Insatiable attempts to tax citizens
Recent front page headlines report yet another attempt to add more taxes for "road improvement" with a .062 increase in sales tax, to "generate billions of dollars" in needed funds.
Former Gov. Roy Romer, 20 years ago, hoisted a 1.5 percent increase in sales tax for road improvement and acquisition of land on both sides of 1-25 to keep the state resplendent and free from development.
Not 1 inch of land was preserved, and today development is everywhere.
A recent governor passed a "fee" of about $60 per vehicle for "roads and bridges" to generate billions of dollars. This year the "fee" was removed from the registration form, but surreptitiously added to the license fee ... still adding billions of dollars!
Commercial vehicles get a virtual "free ride" on license fees.
Eighteen-wheelers of 50 tons or more pay about $350 a year for license plates. Car rental fleets and businesses with two or more cars pay about $70 a year. At the same time, a conscientious motorist who buys a new compact sedan pays about $400 for license plates.
Colorado has one of the highest auto registration fees in the country, and yet annually politicians make efforts to raise them. There is an insatiable attempt to tax citizens for whatever reason.
Get your act together and judiciously use tax dollars without fraud, waste, and abuse! Enough is enough!
Roy W. Oswandel
What the season is all about
While my husband was working at our church's food pantry recently, someone was stealing Christmas packages from our front porch. You may have our packages and we do hope you are enjoying the contents (or the cash you received by pawning/selling the items in those packages). What we have, even without those packages, is so much more - integrity, dignity, a conscience, and respect for others. And isn't that what this season, and every day, is all about?
A lifetime of suffering
Kathleen Parker's poignant and compelling argument against capital punishment for Dylann Roof is one that is unlikely to resonate with Republicans ("Lifetime of suffering is what Roof deserves," Opinion, Dec. 20).
As a conservative, this is one of the few areas where I disagree with party orthodoxy. As Parker convincingly argues, the instinct to seek vengeance is as deep as it is timeless. Although I am convinced that it is God's purview to mete out justice, in a constitutional republic where the rule of law is pre-eminent, we do have the obligation to ensure that justice is done.
But beyond the abundance of evidence that state-sanctioned killing isn't an effective deterrent, and that it is costlier than life imprisonment, an aspect that Parker doesn't mention is that it diminishes the humanity of those who condone it.
Although we can't be certain that the likes of Roof would, as Parker asserts, "live every day for the rest of his life with the same horror, pain and eventually, perhaps even the recognition of the sorrows he caused", ending his life now would clearly preclude that possibility.
If you feel justice is denied by life imprisonment, consider the guests at the hotel Supermax prison in Florence, whose check-out time is unknown but guaranteed to be in a body bag.
In the apt words of Shakespeare, if the jury consigned Roof to the grim, imposing, and mentally numbing confines of Supermax, for his victims' families it would indeed be a 'consummation devoutly to be wished.'
Who is minding the county store?
I see that the El Paso County commissioners have seen fit to increase the DA's salary by $30,000 which makes him cost-of-living-wise, one of the highest, if not the highest, DA in the state. This was on top of a 27 percent increase in 2013. So since 2012, his salary his increased from $146,000 to $215,000. This is 48 percent. This tidbit comes after former commissioner Amy Lathen quit her job six months early to Spring Forward to a new job after the voters elected her to a 4-year term, not a 3.5-year term. And let's not forget about our former sheriff Terry Maketa!
It just makes me wonder if anyone is at home at the El Paso County commissioners' chambers. Some people need to remember who they work for and who pays their salary.
Another plan to kill wildlife
I want to be sure that the public knows about Colorado Parks and Wildlife's second plan to kill mountain lion and bears. It is being lumped in with the Piceance Basin plan. This second study - the Upper Arkansas River plan - is where CPW will kill 50 percent of the mountain lion population in the study areas over nine years. This must be stopped. Science shows that predator numbers go along with prey. We all see that habitat encroachment by humans, along with the recent 15-plus years of drought are the primary reasons our mule deer population is being lowered. Please contact Gov. John Hickenlooper's office and let him know how you feel. It was his appointed commissioners who unanimously made this decision. 303-866-2471; 303-866-2885 or www.colorado.gov/governor/constituent-services
Colorado law is very clear
Colorado Electoral College elector Michael Baca of Denver should be prosecuted for felony perjury for his failure to do his sworn duty. I did not vote for the corrupt deplorable candidate he was to cast his electoral vote for, but Baca had a sworn duty. Colorado law is very clear about the electoral people vote. What has happened to "We The People"? I have been a registered Colorado voter for the past 45 years, and I have never seen such a three-ring circus of crybabies, lying, and finger pointing as this election year has provided. A good dose of integrity would help, too.