Letters to the Editor

Posted: Wednesday, March 26, 2003

Thoughts on war with Iraq

Wave the flag.

Red, white and blue.

How exciting, all the bombs!

And the money comes from you.

Ann Marina, Kenai

War with Iraq is taking one giant step backward

I'm a demonstrator against the Iraqi war and one question we get is: "Don't you support our troops?"

What a strange question for mothers and fathers to ask.

Supporting a war is only supporting our government's decision to send thousands of young people into another country to, in this case, kill the man in charge. Cut and dried. That's it.

If there is no war, our troops get to stay home. Right, Mom and Dad?

It takes one hell of a lot of courage and intelligence to keep a country out of war.

Let's hear it for one giant step backward.

Cheri Edwards, Soldotna

Peninsula legislators should lead way for progressive tax formulas

Editor's Note: The following letter was addressed to Sen. Tom Wagoner, R-Kenai, Rep. Mike Chenault, R-Nikiski, and Rep. Kelly Wolf, R-Kenai, and submitted for publication.

Speaking for myself and others, we would like our local legislators to take a stronger role in opposition to the regressive tax proposals in the governor's budget. We would like you to show some leadership by advocating legislative support for progressive tax formulas that don't impact the low- and middle-class residents the most. We are especially ashamed that proposed cuts to our elders be considered.

The idea that the upper class and large corporations, who derive the most benefit from government, not be expected to pay their fair share of the tax burden is not only outdated, it borders on the immoral.

The governor has suggested at least four more additional tax revenue cuts and royalty breaks in the name of resource development. You have access to the numbers: What is the extent, in recent years, of state revenue loss because of corporate tax breaks and restructuring of royalty contracts?

Continued tax revenue cuts and royalty cuts will not bridge budget gaps. The Reagan and George H. Bush years demonstrated emphatically, through resultant massive jobless rates and huge deficits, that supply side economics are a recipe for disaster. Yet it is still the economic mantra of the Republican Party.

Speaking of cuts, we have heard no suggestions that the governor and his staff, or the legislators and their staff, bear any of the burden to

tighten their belts and share in any cuts.

"Streamlining the permitting process" is a catchy phrase, but let's not line the streams with resource development to the detriment of our fish and wildlife. Keep the Habitat Division within the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. If Habitat needs better oversight, you have control through legislative confirmation of a fully qualified commissioner of Fish and Game to accomplish that task.

The success of the Science and Technology Fund is commendable and deserves your support. The governor wants to eliminate this program for a one-time infusion of cash to the general fund. Research the effective success of this fund and build cooperation in the Legislature to fight hard to save this program. Support for the Science and Technology Fund can only enhance

educational and economic development, which will prove to be crucial in helping us meet the challenges of future innovations.

A public response to these concerns can demonstrate a commitment and a willingness to lead the state to responsible management and equitable solutions to budget shortfalls. Heck, it might even help come the next election.

Paul Zimmerman, Kasilof

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