E-mail letters, December 27, 2010

Colorado near the bottom,
not middle, in tax rates

The Daily Sentinel’s Dec. 26 editorial (“Numbers Game”) is misleading in one important aspect.  The statement: “Colorado is somewhere in the middle in this spectrum. It still faces difficult budget issues and its overall tax rates are near the middle of the pack,” is misleading.

According to http://www.topretirements.com, a website that compares all states in the union for both quality of life and overall tax rates, Colorado ranks 37th in overall tax rates. The site takes into account sales taxes, property taxes, gasoline taxes, income taxes, cigarette taxes, taxes on Social
Security income, etc. It is a stretch to say that Colorado ranks near the middle of the pack, when 74 percent of all states have higher tax burdens.

Nobody likes to pay taxes, and the local mindset is that taxes are too high. They may be, but we should at least be looking at where we really are relative to other states. Most taxpayers in the nation are far more burdened with taxes than we are.

Colorado is one of the top retirement places in the nation because of our relatively low tax rates and natural beauty. We should be as interested in maintaining the scenic beauty that was our heritage as we are in giving less money to government. If we destroy our environment, we
could have the lowest tax burden in the nation but lose our competitive edge when it comes to lifestyle.
When discussing tax burden, we should both be factual about where we are relatively speaking, and understand what we are paying for with those taxes. Imagine a Colorado with lower taxes and you are looking at a Colorado that not many of us would want to occupy.
Claudette Konola
Grand Junction

Bear-den hunt makes
reader nauseous

Although it’s been more than a week since the “heart warming” story appeared in The Daily Sentinel, telling of how the brave hunter bagged his game — “Ursa Major, hunt for 703-pound bear” — I continue to be repulsed and haunted by the thought of the manner in which this “hunt” was conducted and carried out.

Some years ago, then-Wyoming Sen. Alan Simpson used the word “smarmy” to describe something connected with politics.  o me this word also perfectly fits Richard Kendall.

I can only hope the rules will be changed so we never again have to hear of such a cowardly incident. And isn’t it too bad the hunter (if indeed he can be called a hunter) is so tired of dealing with the “stuff,” as he has referred to it, concerning the pursuit and killing? And he thinks the critics are jealous?

In addition to making me nauseous, just the thought of it still makes my heart hurt.
Rouene Brown
Grand Junction

Congress and administration
are most corrupt in history

It has become commonplace for the bills in Congress to be long-worded and filled with legal jargon difficult for the average citizen or congressperson to comprehend. I believe that is on purpose.

The bills are unread and not understood by the representatives voting on them. In fact Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi stated when ask about the Obama health care bill, “We have to pass the bill so we can find out what’s in it.”

That kind of logic is ridiculous, and the audacity or stupidity to even say it is worse. Some
say that the earmarks (pork) in the bills doesn’t amount to anything in the big scheme of things. I disagree. The pork laden bills that have been introduced in the past, this Congress and previously is nothing more than a form of corruption to gain one’s vote. The Cornhusker Kickback comes to mind, and there are plenty of other examples. This practice has got to end.

In the most recent 911 Responder Health Care bill, there were a billion-plus dollars budgeted in for trial lawyers. That was the main reason Sen. Tom Coburn and many others were against the passage.

I hope that the new Congress will sincerely conduct an open and honest dialogue with the American people, unlike the current administration promised but failed to deliver.

This administration and Congress, led by President Obama, Sen. Harry Reid and Rep. Pelosi, have without a doubt been the most secretive, backdoor and absolute corrupt in American history.

We have a president who appointed czars for purposes yet to be explained. People are holding public office with tax-evasion situations — some charged and some not — that would put the average American in prison. Yet nothing is done to these people.
Neil Riddle



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