Letters to the Editor

Immigration, pensions, pipelines, etc.

Congress also responsible

Re “Sheriff takes Obama to task” (Our Region, Nov. 20): The Sacramento Bee correctly observed that Sheriff Scott Jones primarily blames President Barack Obama for federal inaction on comprehensive immigration reform. The sad truth is that Congress is just as responsible for this stalemate as the White House may be.

However, Jones neglects to address his plea to John Boehner, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell by name. Instead, he singles out the president as “the only person who can address immigration reform.” What is the factual and constitutional basis for this amazingly naive assertion? Jones has expressed a compelling concern with regard to immigration reform. He needs to ensure that this concern is conveyed directly to the congressional leadership without delay.

Hans Kreutzberg, Sacramento

Not the ‘correct’ move

Re “Obama’s plan will let millions stay in the U.S.” (Page A1, Nov. 14): Obama said would make the “correct” move in protecting up to 5 million illegal immigrants from deportation. Let me compose a simple modus ponens argument as to why this is not the correct move.

If illegal immigrants are not deported, then fewer jobs will be available for American citizens. Illegal immigrants are not deported enough. Therefore, actual American citizens are left without jobs.

Between 2008-10, the census reported that millions of illegal immigrants gained jobs while American citizens lost them. If our government doesn’t provide for its own citizens, then why would providing for illegal immigrants be the correct move?

Spencer Galli, Davis

Lost confidence in government

Re “Obama to veto own ideas on authority” (Page A6, Nov. 18): America as a nation of laws has been supplanted by a nation of executive orders. President Barack Obama’s flexible interpretation of executive authority allows 180-degree reverses in logic about what the executive can and can’t do, driven primarily by political strategy.

I appreciate the desire of all people who want to improve their lot in life, but government actions that reinforce strategies of asking for forgiveness rather than asking for permission is bad policy and does nothing to solve conditions in home countries of desperate people.

Obama has not created a secure border or uniformly deported illegal immigrants. Actions at the federal and state levels only encourage more people to come illegally.

I have lost all confidence in national and state governance, which seems unable to make rational and sound decisions.

Gregory Ptucha, Sacramento

Kicking the can down the road

Re “Pensions pass another test” (Page A1, Nov. 19): All public employers within the state of California are just kicking the can down the road. It’s just a matter of time before one of them will again be unable to fulfill the required payment to CalPERS or CalSTRS for retirees. They know when that time is but are not doing now what will at that time be absolutely necessary to stay solvent.

We all have seen many people who just walked away form their home loans. The banks picked up the tab and are passing it along to us. We will be picking up the tab for bankrupt public employers when that day comes. The unions believe they are blameless in this, but it’s they who should be leading the way in reducing retirement benefits so their employers can stay afloat to hire others.

Bill Moore, El Dorado Hills

Compensation for faculty

Re “What about professors’ benefits?” (Letters, Nov. 18): Letter writer Scott Davis speculates that pay and benefits for University of California professors have been increased. In fact, the Public Policy Institute of California has just released a report that states: “Adjusted for inflation, average faculty salaries by rank have been flat at UC and declining at CSU since 2007.” As a result, UC has become increasingly uncompetitive with other institutions in terms of hiring and retaining highly qualified faculty members.

The university is losing its faculty and replacing them with non-tenure-track faculty and lecturers.

Richard T. Scalettar, Davis

El Dorado deserves it

Re “El Dorado County deserves better” (Editorial, Nov. 19): Although I live in El Dorado County, I do not think we deserve a better government. In fact, we deserve a lot worse.

This county embodies the definition of insanity: We keep electing the same people repeatedly, hoping for better results. This county is run for the GOP and by the GOP, which has two of its more prominent members as elected officials, Joe Harn and Cherie Raffety. Since they’re elected, they’re untouchable by any administrative power.

Raffety’s husband is editor of the local paper. A year ago, he unleashed one of his columnists, Larry Weitzman, on Terri Daly, the county’s CAO. Daly’s only sin was to try to break the stranglehold Harn and Raffety have on the county.

Whoever succeeds Daly won’t have any better luck untying that unscrupulous Gordian knot.

John Garon, Placerville

Ship water instead of oil

Re “Senate falls one vote short on oil pipeline” (Page A1, Nov. 19): Wouldn’t it be more productive for this country to pipe water instead of oil from the north? I noticed this summer that Idaho and Montana had plenty of rain, much of which appears to flow into the ocean. California and other states suffering drought could certainly use some relief.

Of course, it’s easier to make political hay from oil than from water.

Joe Grady, Placerville

We care about patients, too

Re “Volunteer musicians give dose of happiness to patients” (Living Here, Nov. 20): The story highlighted the work of the Philadelphia chapter of Musicians on Call in providing comfort to those who are seriously ill. The article should have had a sidebar that lists Sacramento organizations that do this, too. Music Partners in Healthcare (mpih.org) is Fair Oaks-based and promotes the work of certified music practitioners throughout our area. Then there are the Threshold Choirs (thresholdchoir.org) all over the world that bring one to three women’s voices to the bedside of those in need. We have Threshold Choirs in Sacramento, Placerville and Davis. Bless all these people for their selfless offers of comfort.

Dick Frantzreb, Roseville

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