Letters to the editor: 12-30-2013

December 30, 2013 

Tariff bill

Your editorial “It’s so easy to gobble up politicians” left out a critical piece of legislation that Congress has been ignoring this year. The Miscellaneous Tariff Bill (MTB) has been passed regularly for over two decades. It waives costly duties on resources American manufacturers need to complete products and create jobs. And yet Congress let it expire this year.

Congress’ failure affects Idaho jobs. My employer, Syngenta, creates products sold all over the country and plays an active role in our state’s communities. Our facilities in Boise and Nampa employ nearly 200 full-time and seasonal workers. We contribute to the community, too, such as when we help veterans and early childhood organizations, among many others.

The partnership between Syngenta and our state is in jeopardy without the MTB. If Congress does not pass this legislation, companies like ours all across America will be hit with $748 million in new taxes over the next three years, resulting in $1.857 billion in losses.

As a Syngenta employee and citizen of our state, I know firsthand how important this bill is to Idaho’s economy. That’s why I strongly urge Sens. Mike Crapo and Jim Risch to move forward on the MTB.

TIM PRIMUS, Boise

Mark Patterson

A very wise person once told me when one is in the doghouse, it’s best to be quiet, lay low and don’t make waves. I have wondered if Larry Craig had not been critical of the shabby treatment dealt him by the airport police, that he still might be a U.S. senator. Likewise, if Representative Patterson remained quiet, few people would not even know of his checkered past, or would not care. He has only himself to thank for his woes. Not our sheriff.

GENE N. HAIN, Boise

Common Core

Recently the president of the American Federation for Teachers stated, “You think the Obamacare implementation is bad? The implementation of the Common Core is far worse.” This group joins 17 states trying to pull back from the implementation of Common Core as well as parents beginning to sue their states over the use of Common Core.

Per the Heritage Foundation, bureaucratic compliance is second only to the financial burden imposed on American taxpayers. They further state the Pioneer Institute estimates that Common Core will cost the 46 states that signed onto the standards $16 billion over the next seven years. Remember that the states originally signed on to get “free” federal money before Common Core standards were even available for review.

Heartland.org reports Kentucky and New York, early adopters of the standards, have growing problems: Kentucky, first state to adopt Common Core, discontinued portions of the standards, and New York has seen test scores plummet. A Kentucky father filed the first national lawsuit against the standards, alleging that they are ill-conceived and unconstitutional, with little public input or oversight allowed before adoption.

Will Idaho go over the cliff or will we pull back from the edge of the Common Core abyss?

GAIL BARTLETT, Eagle

Nuclear arsenal

We live in Mike Simpson’s district and would like him to reduce the U.S. nuclear arsenal. He is on a House of Representatives committee that has the power to do that. The B61 nuclear bomb is no longer needed and our tax dollars shouldn’t be used to refurbish it. The B61 was a Cold War weapon that was meant to stave off a Soviet land invasion of Europe. It is presently stationed in Belgium, Germany, Italy, Netherlands and Turkey. It is no longer needed.

MARY E. WELTY, Boise

Mike Simpson

Mr. Simpson is a traitor to those who fought and whose lives are affected by their service after retirement. Poor pay, with big promises made, like free health care for life to keep someone in during the prime earning years of their lives was the government’s tactic. Now that we are a “burden” in his and other politicians’ eyes, all those promises they made are now voided due to the government’s inept management of our taxes! Do away with the stability of these promises, and I assure you that they remove any incentive to waste 20 years of our lives being abused, shot at and exposed to toxic chemicals.

Promises broken, no “guaranteed” benefits, the word of our government is not worth the paper it was written upon! We faced adversity for 20 years or more to earn the promises that were made, and now we really know how much our government really thinks of our service! Thanks to patriots like Raul Labrador, who does not compromise his convictions. I encourage every voter to work hard to remove liberal turncoats like the ever-useless Simpson, who does not care about veterans, and for that matter, Idaho!

JEFF PATON, Kuna

Statesman articles

Two articles in the Dec. 16 paper deserve comment. First is the $2 million gift to Boise Bible College. Those who complain about the wealthy 1 percent should stop to recognize all the gifts in our community from wealthy people, including parks, buildings and donations. Julius Kleiner was a Jewish refugee from World War II who arrived in USA with nothing. By hard work and frugality he amassed a small fortune. When he died he left the city of Meridian $24 million to build a park with many outstanding features, including a great senior center. In 1769, the French philosopher Voltaire said, “All Generalities are false — including this one!” If you accept that, then you should not generalize about groups of people, since people come in an infinite variety. There are good and bad in all groups, both wealthy and poor.

The second article describes the annexations by the city of Boise. It does not mention the opinions of the property owners to be annexed. Is this another case of forced annexation by a city with greatly increased taxation without the approval of the property owners? What can they do if they don’t want to be annexed? Do they have any rights?

JACK H. STUART, Meridian

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