Letters for Saturday, September 22, 2018

Vote no on tax question

Thank you for your article about the property tax surcharge question that will be on our voting ballot. No one debates how important it is to support local youth and improve public education in Hawaii.

However, this question related to tax and education as presented on the ballot is too vague and would leave the details undefined. Voters should consider only the facts and not fantasize about “intent” or “aim.” The question says “investment real property” which means not a primary residence where the owner lives.

This could be any property: a warehouse, restaurant, shopping center or office building, hotel, piece of land, and also a residence that is rented out on a short-term or long-term basis. It does not specify any minimum value limit of the property. It does not define type of owner, which could be a company, a trust, a family who has owned the property for many generations, a non-profit, a retiree or military veteran.

The language does not differentiate between residents of Hawaii and non-residents. Investors don’t absorb property taxes, they pass them on to tenants. If the tenant is a business, the local customer pays more. If the tenant is a Hawaii citizen, perhaps someone on a fixed income, their rent would increase. The question never clearly reveals how or where the unknown amount of funds raised would be used.

Because this would be a constitutional amendment (if approved) it would never expire. It would leave the details of the tax completely undefined, to be addressed (possibly repeatedly) through the state’s legislative process and everything unknown which often goes with such method. This is a dangerous idea. I urge you to join me in voting no on this ballot question.

Sam Pratt, Lihue

Trump not fit to run country

I feel I need to respond to Ms. Sheffield’s letter claiming TGI bias toward her poor, maligned president (TGI Forum, Sept. 18). It seems if anyone says anything bad about him, they obviously are sore losers because they lost the election – two freaking years ago! Really? I’m sorry ma’am, but you are obviously drinking the Trump Koolaid. How silly and shallow to think our animus toward Trump is just sour grapes because ‘we’ lost the election. Can someone with an obvious modicum of intelligence really believe I’m moaning two years after the fact?

I have voted both Democrat and Republican in my 68 years, mostly Republican. But I very hesitantly voted for Clinton JUST to keep a man like Trump from running – or more like ruining – our country. We have a proven liar, misogynist, deeply prejudiced, not-too-bright maniac in charge, and I have never been embarrassed to be an American before, but with Trump, now I am.

As long as he spouts his silly lies (proven many, MANY times over), and continues to treat our best and finest with disdain and malice, debases the fine news organizations that only speak the truth, he is not fit to run this country. I never thought I would see such an injustice thrust upon the U.S., but tons of lies and the “perfect” political storm got him elected – though he lost the overall vote. And the only thing that keeps me from pure despair is the fact that soon we will get to see him taken down to where he belongs, preferably a jail cell with his newly convicted cronies. Right WILL prevail. It has to.

Susan Straight, Waimea

16 Comments
  1. I saw a Vampire once September 22, 2018 12:32 am Reply

    Trump is smarter than Hawai’i. Do you have $9 billion dollars? No. Then small time community is not fit to meet Trump. Trump is not obligated to run country. Just only to back up GOP ideas. He won. So play the part.


  2. Jake September 22, 2018 3:31 am Reply

    Sam, one of the issues on the Hawaiian Islands is that none of our elected have ever lived somewhere else on the planet. This “tax” is an easy way to funnel money from the general fund, to some other pork project that the state wants to fund.

    Philadelphia has a soda tax for pre-school. Florida has the lottery for education. Pennsylvania has a lottery for senior citizens. In all cases, the tax was to “increase funds”, yet when the money started rolling in from other sources, the amount from the general fund decreased. It’s a shell game.


  3. Jake September 22, 2018 3:37 am Reply

    Susan, funny, I’m a Democrat that voted for Trump. The “not too bright maniac” actually accomplished something in life before politics. Your other comments are just opinions.

    HRC has her husband to thank for everything. She became First Lady because of him, then two years after Bill’s 8 years were up, she becomes a US Senator…..skip all the local, county, state elected positions, and go right to US Senator of New York. She is a criminal, as nasty of a person than Trump, and a professional politician…….politician = “No credentials, achievements, or certifications required. Only that you are the most popular”.


  4. Steven McMacken September 22, 2018 4:26 am Reply

    I think TGI should give you your own column, Susan, and call it “Straight Talk.”

