Letters for Saturday, April 4, 2015

• This Easter, it’s all about the money • Gabbard not representing middle class

This Easter, it’s all about the money

This Easter, let us talk about the money, not the bunny. Pope Francis is having his way with the root of all evil, calling it “the devil’s dung,” saying things like, “We can no longer trust in the unseen forces and the invisible hand of the market.”

He calls unfettered capitalism “a new tyranny,” and decries an economic system that “seems fatally destined to suffocate hope,” turning man into a slave.

Someone tell Jesus this is not a safe time for a return engagement. What would he think about this historic wealth divide, the meek and powerless forced to work harder for less, while the fruits of their labor are handed to the “ownership class” a thousand miles away … who do none of the work?

Can you imagine him not heading straight for New York to occupy the hell out of Wall Street, barging through the doors of Goldman Sachs and overturning the tables of inequity so deviously rigged by the money-changers? Oh yes, this long haired, Middle Eastern revolutionary would be on a plane to Guantanamo so fast, tied to a plank, taunting, “So, can you walk on water … boards, too?”

Remember, our current system is designed to perpetuate inequality, along with the foolhardy notion of infinite growth, consumption and waste, turning God’s green Earth into Uncle Sam’s landfill. We can replace this monetary market system with a resource based economy, so let’s hop to it. Which reminds me, Walmart (family worth $140 billion, employees on food stamps) is having a sale on chocolate Easter bunnies.

Steve Saylor, Princeville

Gabbard not representing middle class

The 2016 elections are coming. We have to pay attention now to make our votes count. Kauai’s Congressional Representative, Tulsi Gabbard, is not seeking a solution to the tax problems faced by most Americans. She voted against “The People’s Budget” proposed by the Congressional Progressive Caucus. Gabbard’s office has not been able or willing to tell me why she voted against this proposal.

Could it be the proposed increase in income taxes for those who are making over $1 million year to ensure they pay their fair share and not leave balancing the budget on the backs of those making a middle-class income? 

Could it be the proposed securities transaction tax that will protect middle-class 401Ks? 

Could it be the increase in estate taxes that currently exempts $10 million from any taxes; far beyond the wealth middle-class Americans will accumulate? Could it be the proposal to eliminate the tax break on “carried interest,” which is a way of labeling a financial speculator’s income so that it is taxed at only 15 percent rather than the 25 percent, 28 percent and 33 percent tax brackets that the middle-class pays? 

Could it be the proposal to tax overseas income, which the middle class has little or no access to?

Does Tulsi Gabbard represent the super-rich who are building more developments on Kauai without providing the needed transportation capacity? The super-rich who own the GMO companies? The super-rich who want to build a dairy in Poipu? 

The super-rich who refuse to meet their commitments to repave the entry to Princeville? Will someone step up to challenge Rep. Gabbard in the primary?

John Zwiebel, Kalaheo

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