My wife had Alzheimer’s and was in a senior living facility for four years. I funded her care with help from family, U.S. Housing and Urban Development assistance, and working 12-hour days. I’m still paying by working full time after retirement age. A little help from the government was the medical expense tax deduction that the House tax bill would eliminate. It let me deduct thousands of dollars I spent on her care from taxable income. The increased standard deduction is great, but it won't cover as much as the medical deduction for long-term care. I hope Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Turlock, will think about people paying to care for aging loved ones when he decides whether to vote again to eliminate the medical expense deduction.
Jeff Warner, Modesto
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Re “Why big business will love California’s new marijuana rules, and why you should worry” and “Yes, you’ll be able to smoke weed legally in three weeks. But here are hard realities” (California Forum, Dec. 10): Legalizing recreational pot is going to cause heartbreaking problems for families, businesses, first responders, traffic safety, and even medical practices. To suggest legalization as only being for people over age 21 is beyond naive. Pot will be available, especially to those youngsters whose parents and older siblings use it. How will citizens know that police, surgeons, firefighters, train engineers, pilots, teachers, first responders, and on and on and on aren’t stoned. There is still no quick way to measure cannabis blood levels. When that technology does arrive, how do you legally get the above-mentioned professions to take the test when they are not under arrest? Legalizing cannabis is a foolish and poorly thought out path. I worry every day for my grandchildren.
William Sanders, Gold River
I want to share my experience of being married to man who had mental and physical troubles, always punctuated by use of marijuana and other substances including heroin, and lying about it. After the birth of our son, we moved to Sacramento from the Bay Area to start a new life, drug free. It didn’t take long for him to find new friends who supplied him with pot in the early 1990s. When it was legal medicinally, he grew it in our one-car garage and affectionately referred to the plants as “his ladies.” Things got worse, we divorced, the house foreclosed, and eventually he passed away alone, at age 52. No, I’m not a supporter of legalized marijuana.
Jane Mattson, Sacramento
Re “Letters: DMV’s fail + Climate change + Kate Steinle + Closet socialists + Cheech Marin” (Letters, Dec. 10): Letter writer Paul Bergman says Cheech Marin is a good person. I must be wrong that being an anti-war stoner is a commendable activity, as is making pottery no doubt while munching Cheetos, collecting art, and building a successful career as a brain-dead stoner. Now, we read that Cheech is teaming with Chong to make commercials essentially promoting the sale and use of this drug. The new smog.
Michael J. Lamb, Sacramento
Re “Net neutrality is on its way out. But that might not be so bad for Sacramento” (Erika D. Smith, Dec. 10): Net neutrality is of paramount importance. The ostensible demise of these neutrality laws is near, and the enemy to all the progress secured on behalf of a free internet is complacency. This complacency is evident in the limited coverage of this critical issue, and in editorials that essentially validate its end. Many internet users take for granted the net neutrality rules protecting their interest. Without them, the internet could be a much more limited place. Ensuring internet service providers cannot block or slow content is critical to continuing the fresh and innovative nature of the internet, and to consumers who wish to enjoy the web openly and without obstruction. It is far too consequential to revert to inaction. The very nature of the internet we’ve come to cherish is at stake.
Orlando Wilkerson, Elk Grove
Re “Donald Trump probably could be impeached under the law. Politics are less clear” (California Forum, Dec. 10): The disrespect for the office of the president continues. Not everyone likes the current occupant. The elitists and extreme left types need to get over it. Now, Erwin Chemerinsky may be the dean of a law school, but he is just another lawyer. Another example is that fount of wisdom, Sasha Abramsky, a well-educated fellow who pontificates about how mean everybody is to the criminals and the poor folk, as if he would. Ivory tower dwellers are part of the problem and offer not much in the way of solutions.
Andrew Mattson, Roseville
Lefty wing nuts
That the Sacramento Bee’s editorial board prints an opinion of Erwin Chemerinsky shows how far out of touch they are with what most Americans believe and how far to the extreme left the the staff is. Chemerinsky is a professor and dean of one of the most left-wing nut universities in the nation. There isn't enough salt in the world by which his views might be taken. The lefties who follow The Bee's left-wing-nut views might be fooled by such nonsense, but not the rest of us.
M.A. Figueroa, Sacramento
Re “This GOP agenda isn’t business as usual – it’s the politics of plunder. And guess who pays?” (California Forum, Sasha Abramsky, Dec. 3): The old saw about how America has the best Congress money can buy is fact now that Republican House and Senate poodles are ramming through tax cuts favoring their corporate paymasters who had threatened to end financial support failing passage of such a bill. Pundits debate whether this currently ruling post-Orwellian plutocracy is neo-fascist, a feudal revival, Robber Baron revisited, or Soviet Nouveau. It is a bit of all of these. This pestilence owes less to the failure of our institutions than to the Barnumesque flimflam promise of El Dorado that the gullible 30-plus per cent slavishly swallow, despite the contempt these politicians have for them. The majority of Americans prefer a path enabling a better future for people and the planet. The majority also never wanted a president Donald Trump. Apologies to poodle patriots everywhere.
Spencer P. Le Gate, Sacramento