2018-04-14 / Viewpoints


Political spite

Dear editor:

Over the years, as presi­dent of the Dauphin and Lebanon counties’ chapter of Trout Unlimited, I have met with legislators on several is­sues concerning clean water and taking care of a valuable resource: wild trout.

What is happening, and has happened, concerning the executive director of the Pa. Fish & Boat Commis­sion has crossed the line into absurdity.

PFBC relies solely on fish­ing license fees and federal grants (no state tax dollars) to do its critical work of enforcing pollution laws, protecting sensitive streams and wetlands, and maintain­ing public infrastructure like dams and fish hatcheries.

For more than a dozen years, the agency has asked the legislature to raise the $21 fishing license fee by a few dollars to prevent huge cuts in personnel and programs.

Sadly, our representatives and senators have refused to do so.

And now, in an apparent act of political spite, they’re preparing to shoot the mes­senger by passing a law to force out the commission’s executive director.

This move threatens to undermine the independence of the Fish & Boat Com­mission and put our healthy, fishable waters across the state at risk. That’s not just a problem for fishermen like me, but for anyone who cares about clean water.

Russ Collins
Dauphin County

Simple solution

Dear editor:

Politics in this country has reached the point where I would be shocked if any candidate for the U.S. House or Senate showed the cour­age to support a national wealth tax of 25 percent on all individuals worth $10 million or more.

Here’s what we could do with that revenue:

• Eliminate the federal budget deficit and the na­tional debt.

• Implement a national health insurance program to cover all Americans.

• Turn student loans into scholarships.

• Make Social Security fully solvent beyond the cur­rent date of 2034.

• Supplement the unequal pay for equal work by women in this country (to bring it up to what men get paid).

• Help working families pay day-care expenses for their children and elderly family members.

• Guarantee jobs to all Americans that will pay enough to lift them above the official poverty line. There still would be money left over.

Did you know that 80 per­cent of all of the wealth in the nation was never earned by those who hold it? It was inherited. It grows and grows into tens of millions, hundreds of millions and into the billions of dollars.

No one could possibly ever need that much money. Yet, I can’t find one Demo­crat in either chamber of Congress who supports a na­tional wealth tax. Someone should write a book called, “Profiles in Cowardice.”

They are supposed to care about helping the people more than they care about raising millions of dollars so that they can win re- election.

Stewart B. Epstein
Rochester, N.Y.

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