Letters to the Editor

Sales tax a bad symptom of money-grubbing climate

Beaufort County has almost unprecedented natural resources that make this area (the whole Lowcountry) a magnet for transplants from the North as well as tourists and vacationers.

What it doesn’t have are natural resources that are immune from neglect and abuse. Another thing it appears to be lacking are elected officials who have a clue as to how to save and safeguard that which can’t be replaced.

They seem pretty good at chasing the almighty dollar without regard for the incremental damage to the natural beauty and quality of life this area had been known for — which is quickly vanishing.

The results of chasing the buck can be seen in other areas, such as Myrtle Beach and, lately, Hilton Head Island. The people who reside here need to step up pretty quickly if they are going to preserve their environment and their way of life.

This 1 percent sales tax is just one symptom of a money grubbing climate looking for more ways to pack in the tourists at just about any long-term cost to the rest of us.

Paul Kositzka

Lady’s Island

A win/win in health care

A recent letter painted an incomplete financial picture of Medicare for All. The author stated that Medicare for All would cost $3.2 trillion. That amount reflects the total cost of all health care expenditures in the U.S., including veterans care, workers compensation and other programs. The cost of Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP and private health insurance is $2.4 trillion.

The author also assumed that the total cost of Medicare for All would be borne by individual taxpayers. He ignored the fact that private health insurance currently pays $1.1 trillion, or 34 percent, of the annual total health care expenditures and 46 percent of the Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP and private expenditures.

Of that $1.1 trillion, 60 percent ($657 billion) comes from private businesses. Under a Medicare for All system, private business would no longer be involved in providing health insurance. This would free up that $657 billion for additional pay for employees as well as billions of dollars each year that companies spend to administer their health insurance plans.

Medicare is also a much more efficient system than private health insurance. Under a Medicare for All system, U.S. citizens would see increased take-home pay and a lower cost of health insurance, and companies would see a reduction in their employee benefits expenses.

Sounds like a win/win to me and I will also be voting on Nov. 6.

David Howitt


Forget about term limits

I never cease to be amazed at the number of letters you print that are written by the uninformed, misinformed, or deliberately misleading.

Case in point is the statement in a letter that “we need ... to put in term limits ...” Guess who gets to vote for that? At the federal level, it is the Congress. At the state level, it’s the House and Senate. Records show that in South Carolina the House approves and the Senate either votes it down or never puts it on the agenda.

So, while I’d love to see it happen, reality is — it won’t.

Duane Swygert


Don’t vote for fear

As he did in 2016, President Donald Trump is seeking Republican votes with fear of immigrants, though his buildings were built by these workers, and his wife was not born here.

The real fear is the one he creates in workers. They have to drive daily to jobs not knowing if they’ll be stopped and asked for drivers’ licenses they cannot obtain, and so arrested and deported. Still they go to work, praying. A few take the risk of also going to English classes after long workdays.

One example is my student, Ricardo. He came to the U.S. at 16 to escape hunger and violence, and was able to form his own company. His 15 employees support their families here and parents in home countries with what he pays them. He contributes greatly to our community, both by employing workers and constructing our homes.

Like the thousands I’ve taught in 61 years, he presents no danger. The fear should be that if millions are deported, some homes won’t get built, golf courses smoothed, restaurant meals not cooked.

Democrats can pass a law like in 1986, giving workers legal residency and a path to U.S. citizenship. With that, they would have Social Security numbers and so pay deductions to increase Social Security money for seniors.

We could eliminate the fear of workers driving to jobs, and keep the continued benefits of their work. As you vote, don’t fall for baseless fears of hard-working immigrants.

Fran B. Reed

Hilton Head Island

This is what happened to the Democrats

What happened to the party of Harry Truman, Scoop Jackson, Tip O’Neil, and JFK?

Here is what happened: LBJ, both Clintons, Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, Bernie Sanders, Dianne Feinstein and Maxine Waters “happened.” The party has been taken over by a combination of neo-Marxist “progressives”and supporters of radical Islam.

Unable to advance their dysfunctional ideology through the legislative process, they have utilized judicial anti-Constitutional activism, the “Deep State’s”ongoing sedition and rent-a-mob tactics. ANTIFA and Black Lives Matter thugs, attempted assassinations, individual harassments, unhinged screaming demonstrators in the halls of Congress and clawing on the doors of the Supreme Court are indicative of this totalitarian movement.

Starting with Judge Robert Bork, all Republican Supreme Court nominees have been subject to some variation of collegiate Title IX kangaroo court tactics by the Democrats. Of note is the fact that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, et al., were confirmed with Republican votes.

The inquisition endured by Judge Brett Kavanaugh during his confirmation was the latest outrage. Sen. Feinstein trotted out a mature, trained behavioral scientist who, if she had been subjected to such an outrage would have been more believable if she had stated in a loud clear voice “He tried to rape me.” Instead, we were treated to a waif of a Valley Girl, complete with question marks at the end of declarative sentences.

Don’t be swayed by any Democrat who claims to be independent. They all vote as a bloc.

Carter Swenson


Only we can unite our country

The president isn’t the solution to our problems — we are.

“Winning” is a country that works together for common interests and goals — better infrastructure, education, technology, environment, health care, security and prosperity ... for all Americans. The current us vs. them mentality has put us at a stalemate that no election can fix.

We need to stop cheering at rallies where a Congressman is lauded for attacking a journalist for asking a question on health care.

We need to turn off our favorite cable “news” show and listen to the words, the interviews, the rallies, the tweets, and believe the truth.

We need to look closely at the policies being enacted and regulations that are being stripped.

We need to think about future generations and the unprecedented example being set by a president, who uses verifiable lies, name-calling and bullying to promote his policies.

