Keep trees, penalize scofflaws
Last month at Mayor Jean Stothert’s town hall meeting, a young Boy Scout stood and asked what effect the Zorinsky Lake Park tree removal plan would have on the environment.
A representative from the Army Corps of Engineers tried to reassure the boy and many other students in attendance that the 40 acres of trees would be replaced by native grass so as to have minimal change to the habitat. Are we sure about that?
The mandate was to secure the boundary and to remove the encroachments. It is still unclear how that was translated into the plan to clear a 30-foot swath around the nine-mile perimeter. They did refer repeatedly to the size of equipment needed to remove trees and to mow and maintain the boundary.
Wouldn’t it be more cost-effective and problem-oriented to heavily penalize offending landowners with encroachments?
To the young Boy Scout’s point, has anyone done a survey of the park to identify wildlife habitat (especially raptors)?
With so many dams and levees in need of repair, is this the best use of taxpayer dollars for the Corps of Engineers?
The Corps and the city should pause and take some time to better understand the impact of the project on which they are embarking.
Tom McGinn and Mia Nagy, Omaha
On the backs of the middle class
A number of polls have indicated that among Democratic voters, up to half believe that socialism is a better economic model than capitalism.
That is reflective in the Democratic candidates for president.
There is unshakable faith and belief that expanding the scope and power of the federal government and the expansion of the entitlement and welfare state will solve all problems and that increased taxation of the rich is the solution.
I don’t believe the economics supports that belief, based upon current entitlement and welfare programs that are growing to such an extent they are crowding out discretionary spending. European countries, the model used by these candidates, tax household income more heavily than the U.S. because they impose the highest marginal rates on lower levels of income.
That income is insufficient to support their welfare states, so their payroll taxes are much higher. In addition, there is a value-added tax of 21% on all purchases.
The conclusion is that the middle class will pay far more to fund such a system.
Vic Massara, Omaha
Too much money
Two big, local announcements this past week made me sick.
One, the $1 million man was appointed to preside over the University of Nebraska system. Twice the salary his predecessor was paid. Seriously? Oh, in the same week they announce student room and board is to rise, again beyond rate of inflation.
Second, Nebraska Medicine announced a $2 billion expansion to focus on a mass incident capability.
You know, like a big Ebola outbreak (that brought the medical center some great press) or apparently, a potential tornado event hurting hundreds.
Meanwhile, people everywhere continue to have trouble paying for the most basic health care.
There’s no prestige in helping to provide more affordable education and health care — certainly no recognition.
Jeff Huston, Bennington
A soft coup of the presidency
I am not being hyperbolic when I say that we are in the midst of a soft coup against the presidency and our republic.
After watching the impeachment hearings, it should be crystal clear to any sentient being that the Democrats are hardcore communists.
The Democrats accuse the Republicans of the very thing they’re doing — colluding with Russia and Ukraine, spying on political opponents, creating a crisis at the border and raising health care costs.
They also say that they are for the “little man” and at the same time they are stealing our money and freedoms.
The Democrats promised us that they could walk and chew gum at the same time when it came to impeachment and governing.
For the last two years they have only tried to impeach. There has been no infrastructure bill, no prescription drug bill, no bills for border security.
All conservatives and Libertarians have to know that we can no longer reach across the aisle to these Marxists.
They have no desire to preserve our individual rights. They hate capitalism. They know that by promising free everything that it buys votes, collapses our economy and causes an overthrow of our federalist system.
I used to dislike how our president was so brash and abrasive. I see now that it’s exactly what we need, and I’m grateful he is.
Rick Triplett, Omaha
Don’t trade with China
In response to a World-Herald editorial saying the Dec. 15th tariff increase on Chinese imports is a step too far, I say the U.S. consumers will be hurt much more by continuing to trade with a tyrannical government whose stated goal is to replace the U.S. as the world’s superpower.
If you want to see what the world would like if that should happen, you need to look no further than Hong Kong. What sane person would continue to deal with someone you know is out to destroy you?
And yet we as Americans are urged to do this very thing.
The Chinese have been illegally working the trade system to our determent since they joined the World Trade Organization.
I am now looking at manufacturing origins in order to reduce my purchase of Chinese products, and in the long run, I think paying a few bucks more for non-Chinese goods will turn out to be a good bargain.
Donald Busenbark, Omaha
Run, Hillary, run
All I want for Christmas is for Hillary Clinton to run for president of the United States again.
Make my day, Hillary.
Craig Jorgensen, Niobrara, Neb.