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Letters for Feb. 18, 2023

God bless America

In the early 1900s, we had a famous major league baseball player named Shoeless Joe Jackson. In the early 2000s, we have our leader of the free world Spineless Joe Biden … for whom I voted. Ain’t karma a delightful thing?

God bless America and God bless our military.

Steve Brixen


No on HB68

I am a resident of Valley County and am writing as a concerned citizen regarding an obscure bill (HB 68) that would eliminate the necessary neutrality of the Office of Performance Evaluation. I wager that most Idahoans have never heard of Idaho’s Office of Performance Evaluation. This is the commission that studied and documented $870 million of needed repairs in our public schools. And this bipartisan commission, which won the 2016 Outstanding Evaluation Award from the American Evaluation Association, has helped Idaho lawmakers identify and solve other major issues, like emergency medical services and teacher health insurance.

Right now, the bipartisan OPE commission (four Republicans, four Democrats) ensures that members of both parties know about and tackle Idaho issues. That would change if an “under the radar” bill HB 68 passes and puts the OPE exclusively under the control of Republican leadership.

The OPE needs to stay neutral and independent to promote confidence and accountability in state government. We are urging Idahoans to contact their state senator and state assemblyperson to tell them: “no” on HB68.

Pam Nielsen

McCall, Idaho

Queen of bullying

At the president’s State of the Union speech, she wore a white coat with a thick white fur collar, had long pointy cat claw fingernails and more than once screeched like a banshee. Her only missing apparel was the pointed white hat/mask of a clansman.

Turn the page! She’s invited to be the keynote speaker at an Idaho GOP fundraiser at $5,000 a plate? I’m not surprised. I have strongly felt that the massive antisemitic, racist gene pool of Idaho’s Richard Butler’s Aryan Nation and other like -minded white supremacists are alive and vigorously thriving in Idaho. To invite Marjorie Taylor Greene was the supreme insult to all that President Abraham Lincoln represented and fought against. Obviously, Idaho doesn’t give a damn about Lincoln’s legacy.

Turn another page! Gov. Little and many other high -ranking GOP government officials said nothing. It is said for evil to prevail, good men do nothing!

Janet Smith


Bitter old man

I thoroughly enjoyed all the fans who responded to Donald Trump’s asinine attack against Rihanna. “Without her ‘stylist’ she’d be NOTHING. Bad everything and NO TALENT!”

Oh really. A nine-time Grammy award winner, who has sold a quarter of a billion records and is the wealthiest female musician, with an estimated net worth of $1.4 billion.

Then there’s Trump, who as one fan pointed out, has bankrupted casinos. I mean, this is a business loser who, if he purchased funeral homes, people would stop dying. As his own tax returns document, Trump excels at only two things: lying and spending other people’s money.

Most importantly of all, who cares what Donald Trump thinks? The harsh reality is that he’s just a bitter old man, desperately seeking attention.

Dan Keenan


Response to capital gains op-ed

When lawmakers passed the state capital gains tax on the ultrawealthy, they took a step toward fixing Washington’s inequitable tax structure, in which people with the least pay the most taxes as a share of income. Echoing a small group of special interests who oppose any new taxes the wealthy, stockbroker Mitch Almy (“Capital gains tax fumbles our future,” Feb. 11) spread misleading claims about the capital gains tax in his recent op-ed.

The truth is this equitable tax will fund early learning programs that support future generations and will improve access to affordable child care.

Fewer than 1% of Washingtonians, mostly living in King County, will pay this excise tax on profits over $250,000 on the sale of stocks and bonds. Many have spoken about their desire to pay this tax.

The idea that people will flee Washington because of the tax is bogus. I work for the organization that drafted and fought for this policy, the Washington State Budget and Policy Center. We advocated for the capital gains tax because analyses showed it will help fix our worst-in-the-nation tax code while addressing community funding shortages in the budget. Research also shows people choose where to live based on housing affordability and because of good schools, parks and other community assets. You know, things that taxes fund. The notion of so called “millionaire tax flight” has been thoroughly debunked.

Further, it’s worth asking: If people will supposedly leave Washington to avoid capital gains taxes, why are they flocking to Idaho which taxes capital gains at essentially the same rate?

Andy Nicholas

Renton, Washington

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