Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor 2/1

A vote of support

Combative political days are ahead. Launching a city campaign so early reflects poor judgment of timing and issues, motivating my endorsement now of Andrew Carter for mayor of San Luis Obispo.

Elected public service is a commitment requiring all you have to give ... and then some. Candidates respectful of the energy and spirit in the voters’ realm wait until June or July to generate political noise. Once a candidate has forced open that door, other serious candidates must commit.

My endorsement of Andrew Carter for mayor is based on crucial abilities:

Keen sense of what is needed and when (visa-vis Measures A & B).

Clear definition of the issues impacting the majority of residents.

Thorough analysis of citizen concerns based on objective knowledge.

A person who truly initiates and leads.

SLO residents observe council actions in open session while individual council judgments assess leadership ideas/behavior in crucial closed sessions. Issues currently being addressed behind closed doors are wages and benefits — 80 percent of the city’s general fund budget!

With the primary goals of San Luis Obispo focused on fairness and fiscal sustainability, I urge voters to support Andrew Carter for mayor.

Kathy Smith

SLO City Council member

Paso run into ground

The Paso Robles City Council has gotten us into a mess by following City Manager Jim App, voting in his recommendations and cuts in programs and services.

The council’s No. 1 priority is to provide for the health, safety and welfare of its citizens. If/when there is a vote of no confidence in the Paso Robles chief of police, it did not develop overnight. The entire council was warned about this over the last two election cycles but chose to ignore those warnings.

A vote of no confidence would extend to App and the entire City Council when their public safety employees have nowhere to turn. Trust and confidence are earned by listening to the concerns of the employees and the citizens they work for.

What do you expect? We now need to hire 15 police officers, eight firefighters and 20 general employees, almost all line-level and middle management positions.

Why did the council and App agree to these reductions in your safety? Was it so you had no choice but to vote to increase taxes? Or did they not know how dangerous these reductions would be?

This council and city manager have served long enough to have improved our city. Instead, they have run us into the ground.

Gary Nemeth

Paso Robles

Editor’s note: Gary Nemeth is a former Paso Robles City Council member. He ran for mayor in 2008 and 2010, finishing behind current Mayor Duane Picanco.

On capital gains

The justification for a lower tax rate on capital gains than regular income is to encourage investments that create jobs. However, most of the “investments” that earn capital gains tax rates do not.

When a new share of stock is sold, the cash goes to the company, which spends it. People are hired; goods are purchased; rent is paid. All of this boosts the economy. But, the economy gets no further benefit when this same stock is resold. A share of stock may be sold and resold hundreds of times. Yet it only adds to the economy at the time of its first sale.

The gain made by the original purchaser is taxed at the low capital gains rate, but so is everyone else reselling the stock thereafter. Buying stock on a stock exchange is paying its previous owner for a share certificate that already exists — sort of like buying a baseball card. It is a gamble that someone else will be willing to pay more for it.

Should the successful gamble on previously issued stock be taxed at the low capital gains rate or at the same rate as the winnings from a wager in Las Vegas? Their effects on the economy are the same.

Richard Moore

Arroyo Grande

Cancellation averted

Since my Tribune home delivery has experienced 10 days of erratic behavior, the important customer habit of coffee and paper was dissolved — bad for you, not too bad for my household accounts. I was about to cancel my 13-year subscription.

But this evening (Jan. 26) (note how late in the day), you found some threads and tied me back up again with two absorbing commentaries on your Opinion pages.

A salute to Opinion Editor Stephanie Finucane for selecting the economic essay by David Brooks of the New York Times (“Bold policies from both ends are needed”) and the climate-change essay by history professor Naomi Oreskes, from the Los Angeles Times (“The verdict is in on climate change”).

Both were well-reasoned and enlightening. I’m glad I read them. You recovered a subscriber.

Chris Alba


Education discussion

We would like to express our gratitude to the approximately 500 community members who attended the screening of “American Teacher” at the Fremont Theater on Jan. 23, which was sponsored by the School of Education at Cal Poly.

A special thanks is also extended to our panelists: Kim Ehrisman, Peter Flores , Joe Domingues and Dr. Julian Crocker, who offered poignant commentaries about the film.

We encourage everyone in attendance to continue the discussion about the current state of education. For further information about the film, please visit http://www.theteachersalaryproject.org.

Faculty and staff Cal Poly’s School of Education

Party values

If my jaw starts dropping any more, it’s going to be on the ground next. Why? Because of what I have been hearing on the Republican debates.

Having attended Christian Sunday school throughout my childhood, I know what the first commandment is and learned the Golden Rule, stated in Matthew 7:12. I also know how frequently I have heard the Republican candidates say they are Christians!

I was stunned to hear the Republicans attending the debate roar in approval when Rick Perry swaggered that Texas had executed more than 200 people in a year. Why would killing people, some of whom statistically can be assumed to be innocent, be a cause for such spontaneous jubilation?

On the other hand, I heard no applause and only booing when Ron Paul stated his belief that he thinks we should treat other nations as we ourselves would like to be treated.

Really? Do you really want to think so shallowly as to label yourself with a party label that rejects values such as these?

In my youth, I called myself a Republican. Now that I am a mature adult, I realize that by defining myself as an intelligent grownup, it would be contradictory to hold the label of a party which values intolerance, torture and lack of compassion for those who were handed a different hand of cards and skin color than Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich and the other GOP leaders.

Debbie Highfill

Morro Bay

Europe is broke

I wonder if Mr. Stew Thomson’s letter “European socialism” dated Jan. 26 made anyone but me scratch their head, and ask, “Are you kidding me?”

I believe Mr. Thomson made the perfect case of why people need to vote Republican. Mr. Thomson is advocating for the United States to be more like Europe. In case he hasn’t noticed, we already have a liberal president trying to move America to be more like Europe, and look at the consequences. In his zeal to paint this utopia of Europe and all their freebies, he forgets to say that they are all broke and on the verge of bankruptcy. There are now riots in the streets from spoiled people who have been given everything, and now that there is no money, they can’t handle the truth.

As one wise author once wrote, “Socialism is great, until you run out of other people’s money to spend.” Liberals need to realize that life is not fair, and you can’t solve every issue by pouring more money at it, or by continuing to tax the wealth generators until they quit taking risks and there is no tax revenue to give away.

Allen Litten


Running to lose

I cannot believe these Republicans. Someone should tell them it’s President Barack Obama they are running against — not each other!

At this rate, they are bound to lose the election, and they deserve to lose. I am about ready to vote for “Ronald McDonald” (I wonder if he is running).

Joan Millar

Paso Robles