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LETTERS IN THE EDITOR'S MAILBAG.

Byline: The Register-Guard

MVP award for DeFazio

At the top of page 18 in the Jan. 11-18 issue of The Nation, hometown boy Peter DeFazio is recognized as the Most Valuable Person in the House of Representatives in that publication's annual list of Most Valuable Political and Cultural Activists. There may be a couple of local folks who missed that and need to know that our local elected official is seen by others outside of Oregon as doing what's right for everyone in the nation.

By the way, DeFazio isn't related to me, I've never worked for his campaign or in his office and we're not close neighbors. I just think he's doing one heck of a good job.

BRUCE BITTLE

Eugene

Taxation is confiscation

Many people seem to be unaware of the nature and purpose of taxation: to confiscate wealth, with or without the consent of the owner, to finance government agencies and programs, whether or not the taxed person or entity would choose to support them. They are, in fact, "the planned confiscation of earned monies," as stated by Stephen Riley on Dec. 30.

From Black's Law Dictionary, we find that many things we don't recognize as taxes in fact are. A tax "is not a voluntary payment or donation, but an enforced contribution, exacted pursuant to legislative authority" and is "any contribution imposed by government ... whether under the name of toll, tribute, tallage, gabel, impost, duty, custom, excise, subsidy, aid, supply or other name."

We should ask how we can justify government taking even more money out of the economy at a time when most Oregonians' standard of living is declining. Government wants the money so it can raise wages and salaries of government employees while inflation is near zero, avoid layoffs, and hire new employees, while private-sector employees are suffering job losses, wage freezes and rollbacks.

Government spending has a multiplier effect on gross domestic product, and it is about 0.8 - meaning that every dollar the government spends permanently removes 20 cents from the economy. Robert Barro has done some convincing work on this, worth reading, if you really care about economic recovery. Spending more government money does not increase GDP, it merely redistributes wealth inefficiently.

TOM KNEISLEY

Eugene

Keep the sport in sport fishing

With regard to the Jan. 6 Register-Guard article relative to the new fishing rules and regulations, particularly the new "two-rod" angling license:

Thirty some years ago I had a conversation with an Oregon Fish and Wildlife fisheries biologist who suggested chumming be allowed while angling, stating that the fish were being raised and stocked for the anglers to take, so let them take them. As an OSP fish and game enforcement officer at the time, my reply was, in essence, why don't you just set up a table at the hatchery, have the angler show his license and hand him his limit of fish? That would save a lot of time and expense. I further suggested that angling was supposed to be a "sport," so let's keep the sport in it as part of the angling experience. He then agreed and commented that Izaak Walton would probably turn over in his grave if chumming were allowed.

Now the use of two rods is being allowed, for a $17 fee, and I suggest the same as before: Let's keep the "sport" in the sport fishing experience (poor Izaak!).

DON HARRIS

Reedsport

Some rich folks favor fair taxation

Carol Seaton (letters, Jan. 1) worries that increasing taxes on rich people may decrease their ability or willingness to invest. Becky Lemler (Jan. 4) claims Measures 66 and 67 threaten business and jobs. The Register-Guard's excellent reports (Jan. 3 and 4)) and the Voters' Pamphlet show that many people and corporations are well-off enough to pay more taxes to support the measures. But the enormous positive benefits to profitable businesses from government expenditures deserve more attention.

Business operations can't succeed without adequate public infrastructure and services. That's in part why members of Responsible Wealth, a network of business leaders and individuals in the top 5 percent of wealth or income, support fair taxation. Member Bill Gates Sr. says it's "clear that those who become wealthy did not do it alone," and that the rich "owe something back to society that enables them to create that wealth" (www.faireconomy.org/news/do_the_rich_owe_america_for_their_fortunes).

Corporations that do "only" $100 million worth of business in Oregon every year and oppose a minimum tax increase from $10 to 0.1 percent (Register-Guard, Jan. 4) would prefer not to pull their own weight. They instead want the rest of us to subsidize the profits they make as freeloaders at the public trough.

ROBERT ROTH

Eugene

Do the Buckeyes have a cube?

Regarding the new Jaqua Academic Center for University of Oregon athletes: Uh, does Ohio State University have a student-athlete study center that is "state of the art"? Or 5,000 uniform combinations? Or a world-class training facility? Or a billionaire benefactor?

Or do they just play better football there? Just curious.

ANTHONY ROCK

Florence
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Title Annotation:Letters Editorial
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:Jan 9, 2010
Words:852
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