Eunice Gibson: Fred Wade is best candidate for Assembly
Dear Editor: I’m writing in support of Fred Wade for the Assembly seat being vacated by Spencer Black.
I’m old enough to remember William T. Evjue’s Sunday morning radio rants and one of his themes was “There are too many lawyers in the Legislature!” Times have changed. Now there aren’t enough. I went to the UW Law School with Fred in the ’70s and I’ve always admired his gift for fact-finding and analysis. That’s very important in law-making.
More than that, legislators need thorough practical knowledge of how the system works -- what effect will their legislation have on real people? Fred has experience working at all three levels of government: local, state and federal. Some of our legislators don’t understand, or don’t care, which level of government has the power to do what they want done. Fred does understand it, and he will be best able to work within the legislative system to get things done.
Don Ferber: Walker’s wrong about rail
Dear Editor: Scott Walker’s latest ad is ludicrous. Does he really think the $810 million from the federal government targeted for high-speed rail can be used for roads? Apparently more cars on roads won’t cost anything. And most of us won’t benefit since we won’t use it? Guess we should get rid of the fire department since most people don’t use that either.
Fuel taxes don’t cover road costs, which is why our road infrastructure is crumbling. The only sensible solution is to provide good transit alternatives. Mass transit is tied to the economic vitality of many communities, and offers many people transit choices they wouldn’t otherwise have. Mass transit benefits everyone, since taking cars off the road helps reduce congestion, especially at rush hour; extends road life and lowers highway and emergency services costs; and lowers emissions, which benefits people’s health.
Is $810 million too much? That’s about the cost of one interchange (Marquette) in Milwaukee, and about a third of the projected cost of the Zoo Interchange. Walker’s concerned it will cost us $10 million per year to operate? How much will road repairs cost us? And has he ignored that rail upgrades will allow freight trains to move more quickly, quietly and efficiently?
Doing what got our road infrastructure into trouble and expecting more of the same will get us out doesn’t make sense. Especially as gas prices rise, we will need sensible transportation options that serve our citizens and economy.
Robert Johns: Ethanol is important to our economy
Dear Editor: The economic crisis from which our nation is recovering has touched every part of America and rural residents were not immune. Yet many indicators suggest that rural communities fared better than their urban cousins. In no small part, this has been due to the growth in renewable fuel production and the corresponding innovation on American farms.
As a corn grower, I can attest to the positive impact the production of one biofuel, ethanol, has had on my industry. As ethanol production has increased, creating new and growing markets for my grain, so too has my ability to produce food, feed and now fuel.
American ethanol production has grown from a mere 175 million gallons in 1980 to an expected 12 billion gallons in 2010. This production represents nearly 10 percent of the American gasoline supply. As with corn production, ethanol is using fewer inputs like water and energy while producing more fuel and feed.
All of this innovation and production leads to one thing: economic opportunity. In 2009, ethanol production alone helped nearly 400,000 Americans keep their job or find a new one. It added $16 billion to household incomes, many in rural America. And ethanol provided much-needed increases in tax revenues for all levels of government.
In many areas, the success of biofuels and local farmers is helping Main Streets in rural America not only survive, but thrive.
Jesse Kuenzi: Wealthy deserve tax relief too
Dear Editor: I am tired of hearing the wealthy demonized in our society. The liberals and progressives complain about the rich getting tax cuts. The more someone earns, the higher percentage that person will pay in income taxes. Since the wealthy already pay more than those who have a lower income, why shouldn’t they get some tax relief too as long as those who earn less get the same percentage? I do not begrudge a person for being rich and successful.
Actually, we should be thankful for those who strive to reach their fullest potential and become prosperous. After all, it is the people of means throughout our history who have helped make America into an economic superpower. They are the entrepreneurs who hire workers for themselves or have the capital needed to take the risk of starting a business that will hire even more employees. They buy more goods and services, which means that more people will be put to work producing them.
It is immoral for the government to abuse our hard-earned tax money in the name of trying to create jobs when government CANNOT create private-sector jobs. Across-the-board tax cuts are the ONLY way to revive our economy and provide the conditions necessary for private-sector businesses to begin hiring. U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin seems unwilling to acknowledge this fact and must be replaced by Chad Lee in November.
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