New taxes a sign of failed policies
Re “Dem leaders agree to raise gas tax, fees for state, local roads” (Page 1A, March 30): Of course, we have new taxes and fees. This is what the Democrats have always stood for. They divert the existing taxes intended for road repairs to pay for social programs and then lament the need to increase taxes to avert a crisis they created. Gov. Jerry Brown says “failure is an option.” Well yeah, failure is a way of life for Democrats in California.
We have a cap and trade program raising gasoline and electric prices to fund unwanted high speed rail. We have a governor who would have California sacrifice its economic well-being to be a leader on climate. That’s California government.
Michael Bloom, Roseville
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Credibility is the issue, not the tax
Re “Dem leaders agree to raise gas tax, fees for state, local roads” (Page 1A, March 30): It’s not the proposed road tax that’s the issue. It’s the credibility of the Legislature and governor. They have re-directed taxes before so why not again? Is this just another ploy by the governor to find funding for his bullet train to nowhere? Maybe if the tax specifies exactly what it can be used for, credibility will be restored.
Brian Myers, Penryn
More tax money to fix potholes?
Re “Is Jerry brown finally committed to fix California’s lousy roads?” (Dan Walters, March 31): For 20 years now, Californians have been paying taxes at the pump for roads. This money was marked specifically for transportation. However, it went to whatever special project the governor or other politicians wanted.
This time they say the law will require the money be spent on transportation. I am still paying near $200 per year for a 12-year-old pickup truck. I have lived in this state for 75 years and I am seriously considering a move.
Rodger Pogue, Sacramento
Tunnel vision on roads, highways
Re “Brown says package to finance roads is needed to keep them from crumbling” (Page 8A, March 31): I remember when Jerry Brown was running for his second term of governor and he made the bold statement that no taxes would be raised unless approved by the voters. Now he and his legislators are at it again in addressing our deteriorating roads. They never could solve a problem without raising taxes. They look to the taxpayers as a bottomless pit. We are already the most heavily taxed and regulated state in the nation.
It is naive to think that $16.80 additional taxes per month per taxpayer will cover the costs and solve the problem. More taxes to come. You cannot afford these guys. Next election, throw ‘em out.
Mark Roberts, Loomis
This is the real insult to farmers
Re “It’s irrelevant that Nunes is a farmer“ (Letters to the Editor, March 26): I, too, come from a pioneer farming family in the sand hills of Nebraska. But who cares about the politics of farmers from the distant past? Today the ones who remain vote for the party that is destroying them. It’s particularly galling to see them driving around with Trump stickers on their pickup trucks as they shake in fear of losing the only workers they can depend on, and without which their businesses will be destroyed.
Nora J. Coryell, Jackson
Jail is no place for mentally ill
Re “As need skyrockets, county jail will expand its aid to mentally ill” (Page 3A, March 24): I can remember when California closed its institutions for the mentally ill to save money. The problem did not go away. It moved to the streets for police to deal with.
California needs figure out how to handle mental health on a statewide basis, not a single city or single jail. How many shootings have been by people with mental issues that could not be treated or committed to an institution for help? I have to think that treatment is cheaper than jail, and would have better outcomes for everyone involved.
Alan Mills, Sacramento
Kudos to DWR for spillway repairs
Re “Dam spillway will need lengthy repairs, consultants advise” (Page 1A, March 24): The Oroville spillway will require lengthy repairs because of significant problems related to the original construction. Independent consultants didn’t bring these issues to light. The Department of Water Resources did.
DWR has done an extraordinary job since increasing spillway flows in February. I (and The Bee) have been critical of state policymakers for not providing DWR with enough funds to properly maintain the facility, but let’s give credit where credit is due.
Wayne Dyok, Rocklin
Climate change and morality
Re “Trump unwinds climate policies” (Page 1A, March 29): Sometimes you just want to scream. How is it possible in this day and age for Donald Trump and Scott Pruitt to claim that burning more coal, oil and natural gas is somehow in America’s best interests? To cheer for adding billions of tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere is immoral.
It is important the press stop giving unchallenged air time to these utterances. A model response is The Bee’s editorial: “Magical thinking won’t reverse climate change.”
Harold Ferber, Elk Grove
Conservative case for single payer
Re “California dodged the Trumpcare bullet, but faces higher costs” (Dan Walters, March 28): The conservative case for universal health insurance means liberals must accept Medicaid is a welfare program trapping people into poverty. Single financing through Social Security, not single payer, is the key. Canada and Taiwan operate like traditional Medicare. France, Japan, and Germany look like Medicare Advantage.
The key is a system where the CEO and the janitor cleaning the office at night have equal access to the medical care. Public health and economic opportunity improve when health insurance is shared broadly across society. We still have time to get it right. California can lead the nation with the Healthy California Act, Senate Bill 562.
Keith Ensminger, Merced
Not all insurance is really necessary
Re “Trumpcare collapses under the weight of its own lies” (Editorials, March 25): The Bee takes issue with Rep. Tom McClintock’s desire to end “health benefits that force an older, teetotaling couple to have to purchase coverage for drug rehabilitation and pediatric care,” declaring that “pooled risk is the basis not only for civil society, but insurance.”
Pooled risk presumes that everyone in the pool actually incurs some risk, however slight. People normally don’t purchase insurance covering conditions or circumstances they are certain never to face. Those who don’t drive are not required to buy auto insurance. Why should men have to pay for insurance covering maternity care when cheaper options exist?
Barry Mackintosh, Lincoln
Gun silencers don’t benefit society
Re “Trump’s son backs bill easing laws on silencers” (Page 1B, March 31): Donald Trump Jr. is right. Silencers should be readily available for gun owners. When a home invader shoots a family to death, that is bad enough. Why also cause the shooter to suffer a headache from the noise? And why disturb the sleep of the innocent neighbors who might call the police?
Gabriel Lewin, Davis
Devoted print subscribers lose
Re “Editor’s Note: To our readers” (Page 6B, March 28): So we “paper” subscribers have to suffer a lack of space to the online folks? Consequently, we assume The Bee isn’t concerned with devoted “page turner, newspaper print” people who, over the years, have been very faithful readers. Not fair!
Jane Kristiansen, Roseville
Spare the people’s bully pulpit
Re “Editor’s Note: To our readers” (Page 6B, March 28): Let’s hope that the downsizing of editorial space in The Bee doesn’t diminish the role of Letters to the Editor in our newspaper. It is a long and rich tradition of giving anyone so motivated the chance to play sixth man or woman on the editorial board. Insightful or irritating, they are a key element in our democracy.
Spencer P. Le Gate,
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