    I read an article some time ago that said that “Hillary Clinton . . . was viscerally hated by half the country.” That was hyperbole, of course. But it is true that Ms. Clinton was not an easy person to get behind. She was painted by the Republicans as a liar and the label stuck, even though most of what was said about her wasn’t true. Ironic, isn’t it, that the person now in the White House is the biggest liar in the history of the country? Heck, he could be the biggest liar in the history of the Universe! Even Pinocchio didn’t lie as much as the Liar-in-Chief does.

    Trump is nothing more than a mentally unstable, narcissistic bully, who is taking advantage of his position of power to do anything he can to further his own agenda. And he doesn’t give a whit if he brings the entire country down with him.

    Thank you for speaking up.


    1. Susan Straight September 23, 2018 12:44 pm Reply

      I appreciate that Steven. Thank you.


  5. gordon oswald September 22, 2018 5:02 am Reply

    Thank you for the letter Mr. Pratt! A common sense explanation, and a voice of reason in a sea of already bloated “Government”!


  6. gordon oswald September 22, 2018 5:23 am Reply

    Susan! So much hate curled up in that mind of yours! You forgot to mention that our Country, because of President Trump, is enjoying the most prosperous period of growth, high employment for all, manufacturing explosion, highest GDP of 4.2% in many years (and huge compared to Obama’s anemic and failed 1% average over 8 years of economic failure), lowest unemployment for Blacks and Hispanics IN HISTORY, lowest unemployment for WOMEN IN OVER 25 YEARS, enhanced border security, highest consumer confidence in decades, money pouring back into America from “off shore” after decades of leaving, over 4 MILLION jobs created since the election of President Trump, America is now TOTALLY ENERGY INDEPENDENT for the first time in decades, and we’re further away from a war because of our new incredible relationship with other rogue countries, and our allies, who actually RESPECT America again! Of course Obama during the campaign said our Great President could never do any of those things he declared he could do! To quote Obama-“How’s he gonna do that, he doesn’t have a MAGIC WAND!” Hmmm….Guess what! HE WAS THE MAGIC WAND, AND DID IT ALL! AND YOU’RE SOOOO MUCH BETTER OFF BECAUSE OF IT SUZY! So sorry you left those more salient points out of your insignificant little diatribe of emotional instability.


    1. Just Saying September 22, 2018 1:52 pm Reply

      The problem with Oswald’s happy talk is that the source is trump’s spinners. They’re likely to say things like: “With our help, Puerto Rico has reduced it’s use of electricity this year by 85%!!!” If Goebbels could, he’d give Oswald a high five for this piece of work. Over 60% is dissatisfied with the “Liar in Chief because they’re bright enough to see through all this spin and are embarrassed every day by white trash trump behavior.
      Speaking of brightness:
      How many trumps does it take to screw in a light bulb?
      It won’t happen. He’ll claim he already did, give himself an A+, like for Puerto Rico which is in ruins with 3000 dead due to FEMA incompetence, and Oswald will sit in the dark and agree with him!


    2. Susan Straight September 23, 2018 12:39 pm Reply

      Funny, I have never been considered emotionally unstable – although I’m much more vociferous than I was before the moron got elected. The thing I fear about Trump the most is, if an immoral man is mistakenly elected (he did NOT win the popular vote), then that gives the whole country the right to be immoral. I hope this is not what you want for your kids, grandkids, etc. Terrible role model.


  7. Lawaibob September 22, 2018 7:23 am Reply

    “If our leaders seek to conceal the truth, or we as people become accepting of alternative realities that are no longer grounded in facts, then we as American citizens are on a pathway to relinquishing our freedom.”


  8. manawai September 22, 2018 7:53 am Reply

    You got it right, Sam Pratt. So our legislators have designed this bill to NOT raise taxes on homeowners, but instead ON everyone else, PARTICULARLY those who aren’t fortunate enough to own their own home or place of business. Yes, Democrat legislators. Empower the rich at the expense of the poor and hard working. What do you care? You all own homes!


  9. Bluedream September 22, 2018 2:54 pm Reply

    Susan, you had one thing correct in your hated filled rant. The “right” will indeed prevail!
    Hey don’t worry, it’s only six and a half more years of policies that put our country and it’s it people first.


    1. Just Sayintg September 24, 2018 2:13 pm Reply

      NO, he always puts trump first, followed by other ultra rich and then by all his cheering little hillbillies who don’t know any better!


