What middle class?
Re “How far can California go to get around that awful Republican tax law?” (Editorials, Jan. 3): It is true that some Californians will be hurt by the GOP cap on deductions for state and local income and property taxes. However, to say the deduction helped “millions of hardworking, middle-class families make ends meet” is a difficult pill to swallow. I looked up the most recent statistics for California middle-class income and found that it ranges from a low of about $44,000 to a high of $130,000. The middle class don’t own $1 million dollar homes. I don’t think the middle class is hurt by the lack of a state and local tax deduction at all.
The ones who are hurt are living high on the hog in the wealthy enclaves of coastal communities and, from what I read, many of them want to pay their fair share in taxes. So why is Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León trying to keep them from their patriotic duty? Something is wrong. Doesn’t Mr. de León believe in taxing the wealthy and sticking up for the hard working middle class? I am confused.
Bruce Wirt, Fair Oaks
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It’s not charity
Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León is trying to keep the taxpayer from realizing the effect of high California taxes by trying to classify state taxes as charitable giving, allowing a deduction from their federal taxes. The definition of charity is “the voluntary giving of help, typically in the form of money, to those in need.” While he may assign taxpayers’ money to those in need, taxpayers do not contribute it “voluntarily.” In fact, if “voluntary,” most would contribute far less or nothing at all. Tax evasion, by any other word, is still a crime.
Lower state taxes
Has it ever occurred to our state government that finding ways to ease our tax load would be a much better way of helping to alleviate our intolerable tax burden? Just this year the gas tax increased, vehicle registration fees increased and, in some areas, the sales taxes increased. I’m sure there are other tax plans percolating in the minds of our politicians. Reduce our state taxes. Don’t slam the GOP tax plan.
Jeffrey Atkinson, Folsom
Re “ICE leader says sanctuary city politicians should be arrested. Come get me, mayor says” (sacbee.com, Jan. 3): Where is the $300,000 the Sacramento City Council “set aside” (to help immigrants facing deportation) coming from? Taxpayers? The idea of sanctuary cities and states is, at best, irresponsible. When a state I live in decides to protect them, instead of it’s legal citizens, I truly wonder why this Democratic state wants to do that. What about our citizens who need aid? What we need is more police officers and firefighters. Give the good guys the money.
Gail Pech, Sacramento
What a guy, throwing out that kind of challenge! If anything mattered, he and all of the other sanctuary state idiots should really be concerned about the oath of office they took and the poor example they are passing off as leadership. The morally bankrupt politicos in this state will be shown the door via the ballot box, as people not in Los Angeles or San Francisco legally flush this kind of nonsense where it should go.
Andrew Mattson, Roseville
Re “Your choice for California governor could depend on how much you make” (sacbee.com, Dec. 20): I am baffled as to why The Bee and other major newspapers have not been including Delaine Eastin when covering the 2018 gubernatorial race. I have followed her since the ’90s, when I was a new teacher and she was our State Superintendent of Schools, and have recently heard her speak several times. She has a wide range of experience, including as an educator, private sector accounting manager, City Council member and Assemblymember. She has the knowledge and toughness California needs to take us into the future. One of her guiding principles is: “Budgets are a statement of values.” The Bee and others should consider that maybe inclusiveness (or non-inclusiveness) is also a statement of values.
Daniella Zimmerman, Auburn
Re “Woman seeks $1 million after paramedic allegedly fondled her while she was unresponsive” (sacbee.com, Jan. 4): It’s appalling to learn patients being transported by Sacramento Fire Department paramedics could be victims of sex acts at the hands of paramedics. When Sacramento decided to do away with the private network of ambulances servicing our community, the argument was patients needed the care and integrity of the Fire Department. The Fire Department and its union got its wish, but the public sure got a raw deal. This patient having her breast pulled out of her shirt by a highly compensated paramedic is just another example of the Fire Department’s persistent culture of sex on the job.
Water and housing
Re “Last year was a big year for housing in California. Lawmakers aren’t done yet” (sacbee.com, Jan. 3): The last major water storage facility built in California was in 1970. Since then, the population has almost doubled and politicians have done nothing to accommodate this growth. California has always had and always will have drought cycles. During the last drought, Californians were asked to cut back water usage by 25 percent or risk being fined. Typical California politics. Build, build, build, and we’ll worry about water later. Until the water problem has been addressed, why has there been no public discussion of a statewide building moratorium? Is there something wrong with this picture? It’s easy to see why politicians have such low approval ratings.
‘Fire and Fury’
Re “ ‘Fire and Fury’ book released, blowing open GOP feud” (sacbee.com, Jan. 5): One of the more intriguing revelations in the new book, “Fire and Fury,” purportedly explains Donald Trump’s addiction to eating at McDonald’s restaurants. He evidently has a deep fear of being poisoned and sees a stop at some random drive-thru as a way of avoiding such an event. Poisoning requires a degree of premeditation beyond the capacity of a fast-food establishment. This runs counter to other claims in the book suggesting the president has intellectual shortcomings that make him unfit for office.
Given how many people Trump has screwed over before and after winning the White House, it seems rational to take the possibility of poisoning seriously. Indeed, if I was in his position, I’d eat only sandwiches made with peanut butter from random convenience stores.
Mark Basgall, Sacramento
When egos clash
Michel Wolff’s book at last provides the catalyst for the inevitable showdown between Donald Trump’s and Steve Bannon’s explosive egos. What comes next should finally prove to those still reluctant to acknowledge reality, the ineptness, crass vulgarity and threat that these two men pose to a civil society and to democracy. The next goal should be to give broader currency to the word that best describes many in this Republican government. The word? Evil.
Spencer P. LeGate,