Toward a happier, healthier state
Re “Scandinavian services will require Scandinavian taxes” (Dan Walters, March 14): Dan Walters misses the point. The reason 9 out of 10 Danes told the 2014 Gallup Survey they are happy to pay their taxes isn’t just for the services. It’s because of the quality of life those services help to foster.
Another high tax country Walters calls out, Norway, ranked first in the world for life satisfaction in the Better Life Index. By investing more in preventive services, Norwegians enjoy dramatically lower crime rates than the U.S. and have 10 times fewer people in prison, adjusted for population.
All three countries scored better in the Health Care Index for overall quality of health care and cost to patients. If California taxed the wealthy here like Scandinavians do, we could gain more than services. We could end up safer, healthier and happier. And that’s worth paying for.
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Daniel Zingale, Sacramento
Many people will gladly pay taxes
Yes, Dan Walters, we are ready to swallow high levels of taxation. The services those taxes buy contribute to a better life for all. Believe it or not, low taxes is not the most valuable quality in life. Good health care, excellent public education, housing for all and effective transportation are worth more than low taxes. Many of us are ready to pay what’s needed for those services.
Karl Greene, Sacramento
Don’t back down on mileage goals
Re “Trump moves to roll back pollution standards for cars, setting up conflict with California” (sacbee.com, March 15): I’m outraged that automakers are looking down their noses at fuel efficiency after investing so much time and effort being innovative. The automakers say consumers aren’t interested in fuel efficiency.
Consumers in the old days didn’t want to give up their horses and buggies either. They were pulled into the new century, polluting all the way. Now consumers have to be enticed into the 21st century. Thanks to Mary Nichols and the California Air Resources Board for not bowing down to the feds.
Billie Hamilton, Sacramento
Carmakers show no gratitude
Auto executives apparently do not know the meaning of gratitude. During the Great Recession, they agree to higher mileage standards as part of their negotiated bailout. Now, they are sucking up to Trump and pushing to renege on their agreement. Unbelievable. Those executives have absolutely no shame.
Roger Kohne, Folsom
Russia will profit if we burn more oil
Rolling back or even slowing any response to global warming will increase demand for hydrocarbons, a resource Russia depends on for income. Of course, it isn’t just Vladimir Putin’s greed behind all this; there’s plenty in this country as well.
With the abrogation of responsibility by U.S. leaders, it falls to individual Americans. How? By following the rules. Driving the speed limit, and no more. Purchasing vehicles that get good gas mileage and install solar systems. In short, we must be the good citizens our leaders refuse to be.
Joseph Barrett Bland, Sacramento
We should not abandon Afghans
Re “U.S. halts visas for Afghans who aided American forces“ (sacbee.com, March 15): The hard line on immigration taken by President Donald Trump’s administration has crossed a line.
The U.S. military has a policy of not leaving any soldier behind. It seems to me that Afghans acted as soldiers, putting their lives and those of their families on the line to help our military and diplomatic personnel. To solicit their help and then say, “You’re on your own” seems heartless and dishonorable.
Please help get courageous Afghan citizens out of that beleaguered country. We owe them that.
Nona Strong, Cameron Park
Don’t slash the EPA’s budget
What if ISIS was responsible for the flooding that damaged or destroyed 40,000 homes in Louisiana in 2016? What if al-Qaida was responsible for the California foothills forest fires that destroyed thousands of homes over the last several years? What if Russia was responsible for the extreme weather events across America that routinely put the lives and businesses at risk?
Maybe it’s time to label climate change for what it is. An act of terror striking at our national security. Who then would propose to slash the Environmental Protection Agency budget?
Harold Ferber, Elk Grove
Heading toward single payer
Re “If health care were really market-based” (Editorials, March 16): Obamacare’s escalating costs are a ploy for a single-payer system. Democrats set a trap the Republicans stupidly walked into. Their rigid adherence to market-based philosophy will doom them to lose power in the next election.
The only health care systems that work are government-single payer types. Every other developed country has one. Single-payer systems control the maximum prices charged by doctors, hospitals and drug companies.
Republicans propose a market-based system requiring individuals to barter for health care. But healthc are is not an open market, nor is it a marketplace consumer goods choice; it is life and death for all. Single payer allows choice for all and for providers, those whose better practices attract more business profit from volume and efficiency.
With Democrats back, we’ll all get real health care, if their one-world attitudes don’t destroy us.
Bill Jurkovich, Citrus Heights
Health care prices are negotiable
Several years back, well before the Affordable Care Act, my insurance excluded my son’s pre-existing condition. He needed to go into the hospital for a procedure. Because that procedure was not covered, I called the hospital days before it was to occur to ask for an estimate of hospital charges, and was told it would cost $5,000. The day of the procedure, as I sat with the admitting representative, I explained my policy did not cover the procedure and that I would be paying by credit card. She said she would check on the price if paid. She looked on her computer screen and said it would be $2,650. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out what’s going on.
Catherine Moulton, Sacramento
Ohman stepped over the line
I grew up in a time and country where a truly despicable and totally repugnant editorial cartoon such as the Jack Ohman “Madman” depiction of March 13 of the duly elected president of the United States likely would have cost the cartoonist his job and the newspaper a good number of subscribers. I really hope the country hasn’t changed all that much.
I had the good fortune of matriculating through a University of California liberal arts curriculum in the early 1960s and surviving another 12 years working among hordes of certifiably crazy rioters, left-wing zealots and Berkeley Barb journalists. But I remain amazed to see those insane perspectives represented in a mainstream Central Valley newspaper. Where is the Sacramento Union?
Roger Hewitt, Fair Oaks
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