Letters to the Editor

No taxes on tampons, diapers; more taxes on cigarettes, candy

Tammy Compton restocks tampons at Compton’s Market in Sacramento. Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed a bill that would’ve waived taxes on tampons and other feminine hygiene products.
Tammy Compton restocks tampons at Compton’s Market in Sacramento. Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed a bill that would’ve waived taxes on tampons and other feminine hygiene products. The Associated Press

Babies are taxable in California

Re “Tampon, diaper sales taxes survive” (Page 6A, Sept. 14): Gov. Jerry Brown has stood up and declared his love of money over that of women. His claim is that tax breaks are the same as new spending. Where did he go to school? Illegal taxes are not the same as repairing streets that everyone uses.

When Jerry gets taxed for being a male, maybe he can question taxes for being a women. Until then, I hope his faithful Democratic followers have a change of heart. Pat Brown must be turning over in his grave.

Leonard R. Cook,

West Sacramento

Tax candy before diapers, tampons

Re “Tampon, diaper sales taxes survive” (Page 6A, Sept. 14): I strongly agree with the purpose of AB 1561 and AB 717 of removing the sales tax on tampons and diapers, respectively. The taxes are inherently discriminatory to women and families, and are a burden to those at the lower end of the economic spectrum. It must have been an all-male legislature that decided that tampons are a “luxury item.”

However, I agree with Gov. Jerry Brown that “tax breaks are the same as new spending.” The problem is in the argument from proponents that California has exempted products, such as candy, from sales taxes. Candy is not essential to health. Pass a bill that cuts taxes on tampons and diapers, and balances those cuts by removing the exemption on taxes on candy.

Mark Shannon,


Prop. 56 also cuts cigarette butts

Re “Californians should vote Yes on 56 for public health” (Page 6E, Sept. 11): Besides the health and fiscal benefits of raising the tobacco tax, Proposition 56 would reduce plastic trash in our cities and waterways. Cigarette butts never biodegrade and are frequently found during river and beach cleanup events. Washed through storm drains into streams, bays and oceans, they poison wildlife.

Meanwhile, San Francisco spent $7 million annually to remove cigarette butts from streets and sidewalks. Studies show increasing the price of cigarettes by 30 percent could reduce consumption by 7.5 percent, which would reduce litter. That’s why everyone who loves California’s waterways and cities should vote Yes on 56 in November.

David Lewis, Kensington

What was Colin Powell thinking?

Re “Hack reveals scathing Powell emails about Trump, Clinton” (Page 1A, Sept 15): The biggest surprise about the hacking and release of former Secretary of State Colin Powell’s emails is that he sent these kinds of messages at all. Ever since the 1980s, when copies of deleted White House emails from John Poindexter and Oliver North became public and showed their role in the Iran-Contra affair, people have known that email lives forever.

What is not clear is how someone as knowledgeable as Powell didn’t remember those lessons. His actions reinforce the old adage that “one should never put anything in an email that you would not want to be on the front page of a newspaper.” Hopefully, this is an experience that we all can learn from.

Stan Rosenstein, Davis

Speaker Paul Ryan is wrong again

Re “Area median income level highest in years” (Page 1B, Sept. 15): A new U.S. census report shows the most positive economic news in years for California and the entire country. Household incomes and job growth are up, and the poverty rate is down. The number of Americans without health insurance is the lowest ever.

This is mainly the result of the 2009 stimulus launched by President Barack Obama. And yet House Speaker Paul Ryan gave a speech last week proclaiming Obama’s policies and presidency a complete failure. The good speaker now has egg on his face. While our president works hard to make our lives better, the Republicans focus mainly on undermining his efforts. The choice for voters in November is clear.

Stephen Farr, Folsom

Brown puts vets in second place again

Re “Brown vetoes legal aid for military” (Page 7A, Sept. 15): I wasn’t aware that Gov. Jerry Brown was concerned about spending too much of our taxes. He vetoed a bill to aid military personnel with legal assistance in this state. He doesn’t seem to mind spending $40 billion for tunnels to divert water to SoCal. Or $60 billion for a train to nowhere. Or money for illegal immigrants to get a college education, housing and food. Gov. Brown would be better off having a legacy assisting military veterans, in my opinion.

Bill Moore, El Dorado Hills


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