What do you mean by ‘Democrats’?
Re “Contrasting Dems, GOP for 2016” (Letters, May 19): Letter writer Charles Hummer must be talking about the power structure in the Democratic Party when he says Democrats only seem to care that Hillary Clinton can win. Many Democrats down here on the ground, as well as liberals who don’t identify with the Democratic Party, are not fans of Clinton. We see her as part of the problem, which is that both parties are controlled by big money interests that are more concerned with consolidating power than with helping people who need education, jobs and relief from conditions that have hurt almost everybody who isn’t rich.
Those highly qualified Republican candidates he speaks of are just as bad, or worse. What we really want is a real choice, not the lesser of two evils. That is why some people want a true progressive to run, and not Wall Street tools in progressive’s clothing.
Dawn Wolfson, Cameron Park
Give the money back to taxpayers
Re “What to do with the extra billions of dollars” (Editorials, May 18): Too much money is a nice problem to have, but does anyone really trust that the politicians will spend the money wisely? The Democrats want to redistribute it, and the irrelevant Republicans want to protect their middle-class tax breaks. Why not eliminate the “temporary” tax increases and let each taxpayer decide how to spend the “extra” money?
Merrill Furlow, Granite Bay
Legislators prey on the poor
Re “Traffic fines fund the courts, prey on poor” (Viewpoints, May 13): State Sen. Bob Hertzberg covered for all of his legislative colleagues with his whine about traffic fines. For years, the senator and his buddies in the Capitol have used the penalty on criminal and traffic fines as a means to fund their pork projects. That’s why, today, the penalty on a traffic fine is more than 200 percent of the fine.
The penalty funds legitimate functions, such as peace officer training and support for victims of traumatic brain injury. But a pork bill, authored by Hertzberg and others, routinely seeks to add to the penalty because general funding in the budget won’t pass. Yep, the poor, and everyone else, pay and few of us know why. The courts don’t prey on the poor; the legislators do it better and hide behind the easiest cover they can find.
Mike DiMiceli, Citrus Heights
Steyer’s extraction tax could work
Re “Steyer may seek oil extraction tax” (Capitol & California, May 15): I’m optimistic after reading that Tom Steyer is considering putting an oil extraction tax on next year’s ballot, because it appears that the political winds are definitely shifting in Steyer’s favor.
A January poll, conducted by Stanford University and Resources for the Future, found that two-thirds of Americans would look more favorably on a candidate who campaigned on a platform of fighting climate change.
The poll also found that two-thirds of Americans would support a revenue-neutral carbon tax if all the proceeds were redistributed as payments or cuts in other taxes.
One of the options under consideration is to return dividends directly to state residents, as is done with the Alaska Permanent Fund.
This option is attractive because a rebated extraction fee would stimulate consumer demand as it pulls climate change action out of the line of fire in the endless budget battles.
Michael Segor, San Luis Obispo
Don’t repeat Broadway mistakes
Re “Broadway area aims to remake itself” (Insight, May 15): It’s exciting to read that the city is planning to remake western Broadway. Let’s hope the planners don’t repeat the mistake they made on the eastern end: lining the center with palm trees.
Sacramento’s distinctive beauty is shown in its older neighborhoods downtown, with their leafy, wide-spreading elms. Visually, and in this climate, palms and pines do not make it.
Hey, we’re in a drought
Re “No more sponge baths for me” (Letters, May 19): I don’t blame Bill White in his rant about Palm Springs. Hey, come to Elk Grove’s Laguna area. Pools are drained and refilled. The water was green, they said. And people are watering in the middle of the afternoon any day.
What don’t they get, or did they not hear? We are in a severe drought, STUPID!
Wendy Roberts, Elk Grove
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