We need to say no to the fear-peddling surrounding immigrants, refugees and people who don’t share our same religion or color.

We need to be mindful of our place on the world stage and understand that we have to be a partner and leader and not become isolationists.

We need to understand that tax cuts and a seat on the Supreme Court are not worth moral bankruptcy.

We need to understand that there is an appalling silence in Washington, where money and power, not the good of our country, drives the agenda.

We all want the best for our country. We need to elect individuals who unite us, not divide us.

Ann C. Shippy

Hilton Head Island

GOP lying about Medicare

Last December, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told us the tax cut would be “revenue neutral.” It wasn’t.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said “not only will the tax cut pay for itself but it will pay down the debt.”

Recently, McConnell said the U.S. budget deficit is “disturbing.” He, House Speaker Paul Ryan, Vice President Mike Pence, and other Republicans are again calling for “entitlement reform,” aka Medicare and Social Security benefit cuts, while dozens of Republican candidates are lying about protecting Medicare and pre-existing conditions.

The promised revenue increase from personal taxes is nowhere to be seen; and revenue from corporate taxes is down $100 billion (31 percent) so far this year. The full revenue reduction from tax cuts won’t be felt until next year, after 2018 taxes are filed.

While it’s clear to all but the math challenged (including conservative think tanks) that the tax cut was a budget buster, Republicans are aiming to give us a voucher to buy insurance from private insurers. Governed ultimately by profit, they will set coverage and premiums to maximize that profit, regardless of the value of the voucher. How much will have to come out of our pocket for our current coverage?

So, it’s OK to blow a $2 trillion hole in the budget with a tax cut for the 1 percent and corporations, and watch revenue plummet, only to blame it on “entitlements.” I paid into both programs for over 40 years. I believe they are earned benefits, not “entitlements.”

Mary Boyle

Sun City

Things way out of hand

Maybe if the government revamped the welfare, food stamp and Social Security system in this country, there would not be so many people who feel they are entitled to support, including illegals.

The original system was to temporarily help people get back on their feet. Some of these people are on welfare for over 20 years. We all know a person who is beating the system. With the current rate, you make more sitting home than working.

I think we have to ask our leaders why. The only way to stop illegals or cheats is to cut off the programs that allow them to collect.

I watched a movie called “Cinderella Man” in which James Braddock borrowed money from the state and paid it back after he got on his feet.

The only reason Social Security is going broke is because of the misuse of funds. Why blame an illegal or American who receives payments for staying home? There are a lot of other programs that need attention in this country. Health care, defense, affordable housing, etc., all contribute to our demise.

I love America but now things are way out of hand.

Larry Mianowski

Hilton Head Island

Sales tax premature

I teach problem solving and physics. Write down what you know, write down what you are trying to figure out, and write down everything you know that will get you from the information you know to the solution. It is a scientific process. Pre-supposing a solution is never an option.

Last spring, a student and I worked for free on the traffic light timing project with Beaufort County. The county hired a consulting firm to do the modeling. An initial model for new signal timing was implemented without testing. There were significant problems. This model was backed out hours later. The final, implemented solution used inaccurate, unrealistic assumptions in the model. My commute time from Hilton Head Island to USCB has not noticeably improved as a result of this county effort and expenditure.

Now there is a well-funded effort to pass a sales tax to generate money for bridge and infrastructure improvements. I have seen no hard data and there have been no released engineering studies. There is a well-funded PR campaign by the Citizens for Better Roads and Bridges – whose membership reads like a who’s who of folks who would make a profit off this effort.

I am very much in favor of spending money on infrastructure where needed, based off well-researched and well-documented data. Much like the failed education referendum, however, this opaque referendum appears to be a cart-before-the-horse, premature effort to gain funds without first doing the legwork of transparent proposals, impacts, and coordination with SC DOT efforts.

Debra Wallace

Hilton Head Island

These words needed today

Current events, Pittsburgh, pipe bombs, strident political rhetoric, and border-wall debate, has blurred our vision of what America has stood for the past 250 years.

I thought perhaps it would be appropriate to share an inscription that will soon grace a contemplated Prayer Garden within the grounds of Christ Lutheran Church on William Hilton Parkway on Hilton Head Island, titled: “Inscription for a plaque within the Prayer Garden.”

Come, sit with me

Let my waters calm you

Let the warmth of my sun heal you

Let my garden nurture good will toward all.

Let my cross bring redenption, hope, kindness

Let me show the way to peace

Let me into your heart

Let me, trhough you, bring forth a better world.

With God’s good graces ...

Alexander Kasten


Trump right man at the right time

How will President Donald Trump be remembered? Most ex-presidents are remembered for their personality traits, very seldom for their accomplishments.

For example: President Barack Obama will be remembered for his socialistic trends. His tendency to punish the working class and his staunch refusal to be a proud American will be overlooked.

President George W. Bush will be remembered as someone who was controlled by his staff. His disgrace as the originator of a useless war that killed thousands of Americans will be forgotten.

President Johnson (LBJ) will go down as a great manipulator of people, not as someone who was responsible for the tragic outcome of the Vietnam war. President Bill Clinton will be the president who could not leave the young ladies alone, not as the one who brought us into the global economy.

Trump will be remembered for his arrogant leadership style. No one will remember that he inherited a country that was failing internally from the leadership failures of the previous president. No one will remember that Trump energized the economy, strengthened our immigration system, installed border control, put people back to work, and made Americans proud of their history. Trump weened the United States off foreign imports and made the United States dependent upon itself. He also forced Europeans to realize that they had to do the same.

But, history will forget that Trump made America “great again.” Actually, he is the right man at the right time, just in time.

Clifton Jester


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