Our Readers' Views

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Aviation grant is already funded

If you believe the Federal Aviation Administration Trust Fund to be so over-funded that spending upwards of $9 million of our tax dollars on FAA design standard upgrades to Grove Field in Camas is inappropriate … then lobby your members of Congress to reduce the taxes collected on commercial airline tickets and aviation fuel sales. Aviation Trust Fund tax dollars already collected, as much as we might like, cannot be spent on schools or library books or parks.

Asking the Port of Camas-Washougal commissioners to accept grant funding for those upgrades is the responsible thing to do and ensures that our tax dollars are returned to our community rather than spent upgrading someone else’s airport.

Neil T. Cahoon

Camas

Herrera Beutler’s proposal is logical

Regarding the March 2 Columbian story “Herrera Beutler bill seeks 10% salary cut for federal officials,” it’s great that Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Camas, is thinking about ways to move the country forward to reverse our debt. Taking away any increase that Congress and the House have given themselves in the last two years would be a better move. How many years has it been now that our senior citizens have gone without even a measly cost-of-living increase?

I am sure our president would be more than willing to give up 10 percent, but I have to say I was appalled at how little he made — compared to what an actor/actress/ basketball/ baseball/football player or CEOs make — this is what we think of a person who is running our whole country?

And while Herrera Beutler is at it, what about helping repeal the tax break for the wealthy? They already get a tax break on not paying into Social Security after $106,000. No wonder our senior citizens can’t get a measly cost-of-living increase and then their teeth rot or they can’t afford hearing aids or they can’t see well because they can’t get glasses. Members of Congress ought to be ashamed of themselves.

Cheryl Hollingsworth

Vancouver

Too easy to get away with tax evasion

The March 2 story reported “GOP pushes to cut IRS budget despite high return on investment.” Having read David Cay Johnston’s “Perfectly Legal,” an impressively researched tome on tax evasion, I view the attempt by House Republicans to withdraw funding from the IRS with jaundiced eye. While the ostensible reason for funding withdrawal is to discourage implementation of Obama’s health initiative (IRS will be administering certain aspects of the law), I suspect the political donor class is, as usual, at the bottom of this particular putsch.

The last thing this country needs is an eviscerated IRS. The super wealthy have celebrity lawyer-accountants to whom they pay millions for advice on arcane and exotic tax-evasion techniques. It takes enormous resources for the IRS to be able to decipher these tricks, track the practitioners and prosecute them successfully. IRS resources have been severely curtailed in previous administrations, resulting in a seriously hamstrung agency. In order to keep up appearances, agents go after the small fry — the working poor who can’t afford fancy tax dodges. As a result, many evaders are caught, resulting in mere pennies for the government. Meanwhile, big fish swim away leaving billions unpaid. Merely forcing the upper 1 percent to pay what they owe would substantially reduce our deficit.

Ellen Putman

Vancouver

More information about Alaska bridge

I read Courtney Sherwood’s March 6 column, “Earmarks not always wasteful.” In the column she mentioned the “Bridge to Nowhere” and stated it would have “connected the Alaska mainland to an island with only 50 residents.” The fact is, the so-called Bridge to Nowhere would have connected Revillagigedo Island, where Ketchikan is located, to Gravina Island, where the Ketchikan International Airport is located. Neither island is on the Alaska mainland.

Yes, there are approximately 50 residents residing on Gravina Island, but the bridge would have bypassed them, as its intent was to open up a connection to the airport. Currently, people having a reason to go to the airport have to take a ferry from island to island and they do not have 24-hour access to the airport as the ferry does not run 24 hours a day. It would be nice if the media would do more accurate research.

Robert F. Nesvick Jr.

Vancouver

Where are all the teaching jobs?

I am worried. I graduated with honors from a brick-and-mortar college with a bachelor’s degree in education in 2006. I have since been seeking a position in a classroom. I have applied at schools up and down the I-5 corridor. All I have been able to get are substitute positions, which are intermittent at best.

Now, I see and hear commercials for these for-profit schools offering degrees in education. Am I now going to have to compete with graduates of these fly-by-night institutions? Do the people of this country really want their children educated by a graduate of a correspondence school?

Margie Barlow

Kalama

Political correctness stinks

In reference to the March 4 Columbian story “Oregon bus driver suspended for Confederate flag on truck,” you have got to be kidding.

With all that is going on in this world today, a school superintendent wastes time complaining about a flag? Are his 37 percent minority students more important than the 63 percent nonminority students? Why is it the Mexican kids can proudly wave their country’s flags on school property, but this poor man cannot fly a flag on his personal ride? This must be more of the ridiculous political correctness that has helped to put our country where it is at today.

Give this man a break … at least he is a hard-working American and not some lazy person draining services from taxpayers.

Shar Simonson

Vancouver

What’s left to cut?

If the Republicans in the House of Representatives insist on defunding progressive organizations such as National Public Radio and Planned Parenthood, then it is only fair that they defund conservative organizations like … like … like … hmm?

Oh, never mind.

John Dingethal

Ridgefield

Two wars demand more of budget

On a balanced budget: If we want two wars, we should also want to raise our taxes to pay for them. That’s the logical answer for a difficult problem.

The American taxpayers should be asked: “Do we want to have two wars, and are we willing to pony up to the demands of two wars?”

Michael Lieb

Vancouver