Letters to the editor March 9

Proposed Gas Tax
 Dear Editor,
When Governor Gretchen Whitmer was campaigning she told us she was going to raise our gas taxes.
Well, now she is keeping her campaign promise (isn’t that a novel idea) and people are outraged.
People are asking, “Where is all the money we already paid (we are the State with the 5th highest gas tax in the US)??” How come people were not asking that question when she campaigned on it?? She had no actual plan to fix the damn roads, she just used colorful language when she promised to do it. Why didn’t voters ask? Because it didn’t matter. It was because they were not voting FOR her, they were voting AGAINST someone else (even in her primary). The .44 cent state gas tax we pay today is largely used to pay back debt (approx $1.3 billion in debt for roads as of 2019) incurred from previous administrations as far back as 30 years ago, to fix roads (that were not done properly and overpriced by the way).
The 6 percent State sales tax on gas doesn’t go to roads at all. At today’s prices, a .45 cent increase is about an 18 percent fuel cost increase to the consumer. We will go from $2.55 per gallon to $3 overnight.
Not just on our own gas that we purchase but there will be an across the board increase due to fuel costs on all consumer goods and services that are delivered with gas/diesel powered vehicles. It will cost more to plow/salt roads, school buses, city buses, have your grass cut, Amazon deliveries, pizza deliveries, Uber rides, you name it. Everything we touch was at some point on a truck and the cost to consumers will go up. Of the .44 cents we pay per gallon today only .17 cents actually goes to building/repairing roads. The same thing will happen to this new money.
Someone currently in or running for future office could say,  “We can use that money for mass transit,”  like shoring up SMART, DDOT or AMTRAK operating budgets, “We can use it to build new train stations to help locals commute by rail” and before you know it the money is gone, our roads will still be substandard and the highway laughing stock of the nation!!
We as Michigan voters and taxpayers need to educate ourselves on what is really going on, it isn’t hidden from you, you just choose not to see it. It’s like placing a food order and pre-paying, then when they bring it to your table you have to pay again just so you can have the order that you had already paid for. You wouldn’t do that at an eatery, why would you do it with your government??
You’re telling me that we have already paid .44 cents for nothing and we are starting at $0?? We have to double the tax just to get the basics we were already expecting??
We have allowed this to happen by sending the people we have sent to Lansing and not demanding results. No accountability. Mark my words, look at the roads in 3 years. When  Whitmer is running for re-election she will be talking about how bad the damn roads are and how we need more spending to fix them. It’ll be deja vu all over again!!
Keith Wiederhold
(In response to Thank you, a letter by Pastor Jeff and Kelly Stonerock, The Citizen, Feb. 9, page 6)
A great day for the republic
Dear Editor,
I was glad to see the February 9,2019 letter from Pastor Jeff and Kelly Stonerock, praising our gem of a local paper, The Citizen.
Our weekly newspaper belongs to the vast fraternity of American Journalism, a treasure the world envies us. When I read the Stonerocks’ letter, I was reminded of an event I saw on C Span a good 30 years. About 25 foreign journalists were treated to a talk from their American counterparts. American journalists, armed with government agency employee rosters, organization charts, etc. walked the crowd through how to find someone who would talk to reporters. Someone who was fired or quit was a good resource, one reporter said. The looks on the foreign reporters’ faces were priceless: puzzled, bemused and mildly confused. One guy asked, “Why are you doing this?” The American reporter replied simply, “So you can report.” I thought it wasn’t just altruism motivating our press corps, or professional courtesy. It was a commitment to and an affirmation of Freedom of the Press ensured by the First Amendment, something uniquely American, unusual to the foreign journalists. Even today, all these years later, I still think that it was a great day for American journalism, a great day for our Republic.
Bonnie Beltramo
(In response to Continue moving forward, a letter by Leslie Newmann Short, The Citizen, March 2, page page 6)
Dress distracted
This is probably going to shock you Leslie, but I agree with almost everything you said in response to my dress letter. Apparently you didn’t keep watching TV following the speech. I am an avid news watcher and a channel changer. On every channel I heard comments on “the dress” not so much about the speech, which was a good one. I believe the dress distracted somewhat from her words and her message.
Sylvia Runyon

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