Nebraska State Capitol dome teaser (copy) (copy)

This tax would harm the retired

Here we go again.

State Sen. Steve Erdman introduced a “fair tax” bill in the last hour of the last day of this year’s session, sneaking it in. That alone should be a warning to us.

This “consumption” tax will drive down consumption. If you want to discourage something, tax it. Our economic system lives and breathes on us spending money.

People have paid taxes on money as they earned it, and now they’ll have to pay tax again as they spend it.

We, as Nebraska citizens, made a deal with our government: We agreed to work here and pay taxes on our earnings, understanding that we wouldn’t have to be taxed again when we spend those earnings. So, we are being taxed twice on our financial assets.

Under a consumption tax system you are basically taxed on your assets. The government has a way to take away your assets. Sure, they won’t take them until you spend them, but why do you build assets, except to spend?

This is a real problem for the retired. Under this consumption tax system, the government is saying, “We have what it takes to take what you have.” Not my idea of fair.

Michael McLaughlin, Omaha

No to Millard bond proposal

All I can say is, here we go again. It is almost like clockwork that every two years the Millard school district needs more money and proposes a new bond issue or levy override.

When will it ever stop? When will the taxpayers ever hold the district and its board accountable for the money they spend to live within their means? The Millard school district should be forced to evaluate and cut overall spending and administrative costs. Moreover, the budget should include a line-item for maintenance, upkeep and renovations — the very things the new bond issue proposes to address. The school district should not be allowed to come to the taxpayers with another bond issue every time there are extraordinary needs — those extraordinary need should be anticipated and budgeted.

It borders on the absurd that at the same time the Legislature is studying ways to reduce statewide burdensome property taxes, Millard schools and other districts are proposing to add to the tax burden by proposing another bond issue. Taxpayers in the Millard school district need to wake up and realize that if a bond issue is proposed, it will be approved — only one Millard school district bond issue has been defeated since 1958.

Taxpayers should reject the proposed $125 million bond issue. As long as these bond issues continue to be approved, there will be no real opportunity to hold the district accountable or to restrain their spending habits.

John Toney, Omaha

A Trumpian sham

The ongoing, alleged “U.S. Senate impeachment trial” is not a trial. It is another Trumpian sham. How stupid does Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell believe the American people are as he and the GOP continue to help Mr. Trump conceal the evidence of his impeachable wrongdoings by distorting the trial process and by disallowing important documents as well as the testimony of pertinent witnesses?

Shame on the Republican leadership once again for knowingly and willingly permitting this president to evade accountability for his never-ending lies and misdeeds. It saddens and angers me to witness, brick by brick, the disassembling of our democracy and institutions by such a dangerous, narcissistic and un-American misfit as Mr. Trump.

And may I remind all of the currently seated U.S. senators and representatives that under our Constitution you serve at the pleasure of your constituents, not at his.

Louena M. Guidera-Waller, Omaha

Media, Dems unfair to president

It’s so disappointing that the news media and liberal Democrats totally focus on their bogus impeachment. They aren’t reporting the booming economy, the new trade deals with Canada, Mexico and China and the incredible low unemployment. Instead they are all after our duly elected President Donald Trump.

As far as the trumped-up impeachment started by and made up by a whistleblower, it is only promoted because the media and Democrats make up a story that Trump was asking a foreign country to help in an upcoming election. It was clear President Trump wanted Ukraine’s government to investigate the 2016 election and a potentially corrupt vice president.

Any logical person would have to surmise that Hunter Biden had no qualifications to be on the board of a Ukraine gas company other than his father’s influence as vice president.

A non-biased media would be investigating the Bidens!

Kenneth A. Becker, Omaha

Get facts on Iran payment

I have heard from President Trump, and also people writing to the Public Pulse, that President Obama sent a large sum of money to the Iranian government. Trump implied that these funds were U.S. taxpayer money. This is false.

It was a result of the Nuclear Agreement in 2015 between Iran, the U.S. and other governments. These funds were frozen Iranian assets — assets that were a result of many years of sanctions upon the Iranian government. The sanctions were lifted as a result of this agreement. And thus this money does not belong to us, but to the Iranians.

Charlotte Shields, Papillion

Military service, tax break

A Jan. 23 Public Pulse comment by Jean Lillie of Anthon, Iowa, made me laugh! It is her contention that military retirees do not deserve the 50% tax break on pensions proposed by Gov. Ricketts. She claims we receive “so much for free after enlisting, in cash pay and benefits” that we do not need the tax break.

I would like to point out to Jean the sacrifices made by military members over their career. I moved 12 times in 20 years, uprooting my family and losing long-term housing. I spent a year flying 132 combat missions in Vietnam. Perhaps she thinks the $50/month combat pay I received was one of those benefits that “they got from us.” Perhaps she’d like to tell that to my brothers who were shot down and those who never returned.

Yes, we received some of the exclusive benefits she mentioned; they were earned, not given for free, as many politicians today advocate.

Gov. Ricketts’s proposal is warranted to retain highly skilled veterans who could benefit our labor force and economy and to compete with neighboring states that don’t tax military retirement pay. And Jean, don’t bother thanking me for my service.

Jeff Sena, Bellevue

Farm payment concern

After reading Randall Langan’s letter (Jan. 26 Pulse) about farmer welfare, I couldn’t agree more. I hate to admit it, but I took one payment because I bought into the feeling that the government owed farmers because of the tariffs. Never again.

The biggest operations are the biggest leeches.

Lee Kaufmann, Harlan, Iowa

Terrific theater event

The Bellevue Little Theatre has taken on a fairly large task in presenting “Murder on the Orient Express.” With a better than average cast, the theater used a lot of creative juices to produce a show that should hold your interest.

The most amazing attribute was seeing the rotating performance area, which not only made for rapid scene changes, but one could imagine the sound made during the rotation was that of a train moving.

Putting all of those factors together makes this a show worth seeing.

Jerry and Betty Golmanavich, Omaha

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