Letters to the editor for Dec. 14

Tax reform bills hurt higher education

Both houses of Congress have just passed historically unpopular tax reform bills. These bills, promoted as tax cuts for the middle class and a stimulus for economic growth, will instead diminish the capacity for future generations to meaningfully contribute to the economy for years to come.

Within the provisions of these bills there are significant changes to higher education. Some universities, including Yale University, where I am a Ph.D. student in sociology, provide modest financial packages to graduate students, including a stipend, on which taxes are paid, and a tuition waiver paid by the university on behalf of the student, on which tax is not paid. The House version of the bill includes a tax on graduate student tuition waivers as if it is income. This change could increase taxes owed by 300 percent, even though students never see the money that pays tuition. Graduate students work 60 to 80 hours a week between classes, research, and teaching; taking on another job to make ends meet is not an option. Additionally, interest paid on existing school loans will no longer be deductible.

I come from a working-class background in Wisconsin. I am a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Michigan. The lower in-state tuition at Madison and graduate stipend at Michigan afforded me the opportunity to attend Yale University to earn my Ph.D. with much less debt than I might have had otherwise. If the tuition tax passes, I will owe nearly $10,000 in taxes on $30,000 of gross income.

Taxing tuition waivers will decrease the number of students enrolled, undermine undergraduate education, diminish research output, force graduate students into poverty or out of Ph.D. programs and cripple the American workforce for generations.

This provision undercuts the claim that this bill will be good for growth. Without knowledge and innovation, there is no growth.

Education is the predominant way Americans “pull themselves up by their bootstraps.” These bills seek to remove those bootstraps.

This tax bill was actually described by a member of Congress as “required by donors” as a quid pro quo for future campaign contributions. Anyone who says this bill is intended for the middle class is sadly misguided; those assertions are nothing more than cover.

I urge my congresspeople, especially Ron Johnson and Glenn Grothman, to ensure that these fiscally irresponsible bills are never made into law.

Margaret L. Traeger,

West Point native

Drive sober or

get pulled over

As law enforcement officials, one of our most difficult duties is having to inform families that a loved one has been seriously injured or killed in a crash. It’s especially difficult when the tragedy is easily preventable – such as when someone makes the dangerous and irresponsible decision to get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle while impaired.

To help prevent needless tragedies this holiday season, Lodi Police Department will join law enforcement agencies across Wisconsin in the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign that runs from Dec. 15 through New Year’s Day. Officers will be doing extra patrols for longer hours – not simply to make arrests or issue citations – but to encourage voluntary compliance with traffic laws that protect us all.

As motorists and citizens, we all play an important role. Every time you travel, make sure everyone is buckled up. Watch your speed, and always drive sober and alert. Never allow someone to drive impaired. Remember — your actions could save their life, or someone else’s. If you observe a driver that you suspect is impaired, call 911 from a safe location and provide as much information as possible.

We’re hoping for a safe and enjoyable holiday season and wish all of you the same.

Chief Scott A. Klicko,

Lodi

President continues to “clean the swamp”

Our President is continuing with his agenda that our Republic elected him to do. National unemployment is the lowest since 2000, the stock market soaring high and consumer confidence is at a 17 year high. Our President continues to roll back illegally mandates and regulations that are harming Americans, appointing great judges and enforcing our laws. That is just a few great things he’s accomplished so far can’t wait for the next seven years.

Unfortunately I was right saying bureaucrat zealots are willing to violate federal laws to subvert President Trump. I encouraged the DOJ to look into this but now it appears the DOJ and the FBI may be corrupt and may indeed aided in these subversive actions. Hopefully there are some honorable FBI agents that will step forward and do what needs to be done to bring trust back to our judicial system.

This is what “Cleaning the Swamp” looks like, it is not going to be easy or pretty. Over zealot corrupted bureaucrats do not like losing their power and the millions of tax payer dollars that they have funneled to themselves. Like the “Sex Slush Fund” that tax payers have paid to protect supposedly perverts in Congress. How can Senator Baldwin defend allowing our tax money to be used to pay off sexual or any abuse of women by her comrades in Congress? Senator isn’t your job to oversee governmental agencies?

Hopefully Senator Baldwin will wake up and join Senator Johnson as he aggressively pursues these swamp creatures and support his efforts to make sure that we are all treated equally by the law and do not get special treatment because you name is Clinton or if don’t like the duly elected President. If she stands with subversives then she should reign today! Thank God Trump won!

Jim Kazmierczak,

Lodi

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