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Tax Smacks

Letters from the week of September 19, 2002

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Taking care of business: Thanks to C.J. Janovy for writing "Yes, Master" (September 5).

Too many people have no idea what's really happening with business and government on a city/state level. Most people have bought into the spin that we need businesses because they provide jobs. Business and government people have used this as a way to take advantage of the average taxpayer by having them foot the bill for most of their construction costs in the form of tax breaks. And, that's just the beginning, as I'm sure Janovy is well aware of. The end result is a populace overburdened with taxes because their local businesses aren't paying their fair share.

We all know that business is a necessary thing in a capitalist system, but aren't they supposed to also be serving the greater public good beyond just providing jobs (which most would do away with if they could figure out a way)?

Maybe with stories like Janovy's, people will come to know that the reason they are paying such high taxes, and why most state and local governments are broke, is because they are giving away the store to businesses. It's high time someone held their feet to the fire, making them accountable to the people without whom they could not exist.

The Pitch should do a story on the Missouri state budget, which about three years ago was running a surplus of about $1.3 billion and is now broke. Where did the money go? If you check it out, you'll find that most of that money was once again given to large corporations and small businesses alike in the form of -- yes, you guessed it -- tax breaks!
Gene Ahart
Kansas City, Missouri


Car Talk
Crank shaft: Allie Johnson's article on Shawnee Mission Ford was well-investigated ("Hell on Wheels," September 5). I am a retired police officer with 25 years of service, with a number of those years in investigation. If she was able to gather all these facts against these crooks, then why can't the attorney general's office or the Johnson County district attorney do something about them?

The sad thing is that if they were fined anything, their insurance companies would end up paying, and again the consumer would end up footing the bill by higher insurance premiums.
Name Withheld Upon Request


Rag to riches: Congratulations on Allie Johnson's excellent article. Every so often, I start to think about swearing off reading the rag because of the predictably knee-jerk, anti-establishment, anti-Star whining tone of most articles. And then one of the writers produces a remarkably good example of what journalism at its best can be.

"Hell on Wheels" was a well-crafted article and evidenced an excellent job of digging up the facts. It was also a very educational piece without being in any way didactic. (As a regular buyer of two-year-old cars, I feel significantly better prepared for my next purchase.) Thanks for your efforts.

Johnson is to be commended for the article; I will look forward to her byline in future editions of the Pitch.
Bill Bruning
Kansas City, Missouri


Wheel of misfortune: I just want to thank Allie Johnson for a wonderfully done story. She obviously did a lot of research to prepare this article.

I found the response from Shawnee Mission Ford laughable. We (my husband and I) feel that advertising dollars are what have kept other media from publishing this story. She has proved to us that the Pitch does not bow to advertising pressure. We applaud you!

Thanks again for all of her hard work.
Terresa Roberts
Ottawa


Centered Stage
Crimson tide: Regarding Steve Walker's "Scarlet Letters" (August 29), most of his comments are well stated. So far, to outsiders I have described this group of Scarlet Pimpernel admirers as obsessed, and after reading all these stories and replies, I feel I hit the nail on the head!

Get a grip on reality, folks. Art is not seen the same by all, and that must be respected! Artists as well as reviewers are putting their work out there to be consumed, like it or not.

I recently learned that a young man I have watched for a few years in community theater will be part of the upcoming tour opening next month. Hopefully, he will see the good side of this group of fans!
Name Withheld Upon Request


Schlock Rock
Ozz fester: I understand as a "journalist" Andrew Miller often writes stories on things he doesn't like, but his review of Ozzfest was putrid (Around Hear, August 29). Zakk Wylde's solo was clearly the highlight of the entire show, and I can't understand why he didn't like it.

Miller obviously doesn't know anything about music whatsoever. If he doesn't like guitar rock, he should not have taken this story. What he said about Down makes me furious, and the fact he left Hatebreed out of the story really angers me. Stick to stories about gay music like P.O.D. and leave reviewing the good stuff to someone who actually knows something about music.

P.S.: He is a bitch.
Steve Mann
Gladstone

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