Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Letters to the Editor, June 3

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Letters to the Editor, June 3

Article excerpt

Disturbing lack of coverage on Snowden interview

The very limited coverage by the Post-Dispatch and other media of the Edward Snowden interview is both curious and disturbing. Snowden was allowed an hour of prime time television to explain and defend his betrayal of his country. There was no counterpoint by Brian Williams. Snowden said and claimed anything with absolutely no contradictions or rebuttals.

The thrust of his response was his love of country, the Constitution and freedom. He did not cite nor have I read nor heard any indication from his past that he was this super patriot. He had no history of political activism, membership in organizations, writings of his beliefs and concerns. In short, there is nothing to attest to his alleged devotion and love of country other that his four-month stint in the Army, from which he was discharged.

Snowden dropped out of high school his sophomore year, and that ended any formal education. Yet he is glib, well-spoken and smooth. Had he continued his schooling, he might have further developed his thought process, his conscience and his sense of morality, all of which could have led him to an acceptable course of action rather than the self-indulgent, narcissistic, traitorous path he has chosen.

Gene Dalton * Richmond Heights

Increase the gasoline tax to pay for publicly maintained roads

For once the Post-Dispatch has gotten it right ("A tax to hate," June 1) when it comes to a proposed tax in this case, the Missouri sales tax increase for transportation.

The bottom line is that when we can identify specific beneficiaries of a government-provided service whether it be trash pickup or road maintenance it is important that these users be charged for these services. When this does not occur, we inevitably get overuse and increasing pressure on the Legislature to expand these services paid for by someone else.

There is no better example of this than publicly maintained roads. Gasoline correlates very closely to the wear-and-tear that drivers place on our road system. For example, heavier commercial and personal vehicles use more gasoline and lead to quicker deterioration of streets and highways. Who actually pays when a higher gasoline tax is imposed on commercial rigs? Eventually the tax will pass to the final consumers of the goods and services that are being hauled by these trucks. These are exactly the people who should pay for maintaining and expanding our road system!

For example, while online customers may no longer drive to a bricks-and-mortar store to buy their electronics and books, our roads now take a lot more pounding from UPS and FedEx delivery services. Shouldn't online buyers bear the full cost of their purchases, including the inevitable increase in road maintenance costs?

One final consideration: Given our neighboring states' current gasoline tax 45 cents in Illinois and 27 cents in Kansas per gallon of diesel fuel there is no reason to believe that increasing the Missouri tax to 27 cents per gallon will move gasoline sales outside our state's borders. …

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