Argument is irrational

RE: Tax cut would help gas-guzzlers, council told.

The GI article discussing reduction of the county gasoline tax focuses on a common example of innumeracy which is reflected in an island resident’s comments before the council and embraced by Mr. Tokioka.

That mistake is one of failing to differentiate between absolute and relative numbers. The argument offered is that reducing the tax per gallon by seven cents across the board is unfair because owners of less efficient vehicles will enjoy bigger savings than those owning more efficient ones — To quote the article: it would “…give fewer benefits to owners of small, gas-saving vehicles.” The rhetoric further implies that somehow the less efficient should be penalized—that is, should have their “benefits” reduced or eliminated. This is a position held in error, however, because it does not recognize that the bigger vehicle owners have been paying more in absolute tax dollars than owners of smaller, more efficient cars and trucks. Since it is an argument that looks only to the absolute dollar amount of savings it cannot help but conclude that because some save larger dollar amounts than others that it is just not right, fair or egalitarian in nature.

According to this irrational view, it would be fair to give larger tax dollar reductions to those who have been paying less all along and smaller reductions to those who have been paying more.

Properly evaluated, the county gas tax reduction (or any tax cut for that matter) must be viewed in light of the relative (percentage of) savings. With an across-the-board reduction in gas taxes of seven cents per gallon, the relative savings is exactly the same for all vehicle owners—roughly 2-percent of every gasoline purchase, large or small. That is fair because it saves people money in direct proportion to their purchases of gasoline and hence the taxes they would have paid absent the reduction.

. R.S. Weir


A matter of trust With all due respect to Glenn English of the NRECA (TGI 11/13), this entire KIUC debacle comes down to more than just “growing pains”—it comes down to being able to trust those in charge of our utility. Thanks to The Garden Island and the relentless investigative reporting by Andy Gross, the people are now aware they must become involved in the governing of KIUC.

Carefully remember back in 2002 when a citizen group of “Nitpickers” led by the learned Walter Lewis and legal counsel Bill Milkes did everything in their power to keep a very suspect group of people led by Gregg Gardiner from buying Citizens Utility and making it a co-op called KIUC.

In their first go-round, these propaganda spinners toured our island and told the people over and over that we had to spend the $280 million price that Citizens was asking for their electric company. We were told that this amount of money was the best price we could get it for and if we didn’t take it we would lose a golden opportunity to own our co-op. However, over the thunderous objections of Mr. Lewis, Mr. Milkes and the Nitpickers, the PUC rejected this offer.

However, those architects of this scheme would not give up with millions of dollars at stake and unlimited benefits on the horizon—why throw in the towel? This KIUC bunch came back with another offer of $215 million and even though this price was about $50 million over book value, the offer was ok’d by the PUC. One Nitpicker even went to the ‘Ele’ele plant and took pictures of this facility and found it to be rusting and in bad shape! Oh, a lot of very strange happenings went on behind the scenes before the deal was consummated, but the key architect of this operation, Gregg Gardiner, had magician-like capabilities and pulled it off. As many opponents of this “deal” asked, since our electrical rates would not be lowered why go to a co-op? The only time to change systems would be to get a monetary advantage for its customer, not to just “feel good” and be a member of a co-op! Now, fast forward to the present where the sensational reporting of Andy Gross has stirred up a hornets’ nest with the electrical users of our Island. The Garden Island headlines have read, “KIUC explains travel costs—vaguely”; “Why doesn’t KIUC petition to lower rates?”; “KIUC board travel tops $112,000”. And the heart of his articles divulges facts that will take a LOT of answering! An $800 thousand furnished house for the CEO; nine new vehicles at a cost of $26,000 each— $234,000; unlimited travel around the world for board members and other unknown parties; and a laundry list of other questionable expenses that we, the rate payers are paying for-outrageous!! The words “retribution” and “what goes around comes around” seems to resonate here. Bravo and thanks again, Andy Gross, for having the courage to go after problems like this that affect the people.

. Glenn Mickens


Knows ‘shinola’

As I read the article in Sunday’s paper about our “squabble” being nothing more than “growing pains” I had to laugh … but it’s not really funny.

“Growing pains,” “grinding gears” and we just “can’t seem to get our arms around …” I have to tell you that I really resent some smart-alec Mainlander coming over here and patronizing us with stupid catch phrases that don’t mean a thing.

I know a load of shinola when I hear it … how about the rest of you?

. Kay Obloy

Wailua Homesteads

‘Jarhead’ was Marine’s memoir

For the person who wrote the letter saying that “Jarhead” was a disgrace and completely inaccurate: He should know that it is based on a memoir by Marine Anthony Swofford. It is Swofford’s account of what he went through during the first Gulf War.

Here is a quote from the movie website: “In the summer of 1990, Anthony Swofford, a 20-year-old third-generation enlistee, got sent to the deserts of Saudi Arabia to fight in the first Gulf War.

“In 2003, his memories of that time in that place became the best-selling book ‘Jarhead.’ Swofford wrote with the urgency, immediacy, honesty and humor that could only come from someone who had lived through the experience itself.” The director may have taken a few liberties with the script, but from what I have heard it stayed as true to the memoir as a movie can.

. Nathaniel Evslin



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