  10. LTEreader September 23, 2018 1:34 pm Reply

    @gordon oswald:
    With the internet at your fingertips it’s so easy to find the truth – if you wanted to. Unfortunately, many (including you) are in denial, and would rather accept Trumps words from his faux world. Here’s some facts for you > from FACT check sites:

    YOU: “To quote Obama – How’s he gonna do that, he doesn’t have a MAGIC WAND!”
    TRUMP: “President Trump would need a magic wand to get to 4% GDP, stated President Obama. I guess I have a magic wand, 4.2%, and we will do MUCH better than this! We have just begun.”
    FACT: “In a June 2016 town hall, Obama said Trump would need a magic wand to bring back some of those jobs of the past, such as manufacturing jobs.”

    YOU: “highest GDP of 4.2% in many years (and huge compared to Obama’s anemic and failed 1% average over 8 years of economic failure).
    TRUMP: “The GDP Rate (4.2%) is higher than the Unemployment Rate (3.9%) for the first time in over 100 years!”
    FACT: “Kevin Hassett, chairman of the Council of Economic Adviser, told reporters in a weekly briefing on Monday that economic growth had not surpassed the jobless rate in the last 10, nor 100 years, suggesting that Mr. Trump may have accidentally added a “0” to his tweet.”
    BTW: “There were four quarters of higher growth during the Obama administration, including one quarter of 5.1 percent growth in 2014.”

    YOU: “lowest unemployment for WOMEN IN OVER 25 YEARS.”
    TRUMP: “Women’s unemployment rate recently reached only the lowest rate in 65 years,” Trump claimed, to a cheering crowd at the rally held in support of Republican Senate candidate Mike Braun.
    FACT: FactCheck Director Eugene Kiely explained that “while it’s true that 863,000 women joined the workforce during the president’s first 11 months in office, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, that’s 34 percent less than the number of women workers that were added over the same period, from January to December, in each of the last two years. In fact, he said, it’s the smallest increase since 2012 and below the historical norm for the past 54 years, dating to 1964. It was also 34 percent lower than the 1.3 million women workers that were added in each of the last 11 months in 2015 and 2016,”

    YOU: “lowest unemployment for Blacks and Hispanics IN HISTORY”
    TRUMP: “One new and great FACT – African American unemployment is the lowest ever recorded in the history of our Country. So honored by this.”
    FACT: “He omits important caveats. Black unemployment did reach a record low, 5.9 percent, in May. That rate has since risen to 6.6 percent in July. Despite some recent progress, the black unemployment rate is now nearly double that of whites, which is 3.4 percent. The most dramatic drop in black unemployment came under President Barack Obama, when it fell from a recession high of 16.8 percent in March 2010 to 7.8 percent in January 2017.”

    YOU: “our new incredible relationship with other rogue countries, and our allies, who actually RESPECT America again!”
    TRUMP: “The U.S. is “restoring our standing abroad.”
    FACT: “A recent Gallup Poll found approval of U.S. leadership across 134 countries and areas stands at a new low.”

    YOU: “America is now TOTALLY ENERGY INDEPENDENT”
    TRUMP: “We are now very proudly an exporter of energy to the world.”
    FACT: “It’s true that current U.S. oil exports are at a record level but the lifting of exports actually came under Obama. Former President Barack Obama aided the boom by lifting restrictions on oil exports that had been in place for several decades.”

    TRUMP: “We’ve created 3.9 million more jobs since Election Day – so almost 4 million jobs – which is unthinkable.”
    FACT: “It’s not that unthinkable, since more jobs were created in the same period before the November 2016 election than afterward. It’s true that in the 20 months since Trump’s election, the economy has generated 3.9 million jobs. In the 20 months before his election, however, employers added 4.3 million jobs. Overall average monthly gain under Trump is 189,000 jobs, which is nearly 13 percent below the monthly average of 217,000 during Obama’s second term.”

    > So sorry you left those salient FACTS out of your insignificant little diatribe.


    1. Just Saying September 24, 2018 2:18 pm Reply

      Nothing but net……swoooosh! Please stick around. Oswald doesn’t know he’s finished!


  11. rk669 September 23, 2018 10:24 pm Reply

    What Happened,Said the Joker to the Theif.


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