Letters to the Editor

Taxes, EPA, Congress, school reform, etc.

Federal taxes higher than state

Re “California’s tax battle looms in ’16” (Dan Walters, Dec. 7): Dan Walters seems to hail the perceived inability of the California state legislators to pass future tax increases. He forgets that federal tax rates are higher than state tax rates. Since you can deduct your state taxes on your federal return if you itemize, it makes sense to pay more taxes to California and reduce your federal taxes with its higher federal rates.

For most of us, the question is: Do you want to pay more state taxes so you save much more on your federal taxes?

Margie Koldinger, Sacramento

Right to respond to regulations

Re “Alliance battles Obama over energy policies” (Page A15, Dec. 7): The article suggests that it is wrong for the energy industry and state attorneys general to respond, object or present studies relating to regulations proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency to be imposed on the oil and gas industry.

It is the legal right of any person or regulated industry to respond to proposed regulations. If the EPA or anyone else is so sure the proposed regulations need not be modified, there should be no fear of the objections being presented.

F. Scott Nevins, Lincoln

Dems never had supermajority

Re “Sheriff should learn civics” (Letters, Dec. 7): Jeffrey Booth wonders why President Barack Obama didn’t pass immigration legislation in his first two years when he had a majority in Congress. That is a common misconception that is easily refuted. When he was elected, the president had 58 Democratic senators to back his plans. There should have been 59, but the Republicans contested Al Franken’s election for more than six months.

Then Sen. Robert Byrd got sick, Sen. Edward Kennedy passed away and Republican Scott Brown took his seat. So the president never had the supermajority required to overturn the inevitable filibuster by Republicans in the Senate.

Andrew Wallace, Davis

Point finger at administrators

Re “Reform of state’s public schools at pivotal moment” (Viewpoints, Dec. 6): As a special education teacher, I enjoy reading opinion pieces about our school system. Ted Lempert’s article brought up accountability, but as usual there is no mention of administration.

Teachers strive to help students achieve their potential, but like other professionals, we require technology, curriculum and training, all of which are controlled by administrations. Before pointing the finger at teachers, administrators need to support classroom staff, thereby focusing on the true reason for our careers: the students.

Mary Flannigan, Auburn

Illegal immigrants cost taxpayers

Re “A proposal comes from the heart, but at what cost?” (Editorials, Dec. 2): Thank you for your editorial. Just some facts: One day before Gov. Jerry Brown signed California’s $108 billion budget for this fiscal year, the Federation for American Immigration Reform published a report noting that illegal immigration costs California taxpayers $25.3 billion per year, while taxes collected from undocumented immigrants amount to just $3.5 billion annually.

To put it bluntly, more than 23 percent of California’s $108 billion budget will cover the economic costs of illegal immigration. Now it appears we have legislators who think we aren’t giving them enough support. Some of that money could help children of legal citizens who have been paying taxes here for 20 years or more go to college.

Donna Muller, Shingle Springs

Support democracy by voting

Re “Election’s abysmal turnout stirs anxiety” (Page A1, Dec. 2): We live in a democracy, yet we aren’t participating in our democracy. I am ashamed of the low voter turnout in the recent midterm election, and it is worrisome. It’s hard not to think about where we are headed if this trend accelerates.

If nothing is done and voter turnout continues to drop, who will be making the decisions that affect our society and our future? Our society has changed so much in such a short amount of time that it’s obvious our government has failed to keep up.

I’m a young, participating adult, and as a voting citizen, I want to see the government do more to promote voting and allow easier access to ballots. More importantly, I want to see my fellow citizens do their part and vote.

Kamiko Tsuchida, Sacramento

Media’s agenda differs from liberals’

Re “A dishonest conversation” (Letters, Dec. 7): It’s interesting that Louis Bricano lumps the left and the mainstream media into the same bucket. The mainstream media are mostly owned by a few large corporations. No doubt their agenda is quite different from us liberals down here on the ground.

I suggest that if Bricano actually has any interest in having a conversation on race with people who identify as being liberal/progressive, then he go and talk to a few of us. I think he’d be surprised to find out that we actually have a lot in common.

Dawn Wolfson, Cameron Park

Higher minimum wage not best plan

Re “Move cautiously on minimum wage hike” (Editorials, Nov. 29): Although making more money seems nice for an individual, it is not the best plan for people as a community.

Raising the minimum wage will be very hard on small businesses that do not have the revenue to pay employees more. Not to mention the economic state of Sacramento is too fragile to employ a higher pay rate. Once everyone is on their feet again and the economy is at a healthy state, the need for more money will not be as great.

Vanessa Aleman, Sacramento

Remember to show gratitude daily

Re “The positive power of counting our blessings” (Editorials, Nov. 27): Sometimes I sit down and think about how this world would be without people showing appreciation for someone’s positive actions. Showing gratitude should be one of the most important things at the fingertip of every human, and it should not be done on a seasonal basis, but instead daily.

We should not be thinking twice as to whether or not to say “Thank you” to someone’s effort which has helped us overcome a task or meet a need. So why not say “Thank you” when you are helped by someone’s actions or inspired by someone’s words or even when a smile is put on your face?

Reuben Adjovu, Woodland

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