Letters to the Editor

Tax inversions, community theater, pot endorsement, etc.

Alex Molinaroli is CEO of Johnson Controls, which is merging with Tyco International and moving its headquarters to Ireland to lower its taxes.
Alex Molinaroli is CEO of Johnson Controls, which is merging with Tyco International and moving its headquarters to Ireland to lower its taxes. Bloomberg file

Scam, no; immoral, yes

Re “An outrageous tax-skipping scam” (Editorials, Feb. 7): The move by Johnson Controls from Wisconsin to Ireland is as The Sacramento Bee’s editorial board says, sneaky and disloyal.

It can also be called immoral and unethical. However, you cannot call it a scam, because a scam is defined as an act that is fraudulent and illegal. Unfortunately, the inversions by Johnson and many others are totally legal, and will remain so until Congress buckles down and changes the current tax laws, which saddle corporations with tax rates that are among the highest in the world.

As a result, trillions of dollars are being held in overseas accounts, where they will no doubt remain until rates are brought down from the current 39 percent to something more reasonable. Corporate officers have a duty to maximize profits for their shareholders. Congress has a duty to enact tax laws that will bring dollars and corporations back to the United States.

Martin Jacobson, Lincoln

Tax inversions a business decision

What’s next, The Bee’s editorial board berating parents for taking a tax deduction for their dependent children? In America, every person and business has the right to get the most for their money. The editorial board vilifies Johnson Controls for having “an utter lack of loyalty” because it made a business decision that reduced its taxes.

At least the board got one thing right: “Tax reform should be a priority for the next president.” Particularly since the two most recent presidents, Bush and Obama, were too clueless to do so.

John DeKellis, Rocklin

Renovating theater is the answer

Re “Renovating Sacramento’s theater is the best option” (Forum, Another View, Feb. 7): If Sacramento is to be a world-class city, it must have a sports arena and a vibrant performing arts center.

The Sacramento Community Center Theater is ideally located by the new arena, fine restaurants, hotels and the park. If indeed the bones of the building are strong, it should not be replaced but renovated at one-third the cost.

Elizabeth Pataki,

Sacramento

A noteworthy concert hall

A distinguishing mark of a new or renovated performing arts center in Sacramento, an element that would set it apart from venues in Folsom and Davis, is a pipe organ. Many orchestral works require an organ, as do thousands of solo works, not to mention the vast repertoire of music for organ and chorus, frequently with orchestra.

A strong trend in the last 20 years has placed new pipe organs in concert halls in Miami; Chicago; Jacksonville, Fla.; Cleveland; Seattle; Nashville, Tenn.; Los Angeles; and other cities. The new organ at the Walt Disney Concert Hall is as spectacular to see (and hear) as the Frank Gehry building itself.

We rightly celebrate other traditional orchestral instruments – strings, woodwinds, brass and percussion; it would be inexcusable to overlook the “king of instruments.” Now is the time to plan for something so practical, so culturally significant and so distinguished.

Lee Lovallo, Antelope

Shame on CMA for pot endorsement

Re “Doctors dance with a toasty partner” (Forum, Dan Morain, Feb. 7): As a cardiothoracic surgeon, I have seen my share of smoking-related illness, and it is unseemly to say the least for the California Medical Association to support or tacitly approve of smoking in any form.

The pulmonary injuries from marijuana smoking are unlikely to differ from those seen in cigarette smoking, and I have seen lifetime non-(cigarette) smokers who were incredulous and chagrined that their marijuana indulgences might have induced their lung cancers.

“We should allow it because we can tax it” is a poor argument for legalization, and the notion that we will then use the money to underwrite anti-smoking programs is ludicrous. One does not expect better from an opportunistic, self-serving politician like Gavin Newsom, but the CMA has brought shame upon itself with this thoughtless endorsement.

Dr. Ronald M. Becker, Sacramento

A sad condition on entertainment

Re “Hawkins’ life lost in dementia after football injuries” (Forum, Feb. 7) and “Football’s gladiators pay cost to amuse us” (Local, Feb. 7): Both articles offer thoughtful counters to the Super Bowl hoopla. They are testaments to the broken bodies and minds that are the consequences of a professional football career. They also testify to our base human elements: aggressiveness, dominance and susceptibility to adrenaline rushes and the lure of fame and heroism.

Many former players suffering the effects of their playing days say that they would do it all over again. Children are enticed by their heroes to play the sport. On Super Bowl Sunday, the American River Bike Trail provided a beautiful and quiet alternative experience.

Mark Harrington, Sacramento

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