Letters: Denver’s proposed sales tax increases would pile onto already inflated fast food prices

Taxes pile on the struggle

Re:  “Mayor unveils housing tax plan,” July 9 news story

The last thing taxpayers in Denver need in these inflationary times is two new sales tax ballot proposals that would raise the total sales tax to a staggering 9.65%.

Bear in mind that you pay total sales tax on all retail purchases, restaurant meals and fast food takeouts, and phone bills. It all stealthily adds up each month. Why should a low-income couple buying two $5 value meals at McDonald’s have to pay nearly one dollar additionally in sales tax?  Denver, with its regressive high sales tax, would be hurting the very people it’s trying to help with affordable housing programs.

Dave Larison,  Longmont

Self-centeredness is abhorrent for any leader

History will credit President Joe Biden with the greatest achievements for America since FDR. Should he remain the Democratic candidate for president in 2024 and Donald Trump creates his promised autocracy, history will mark his legacy as a self-absorbed egotist who foisted his aggrandizement over the needs of the nation.

One of my life’s public service contributions was creating an academic, research-based three-day seminar entitled: “Dynamic Leadership: Management and Leadership Skills for Public Organizations.” The curriculum was the result of my master’s thesis for UC Denver’s Graduate School for Public Affairs. We concluded with the instructive writings of Robert Greenleaf’s essay, “The Servant as Leader.” Greenleaf deduced that the leader must be a servant first. Transformative leadership requires focusing on the needs of others first.

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Joe Biden now insists “The Lord Almighty” would have to come to him to leave the race. He refutes the realities of Father Time. Finally, he has spoken with self-aplomb: “[If I lose] I’ll feel as long as I gave it my all and I did the good as job as I know I can do, that’s what this is about.” The old college try.

There is no question that a reelected President Trump will shatter the American democracy as our forefathers created and generations sacrificed to sustain. I plead for the courage of Democratic leaders to compel Biden to stand down. We must pave the way for a charismatic, brilliant new generational candidate. The alternative is falling into the Great Abyss.

Bill Gardner, Grand Junction

Editor’s note: Gardner is a former Grand Junction police chief.

Fireworks as grim reminders

Re: “Want to thank me for my service? Don’t light fireworks,” July 4 commentary

Reading this opinion piece just now, I reflected on a conversation I had the day before with my neighbor, a Marine veteran who served and fought in several countries, including Afghanistan. He’s considerably younger than I am, but we have fighting overseas in common. I fought in Vietnam as a young artillery LT. Both of us served our time, bonded with our buddies in arms and finished our time in service successfully.

It was a casual conversation that drifted to the evening’s fireworks. It turns out that neither of us planned to attend. Both of us are uncomfortable with the sharp explosions and sharp cracks. They bring back memories of ambushes for me and IEDs for him. Rifle fire and rockets are top of mind.

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Neither of us dwells on the topic with others, but both of us are uncomfortable with people who set off fireworks outside in their neighborhoods or in the streets before or after the 4th.

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The article highlighted the problem and helped me realize that I wasn’t alone in my personal reaction to random fireworks.

Likely, many people who read the opinion piece and had never been in a firefight or other combat situations thought, “Just get over it.” Unfortunately, it’s a very real thing.

Thanks for publishing the piece.

Creigh Kelley, Highlands Ranch

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