Re “How bad is the GOP tax plan for California? Republicans don’t even like it” (Editorials, Dec. 1): I support comprehensive tax reform, but I do not support the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.” This irresponsible bill adds at least $1.4 trillion to the deficit and could add as much as $1.7 trillion. The development of the bill completely left out rank-and-file Republicans and all Democrats. The proposal relies on magical thinking about economic growth in order to pretend there won’t be massive increases to the deficit and debt, and uses gimmicks to make it look like the changes in law cost less down the road.
The last time Congress did tax reform in 1986, it was a bipartisan process, and the Senate passed it by a vote of 97-3. Congress is taking us in the wrong direction and is playing tricks in order to get it done. They need to go back to the drawing board.
Jeff Granger, Paradise
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House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and other Republicans claim that California taxpayers are unfairly being subsidized by all other states because we pay too much in state and local taxes, and have too many federal income tax deductions. Somehow we are still a donor state and receive less back in federal funds than we pay in federal taxes.
Therefore, I think California should lower state and local taxes by taxing oil production instead. That is what almost all other oil production states do to lower their residents individual taxes. While prior attempts in the Legislature have failed, I think an initiative measure on the June 2018 ballot would be timely in light of the obvious federal tax increases for Californians in the GOP Tax Increase Bill.
Gerald R Adams,
Don’t lie to us
I’m urging Rep. Doug LaMalfa not to support the tax bill currently in reconciliation. This bill is bad for your constituents for a number of reasons and will not provide tangible tax relief for the working and middle class you claim to represent. But beyond that, it goes against the very principles you stand for.
On your website, you state: “Families and business all across the country are forced to live within their means and it is time for our federal government to do the same.” You go on to decry the growing national debt and irresponsible spending. And yet, the tax bill you are supporting will increase the deficit by $1.4 trillion. It is unconscionable that you would vote for legislation that will destroy opportunities for our children. When you say this tax bill is good for the people of Northern California, you are lying to us, but worst of all, you are lying to yourself!
Katherine Post, Chico
Re “Governor calls special election for Conyers seat” (sacbee.com, Dec. 8) The American people should not be surprised by the number of corrupt politicians and industry leaders. We have let them get away with all kinds of corruption for far too long. Besides sexual harassment cover-ups, the members of the Congress and the executive branch that continually vote to eliminate health care from as many as 25 million Americans and voted to give a huge tax break to the very rich to repay them for funding their re-election must also be expected to resign in disgrace. The American people must vote to take our nation and government back. Vote for candidates that support and are committed to making all Americans better off and are committed to a united country that really has justice for all.
Darrell O. Sullivan, Galt
Re “Sen. Al Franken to resign amid accusations of sexual misconduct” (sacbee.com, Dec. 7): Today this country saw a true grown-up speak his mind and soul in front of Congress. Al Franken never trained to be a politician, yet today in his resignation speech, he displayed a politician’s greatest strength – deep-seated, sincere honesty. How refreshing is that in the Senate’s chambers?
Franken knew he had to be a sacrificial lamb for the women seeking equal treatment and respect (at long last) in the workplace and everyday life. He became the scapegoat piled high with the sins of countless men abusing and denigrating women, and he was sent into the desert to atone. I salute him, his courage and integrity – rare things indeed these days. The Senate has lost a good man who could have done great things. Perhaps he still will.
Marcella Lorfing, Davis
Re “Does innocent until proven guilty still matter in the age of #MeToo?” (Marcos Breton, Dec. 8): It may be uncomfortable to talk about, but the main practice that has shielded abusers, molesters and criminal behavior is that incidents weren’t reported when they occurred. No matter the reason, when people don’t report what happened to them until years later, their perpetrators have been shielded and more people become victims.
Re “Trump gives away public lands to special interests” (sacbee.com, Dec 5): Trump is not “giving away” anything. Contrary to what the article in The Bee states, Trump is correcting Obama’s misuse of the 1906 Antiquities Act for his million-acre expansions of two national monuments in Utah. Trump is in full compliance with the act, which requires protecting antiquities with the smallest area possible, and he is not restricted by the 1976 Federal Land Policy and Management Act, as is stated in the article, as it only describes the Bureau of Land Management operations. Read them for yourself.
Re “Why are Sacramento student transit fares among the nation’s highest?” (sacbee.com, Dec. 8): If a business in the private sector saw, during a 13 year period, a trending price increase of 120 percent and, for the same period, a trending sales drop of 75 percent; that business would know that something has to change. This is why there should be no difference between how you run a government or private business that sells a service. The data in the article is from Sacramento Regional Transit, so there should have been no surprises. I would say there are some market-challenged personnel at RT.
Bill Walters, Carmichael
Re “Sacramento hopes program will persuade 50 ‘shooters’ to change their violent ways“ (sacbee.com, Dec. 1): In the past year, there has been an increase in gun-related crimes and it is important to find a solution. People’s lives are at risk, families relationships are at risk and entire communities are at risk. A newly proposed solution is to use the Advance Peace program, which would cost upward of $15 million and require a minimal contract of 2 years. Not only would this cost a considerable amount of money, but it seems like it will make little to no impact on Sacramento as a whole, only within a few neighborhoods. It is unfair to isolate those neighborhoods and families when this is a citywide issue.
Ann Feletto, Sacramento
Re “Trump declares Jerusalem Israeli capital, smashing U.S. policy” (sacbee.com, Dec. 6): I may have missed it in all the coverage regarding the move of the embassy to Jerusalem, but shouldn’t someone be mentioning that the Battle for Jerusalem is one of the seven events prophesied to be necessary to bring about the end of times? That’s when all us non-believers will vanish behind the wheels of our BMWs. Donald Trump may not have a clue, but I am guessing Steve Bannon and Mike Pence do.
Bill White, Sacramento
Re “Detentions spike, border arrests fall in Trump’s first year” (sacbee.com, Dec. 5): It amazes me that the Trump administration can attribute arrests of undocumented immigrants from Mexico to those escaping environments rife with drug-related violence, while simultaneously threatening to cut off remittances that afford these cash-strapped communities an alternative source of income. The logic does not stand.
Trump seems bent on spending taxpayer dollars to beef up Border Patrol but has yet to suggest cost-effective solutions to help Mexican officials mitigate the economic crisis behind their country’s mass exodus. If lawmakers want an immigration policy that works, they should invest our tax money in a way that benefits everyone. U.S. sponsored programs in Mexico and Central America that provide opportunities for gainful employment reduce the draw of illicit dollars and risky border crossings. Pandering to hardliners neither addresses the lack of rehabilitation services needed to shrink our nation’s demand for drugs, nor brings us closer to achieving a clean Dream Act.
Re “Why young people hate capitalism“ (sacbee.com, Dec. 5): Ms. Goldberg attempts to indict capitalism by citing excesses of government, as if the two are the same. Her implicit message is that more of the same (socialism) is the answer to the problems of social inequality and unfairness. In fact, a robust private sector creating wealth in the hands of private citizens has proven to be the only effective counterweight to abusive government in the modern era. Without that counterweight, made possible only be capitalism, government becomes tyranny. Just ask Venezuela.
Michael L. Hanks,