After reading Lane Filler’s column “The U.S. trade deficit isn’t a bad thing [Opinion, March 2], I can say he’s gone completely off the far left end of the pool.
He states that our $800 billion trade deficit isn’t a bad thing, and then touts the argument that our gross domestic product per person is so much higher than China’s. Meanwhile, he neglects China’s massive population advantage.
He then claims it’s better that they work for us versus us working for them. By that logic, we should close up shop and outsource everything from them. Where would our income come from?
This country used to be a manufacturing powerhouse, and manufacturing jobs offered high pay and the good benefits. Now, thanks to one-sided deals like the North American Free Trade Agreement, we are a broken nation buying items from Mexico and China that used to be made here.
Tim Consiglio, Hauppauge
The trade deficit is a bad thing. According to government sources, we charge nothing, if very little, on imports coming into the United States. Countries we export to charge the United States import taxes.
This is extremely unfair when you consider the deficits with China and Mexico. Lane Filler asks whether we want to be 30 percent or 300 percent richer than people in other nations. The answer to that question is an emphatic yes. Why? Because the richer we are, the more charitable we become — not that we are not a charitable nation to begin with.
Yes, we want people of other lands to prosper, but not at our expense. Unfortunately, the blame for other people’s poverty and low cost of living rests with their governments. We cannot be the keepers of the world.
We need to take care of the American people first.
Lawrence J. Beufve, Lindenhurst
Taxpayers will suffer from new breaks
The Nassau County Industrial Development Agency’s dubious tax abatements for the Bristal assisted-living facility in Jericho is the latest corporate tax giveaway [“Bristal site to get IDA tax break,” Business, March 4]. This continues to erode the county’s tax base to the detriment of the average homeowner.
Laura Schultz, Syosset
Editor’s note: The writer is president of Residents for a More Beautiful Syosset, a civic group.
The Bristal community’s tax break is an example of pitting the developer against the taxpayer, who has little clout to receive lower taxes. Taxpayers can duke it out by hiring a tax-reduction company. If you’re a developer, you have your high-priced law firms negotiate a 17-year tax break.
I have no doubt that this project would have gone forward with without a tax break.
I might ask whether lower taxes for this facility will lower rates for residents.
What is needed is careful consideration as to what taxpayers are getting from these deals. What is in it for us, other than seeing our property taxes go up to subsidize those whose taxes go down?
Joe Fritz, Brentwood
Editor’s note: The writer is a civic activist who practices law in East Islip.
Residents deserve better snow removal
It was interesting to see a letter from someone in Nassau County complaining of the poor conditions of the roadways after the Feb. 9 snowfall [“Unhappy with snow removal after storm,” March 2]. In Suffolk County, we had the same experience.
I wrote to County Executive Steve Bellone. I travel 31 miles for work, and I depend on major roadways: Stony Brook Road, Route 347, Nicolls Road and Sunrise Highway. All were covered with two to three inches of ice and packed-down snow; Nicolls Road was particularly horrible.
There were no visible lane markings, and lanes were narrowed. Drive time from Route 347 to Sunrise Highway took 45 minutes rather than the usual 15 minutes.
There was no evidence of salt or sand to normalize the roadway. Plowing is not enough. The snow was packed down and iced over. This created dangerous conditions to property and life.
We pay premium taxes in Suffolk County. I’ve been here more than 30 years. It wasn’t like this 20 years ago or even 10 years ago. We deserve better and expect better.
Susan Kerr, Stony Brook