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Dear Editor,

I find it interesting that the press coverage of the airline industry always focuses (as management would prefer) on labor as the BIG problem. What no one wants to talk about is fuel costs, taxes (30 percent of each dollar in revenue goes to the government), management salaries, and the cost of equipment. United Airlines’ total market cap could not pay for 1 747-400 at today’s prices.

Sure, a pilot at American makes a decent salary. But, when one considers the cost of the education and experience required to obtain that job, and the amount of time it takes to reach the top pay positions, the level of income is not that high.

I am retired from Northwest Airlines and in my 34 years of service, I did not make over $100,000 until the last 10 years. A minimum pay for an NFL football player is almost $500,000 per year. No one complains about that, do they?

Besides, do you want a minimum-wage pilot flying you across the Atlantic on a dark and stormy night? I sure as heck don’t.

Thanks for listening.

Bob Anderson

Glenwood Springs

Dear Editor,

When it comes to the economy, President Bush is demonstrating genuine leadership. The economic growth package he recently proposed takes us in the right direction by accelerating the successful tax cuts of 2001, providing marriage penalty relief, and providing incentives for individuals and small businesses to save and invest.

Contrary to the class warfare rhetoric attacking the president’s plan, the proposal helps everyone who pays taxes, and especially the middle class. This year alone, 92 million taxpayers will receive an immediate tax cut averaging $1,083 – and 46 million married couples will get back an average of $1,714. That’s not pocket change for a family struggling through uncertain economic times. Combined with the president’s new initiatives to help the unemployed, this plan gets people back to work and helps every sector of our economy.


Sunny Stapelman


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