Jayson Jacoby
The Baker City Herald

Politicians persist with their Robin Hood nonsense

It has been routine for years. The politicians tell us they want to tax the rich and give it to the middle class. They wish to portray themselves as modern Robin Hoods. Robin robbed the rich and gave to the poor.

There is a problem with this. We do not have enough rich people to rob (tax). I recall that in about 1960 when the income tax rate was very high, a very good economist calculated that if the government not only took all of the income taxes of the rich but also took all of their income it would only pay for operating the U.S. government for four days. There were not enough rich people then and there have not been ever since.

Why do these politicians keep telling us this nonsense? It has been getting them elected for these many years.

Carl Kostol

Baker City

Where did the School Board mailer come from?

I'm confused and angered by the flier I received in the mail from School Board directors Lynne Burroughs and Mark Henderson. This flier gives the appearance of being an official 5J mailing. Is it? Or is it a personal political mailing? It says: "Meet your 5J School Board members." Why are only two members listed? Last time I checked, the voters had elected five!

Who paid for this mailing? Who designed and printed it? Was this effort done on District equipment utilizing District staff time? According to the USPS web site, just the postage alone to mail this flier to households in the 97814 ZIP code would cost $934. Nowhere on the flier does it state this important financial information. I'm hoping our taxpayer dollars weren't used to fund this propaganda attacking their fellow Board member.

Melissa Hamman

Baker City

Personal attacks don't make for worthwhile debates

A recent letter asked why anyone would vote to recall Lynne Burroughs and Mark Henderson from the 5J School Board. The authors say that they are good family people, have served the 5J school district in a variety of ways, and have been active in our community. All of this is true, but misses the larger point.

While Ms. Burroughs and Mr. Henderson may be good people, it is not a given that they are well suited to govern our school district - it isn't personal. Each of them has done things justifying their recall. While I don't have the space to list them here, you probably have read about them in this newspaper.

Unfortunately, defenders of Ms. Burroughs and Mr. Henderson have chosen a strategy of discrediting me rather than defending their actions. This alone should raise a red flag in the minds of taxpayers and parents with students in our schools. But even if I am discredited, the question of Ms. Burroughs and Mr. Henderson's suitability to govern has been raised by the hundreds and hundreds of your friends and neighbors who signed the first recall petition (which barely fell short) and are signing the current one. It will be harder to discredit all of them.

It is true that I am young and have no children. I submit that this is actually an asset; our school board needs at least one person who can be objective, view issues without the distorting lens of vested interest, and point out when the emperor has no clothes. I freely acknowledge I still have much to learn, but am not so green as to be blind when people do things that are wrong. When this happens, it is my duty to bring them to the public's attention.

Personal attacks are poor substitutes for a substantive argument. I will do my best to keep things on a high note and urge you to ignore the personality attacks, ignore the static, and find out about the issues for yourself. Thank you.

Kyle Knight

Baker City