yet we tend to think a rational world thinks as we do. Not so; therefore, force is sometimes necessary to remove from power the evil men who will not listen to reason, and who go on threatening our freedom and bringing terror upon their own nations.

While Holocaust victims liberated by American troops declared "Never Again," in the name of reason and peacekeeping we close our eyes to truth as Iraqis, North Koreans and others live in terror. I am proud of our troops and our president, and thank them for doing what is just.

Anita Higashi
Pearl City


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The Star-Bulletin welcomes letters that are crisp and to the point (150 to 200 words). The Star-Bulletin reserves the right to edit letters for clarity and length. Please direct comments to the issues; personal attacks will not be published. Letters must be signed and include a daytime telephone number.

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