Welcome the best to our country
One of the challenges I hope will be met in the next four years is immigration reform. Heres how I hope it is approached. The United States is still viewed as the land of opportunity and the home of the greatest universities on the globe. That means that motivated entrepreneurs and students come here to pursue their dreams. Through a series of mis-steps, we now send these educated professionals home and we discourage the entrepreneurs from setting up shop here. Remember that Google was founded by recent immigrants to our shores.
What I hope we will see is an intelligent leveraging of our strengths. We want to attract and retain the first-round draft choices from other countries. If that sounds like somewhat selfish American self-interest, then you heard me correctly. The DREAM Act embraced many of these individuals but was stopped in its tracks by fear mongering and demagoguery.
The USA needs immigrants and we want to welcome the best of who come here to study or to pursue new opportunities. Let this be our guiding principle to immigration reform: to leverage these strengths and to retain the individuals coming here to shape the future.
JOHN LODAL, Boise
American workers are being cheated
All of this flap over Social Security is just a prelude to what is really going on. They gave everyone a payroll tax break which was a 2 percent decrease in their payments to Social Security for two full years, including people who make millions of dollars a year. Now after gun control, Obama is going to take on immigration reform. If you take millions of illegals who have been here for years working under the table, you have to realize that our government has thought about how they are going to pay for their retirement. Think about that, will you? They are going to cut the retirement for people who have worked and paid for it so that it can be extended to people who have not paid into it. Illegals can be citizens if they want to, but Social Security, NEVER! The working people of this country should not be cheated. Every promise made to the American people and asset owned by our country and paid for by the taxpayers are being handed to foreigners while the working people of this country are being cheated and lied to.
AARON AMOS, Burley
Labrador falls short in representing U.S.
Did Idaho elect Raul Labrador to the U.S. House to broker an amnesty acceptable to Barack Obama?
Labrador is the immigration point person for Speaker John Boehner.
Talks have been ongoing for the past three to four years, according to Boehner, The Hill, Jan. 26. In the spirit of bipartisanship, legislation will provide a path to citizenship for illegal aliens amnesty.
In 2007, elected officials hid in back rooms writing legislation. Amnesty proponents were helping. No one represented the many concerns of Americans.
Should the interests of illegal aliens be considered?
The first action carried out by these potential citizens was to violate American immigration law, to take jobs (often through identity theft and fraud victimizing Americans), to feed off of our generous welfare system, etc.
Once citizens, illegal aliens can vote to institutionalize socialism, grant themselves more benefits, bring more family members in through chain migration to take more jobs.
Robert Rector of the Heritage Foundation in a 2007 study: Amnesty will immediately grant access to Social Security and Medicare benefits and, over time, to more than 60 different federal welfare programs. By the time recipients reach retirement age the cost may be $2.6 trillion!
Represent Americans, Raul!
CAROLYN COOKE, Coeur dAlene
Secret caucus sessions should end
This is to commend the recent Statesman editorial, namely, Closed meetings have no place today (Jan. 15).
I generally applaud the Statesman for an ongoing effort to encourage and promote openness in government at all levels. In my opinion, there is no more of a critical area than that of the legislative caucus. The Statesman has previously pointed out that the majority party in Idaho must know that their caucuses are defacto sessions of the Legislature. (Nov. 14, 1996)
Legislative majority leaders seem to be steadfast in their resolve to hold on to the realistically arcane system. They seem to be in constant denial when it comes to the question of whether improper decisions are made during those secret sessions.
As a much interested and reasonably informed legislative observer for almost four decades, I have sufficient recall and adequate reference to substantiate that action within the caucus is too legislatively germane to be cloaked in secret cover.
GERALD SCHRODER, Caldwell
City needs to act responsibly
I see from the article about water wars, the city of Caldwell has been dumping street drainage into irrigation canals meant to provide a reliable supply of clean irrigation water to farms and city residents. Regardless of what the city thinks, irrigation canals are not sewers and shouldnt be treated as such. The water provided by Pioneer Irrigation must be clean enough to ensure crops are not contaminated and children playing on lawns where the irrigation water is applied are not harmed by it.
Street drainage has the potential to harm both crops and residents when it is introduced into irrigation canals. Under normal conditions, street drainage contains a host of pollutants; as traffic increases, pollutants increase. More importantly, should a truck containing fuel or chemicals turn over and its contents end up in the irrigation canal the effects could be devastating.
Caldwell needs to deal with street drainage in a responsible manner. It is acting like someone who has been throwing garbage over the fence into a neighbors yard; when told they cant do that anymore, they believe someone is taking away their rights. That is not a very responsible way to deal with the problem.
HARRY K. DENNIS JR., Boise
Repeal business tax
As a small-business owner, I urge the Idaho Legislature to repeal this tax, which is a very poor mechanism to fund governmental activities. For starters, it discourages businesses from moving to Idaho, because in addition to paying tax on equipment when it is put in place via the 6 percent sales tax it requires us to continue to pay taxes on that equipment every year the equipment stays in use in the business. Secondly, to claim that this tax is not borne by the rest of the public is just ignorance. All cost a business incurs is passed on to the public via our prices they dont magically disappear just because they hit a business first. Whether you pay it in the price of the burger you buy from me or in a sales tax you pay on the burger is irrelevant.
What matters is how efficient, objective and business friendly the mechanism is. The personal property tax is a poor way to fund government, and it hampers job creation in Idaho hopefully our legislators get this and unshackle Idahos economy from this counterproductive funding mechanism.
BILL FREMGEN, owner, Pinnacle Sports Grill, Boise
End robocalls, spam
If I get any more robocalls, or boiler room calls, on my hard wire landline, I am removing the phone and canceling the service. As it is now, my land phone spends half its time off the hook, in the cabinet drawer, so I dont have to go look and see which solicitation for money it is this time. I have a cellphone which I never leave turned on except when I make an outgoing call. My family knows all this. I ordered an item by email on Amazon, and I started getting an advertising email from Amazon on local Idaho companies selling something every day. So I have blocked all emails from Amazon. A high school classmate thought I would be interested in everything he receives on email, so he forwarded a lot I didnt want jokes, satire, politics, etc. I asked him to stop. He wouldnt. So I blocked him, too. Sorry.
FRITZ DIXON, Meridian