Letters, Letters to the Editor, Opinion

Aug. 22 letters to the editor

Manufacturers oppose Dems’ tax proposal

You may have seen that some members of Congress are attempting to generate funds for infrastructure development by raising corporate tax rates. The West Virginia Manufacturers Association is no stranger to infrastructure development, but I want to emphasize there are parts of this plan that will do more harm than good.

Corporate tax fluctuations impact not only manufacturers and small businesses, but also job creation and economic activity.  As West Virginia’s communities continue toward recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important our legislators continue to consider tax reforms that encourage business growth and development to foster job creation and help workers navigate the post-pandemic landscape.

However, the proposal to raise the Global Intangible Low Income Tax rate from 10.5% to 21% is worrisome. GILTI is designed to discourage multinational companies, mainly in the technology sector, from shifting profits on items like intellectual properties to other countries with lower tax rates.

While this tax increase will impact the intended industries, it will also impact companies in other sectors — such as manufacturing — that employ millions of Americans and do not offshore jobs and assets.

West Virginia’s manufacturers and the communities they serve cannot afford to be beset by extra tax burdens. Our industry supports 50,000 jobs statewide and was strengthened by the 2017 tax reforms. In 2018, manufacturers added 263,000 new jobs, and wages increased by 3%. If the GILTI rate is increased and previous tax reforms are undone, this economic growth risks being lost. This is echoed by Jay Simmons, president and CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers, who said, “increasing tax burdens on American enterprise results in fewer jobs.”

GILTI has done what it was intended to do: keep American companies, jobs and profits in the U.S. It doesn’t need “fixed.”

Our industry has proven to be essential to West Virginia’s recovery efforts. Instead of increasing tax rates that make it harder for West Virginia’s manufacturers to compete and create jobs, WVMA urges Congress to find other avenues to raise funds for infrastructure.

Rebecca McPhail
W.Va. Manufacturers Association

‘Generations’ a fantastic show; catch it next year

Those of you who did not attend the musical tribute to Doris Nicholas at the Met Theatre Aug. 6  missed a wonderful night of uplifting musical entertainment.

The show was a fundraiser in memory of Doris, wife of renowned local singer Bobby Nicholas, who performed with  his son Trevor and Bobby’s sister, Belinda.

They performed a variety of music from different Broadway shows and pleased a large crowd of enthusiastic fans.

The funds raised from the concert will be used to establish a scholarship in social work for minority students at WVU, where Doris worked.

The Curtis Johnson Band accompanied the singing and played with great skill and artistry.

Trevor Nicholas has become a great performer on his own, performing in Disney Productions in Florida, Germany and Japan, as well as playing George Washington in the hit show “Hamilton” in London.

Bobby hopes to make this an annual musical event, so don’t forget to attend next year’s concert at the magnificent Met Theatre (which was saved and renovated due to the efforts of former county commissioner John Pyles and others).

Larry Nelson

W.Va. should encourage Justice to step down

Last week, Gov. Jim Justice said a masking mandate was a possibility — but oddly, the next day said  he had never said that.

But all he had to do was roll the prior day’s news conference back again to see that, yes, he did, in fact, say just that.

Instead of checking his own recorded remarks, Justice found it more convenient to try to blame the messenger, i.e. the state media.

Now, the media may not always get it right. However, this was a public pronouncement by the highest ranking state government official on the No. 1 current health issue.

You can bet that the media are going to try their best to get that one right.

Dutifully, they did so. They reported what the governor said, clear as a bell.

Besides verbal miscues and shifting blame  to the press, Gov. Justice’s overarching problem is his lack of good advice for administrative policy.

He seems to wants to run state government the same way he has run the Greenbrier. He has a bit too much self-confidence and just likes to wing it. That can bring big trouble.

We frequently hear occasional candidates from a business background say  they want to “run state government like a business.”

I take such candidates to mean  they want the state government to be efficient and accountable to the taxpayers. Few would argue with that.

But it may depend upon whose business you’re using as a role model.

After viewing story after story about Jim Justice’s business issues these past several years, perhaps we are within our rights now to pause.

Might we wonder if running state government like one of Jim Justice’s businesses is such a good idea?

West Virginia deserves a full-time governor, one not consumed with business matters on a regular basis.

Governors can’t just wing it these days on important policy matters like public health.

Surely we have all seen enough to know that we need a new governor.

West Virginians should encourage Gov. Justice to step down.

Stephen N. Reed

Thomas’ language strong but accurate about border

In response to Barry Wendell’s letter to the editor (DP-08-15-21):

As the grandson of immigrants, I believe the overwhelming majority of Americans understand that we are an immigrant country and support well-organized immigration at reasonable levels, not the disorganized mess occurring on the southern border. Hundreds of thousands of people started pouring across the border. Immigration facilities are being overwhelmed and illegal immigrants are being sent all over the country with minimal to no health checks at a time when President Biden and the governors of many states are attempting to limit American’s freedom of travel unless they are vaccinated. Additionally, this disorganized mass is undoubtedly providing great cover for drug and human traffickers. We are compassionate people, but Americans don’t support this kind of lawlessness, damaging our local communities and the country in many ways.

By the way, according to recent news articles, the number of legal immigrants in this country is at a record high. I think almost everyone would agree that an organized, sensible immigration policy would allow for absorbing new arrivals into the “melting pot” of America. America cannot and should not take an unlimited number of immigrants. Cal Thomas may have used strong language, but he fairly described the mess on the southern border that Mr. Wendell obviously wants to ignore.

 Michael K. Callen