Chris Collins
The Baker City Herald

Support Greg Howard for OTEC

To the editor:

I am writing in support of Greg Howard who is running for Position 7 for the OTEC board of directors. Greg would be an excellent selection for this position based on his financial expertise and experience working for Boise Cascade as an accountant, controller and currently as the production manager for the Elgin Complex.

His 20 years of experience at Boise Cascade has provided him with the opportunity to conduct strategic analyses of capital and development projects while managing a budget in hard economic times. Greg grew up in Eastern Oregon and he understands the importance of a good work ethic and the values that homegrown Eastern Oregonians hold.

Greg will work hard to ensure that our dollars are spent wisely and will look for innovative new ways to improve technologies and efficiency while reducing costs. I urge you to vote for Greg Howard in this upcoming election for Position 7 on the OTEC board of directors.

Heidi Martin

Baker City

Make the tax system more fair

To the editor:

There are two tax systems in America today - one for the wealthy and powerful corporations and another for the rest of us. The system for the privileged features loopholes that enable wealthy individuals and global corporations to hide taxable income and receive special treatment. The tax system for "regular people" offers few loopholes. We pay the bulk of our taxes through paycheck deductions.

The privileged person's tax system gives a tax preference to income from wealth. If you make money selling stocks, bonds and other assets, you pay only 15 percent of your earnings in tax. If you make money from work, you face taxes up to 35 percent, on top of Social Security and Medicare taxes.

It hasn't always been this way. Fifty years ago, tax rates were much more progressive and fair. Corporations and the wealthy paid their fair share - and that revenue built the foundation for a generation of prosperity.

Over time the rich and powerful lobbied to change the system for their benefit. A great tax shift took place under both Democratic and Republican congresses and presidents. We shifted taxes off wealth onto wages, off global corporations onto small businesses, off federal taxes onto state and local budgets.

There is justifiableanger on "tax day." Most Americans feel they are paying more than their fair share of taxes. And we certainly are, compared to big corporations and the wealthiest Americans. Corporations and the rich are "gaming the system" to reduce their own taxes. This leaves the rest of us to pick up the bill.

Tea Party members and every concerned citizen should demand that powerful corporations and the rich pay their fair share. Then there would be money available for roads, infrastructure, health, education and other essential services and public institutions that generate economic opportunity.

Bill Whitaker

La Grande