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Nebraska’s tax relief complications

To answer Frederick Skinner’s eloquent Dec. 22 Pulse letter, yes indeed, 2020 is a great year to reform Nebraska’s tax system. But so were 2015, 2010, 2005 and on and on. It’s not going to happen, so all Nebraskans have to evaluate where they want to live and whether it is worth paying these obsessively high taxes.

When evaluating this, keep in mind that you need to base your decision on five and 10 years from now. Since moving back to Nebraska seven years ago, I have found it is delusional to expect that taxes will, at a minimum, not continue their higher rate of growth.

In my observation it all starts with leadership from the governor. I only see a total lack of said leadership from our current governor. To be fair, that seems to be the job description for the last several officeholders. I will let the next governor and Unicameral deal with the issue.

To be fair, citizens are also to blame. Everyone wants the national budget balanced and state taxes lowered. But they also want their special projects they deem indispensable. Combine that with a lack of courage by many of our elected officials and what you get is what we have. Until a mandate is passed that forces changes, nothing will ever change. The problem is, ballot initiatives many times have unintended consequences. But due to this lack of leadership, that approach appears to me at least to be the only option available, other than leaving the state.

Mike Dohmen, Hickman, Neb.

Better prison sentencing policy

In reading the Sunday, Dec. 29, edition of The World-Herald, I was interested in the list of special events over the past decade, and especially that in 2014 a number of prisoners were released from the state prison system before serving their time, due to overcrowding and/or miscalculations in the time of their release. It would be interesting after almost five years to find what has happened to those prisoners who were released early.

I would like to know the percentage of those early releases who are now an asset to their community, or a negative in their community, or somewhere in between. Following up on this small sample might be useful in determining the value of timed prison sentences.

I believe that the results of those early releases will be almost the same as those who completed their full sentence. Wouldn’t it be good to have sentences called educational incarceration that require goals to be met before being released, and where time is not necessarily the main determining factor in sentencing?

Donivan Huwaldt, Uehling, Neb.

Trump’s wrong choices in Mideast

President Trump has always planned to make Iran the villain in his presidential narrative, just as North Korea was his intended Nobel Prize. Iran is a regional power without nuclear weapons and no match for war with the United States. A perfect target for a bully like Trump. Inflate their importance and the threat they pose, and the president can look like a man fighting for free people everywhere.

The problem I have is that we’re over in their neighborhood with thousands of soldiers, a huge airbase, aircraft carriers and nuclear weapons on nearby submarines. I don’t see any Iranian ships off the United States. Nor are there Iranian soldiers encamped here. Iranians have never interfered in any of our elections.

We helped overthrow their elected prime minister in 1953 and set up the shah on the throne. Yes, students overran the embassy in Tehran in 1979, but no Americans were killed. It seems to me that alone shows some decency of the Iranian people.

Whether Iran retaliates against our military or American/allied “soft targets” has yet to be seen. But if the president really wanted to stop a war, he should stop tweeting, ease sanctions and try to open a dialogue with Iran, with the help of Russia and the Saudis, showing respect for a sovereign nation with whom we’ve been enemies too long.

Bob Bastarache, Omaha

The left’s faulty arguments

Phillip O’Brien’s letter (Jan. 4 Public Pulse) makes the accusation that since Sen. Ben Sasse voted for Brett Kavanaugh to be on the Supreme Court, Sasse is somehow not fulfilling his obligation to represent all Nebraskans and Americans. O’Brien seems to overlook the fact that there was not one shred of evidence to support the claims made against Kavanaugh.

This seems to be a common theme from those on the left: When things don’t go their way, they claim they are not being fairly represented. This is typical of leftists, believing that they are always right. I would like to remind them of a quote by someone who I am sure O’Brien has great respect for: “Elections have consequences” — Barack Obama.

James A. Roberts, Omaha

President’s many strengths

It isn’t President Trump the Democrats despise — it’s his patriotism, faith and subsequent zeal to secure America’s economic, military and democratic stability against their socialist, dictatorial, authoritarian global agenda.

J.C. Pollack, Omaha

Trump is a moral failure

Whatever accomplishments one wants to ascribe to Donald J. Trump, the fact remains that any and all of them are totally eclipsed by his utter lack of decency, honor, empathy and compassion, his pathological lying, his insults and slurs against anyone he considers to be against him, his cruelty and his utter lack of any sort of moral compass.

He even insults dead people. He insults a child because she was named Time’s Person of the Year and he wasn’t. How petty can someone get?

His governing style seems limited to whatever whim passes through his head. There is no consistent agenda, no overarching goals -— nothing, just whims.

So he nominated two people to the Supreme Court. Big deal. One of them holds a seat that, by rights, should have been occupied by someone else and the other is considered by many to be a drunk guilty of sexual assault.

The tax cuts for the wealthy primarily benefit the rich and corporations. The rest of us get whatever, if any, crumbs are left.

I have the feeling that in the future, not very many people are going to remember Trump for any achievements, but a whole lot of people will remember him for the miserable excuse of a human being he is proving himself to be.

And that is what’s truly sad.

Mary M. Roeser, Omaha

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