Letters to the Editor

State of the Union, free community college, aid-in-dying, education, etc.

Nothing united about states

Re “President urges action to give all a ‘fair shot’” (Page A1, Jan. 21): Watching the State of the Union on TV has convinced me we are no longer the United States of America. As the president detailed his plans, the Democrats would stand and applaud while the Republicans sat on their hands. The president firmly resolves to veto several laws the Republicans plan to enact. To follow this up, watching CNN and FOX panels that were analyzing his speech, we got two totally opposite viewpoints. This divide in our lives has filtered down to uncompromising friction within families, friends and neighbors. United we stand, divided we fall. God help us!

Dick Rooney, Lincoln

Rebuttal highlights GOP flaw

I just watched Sen. Joni Ernst deliver the Republican rebuttal to the president’s State of the Union address. Can’t understand why she was bragging about walking to school with bread bags on her feet during the Reagan administration as an example of why we should put our faith in Republican “trickle down” economics.

Steve Heller, Sacramento

Compromise for college funds

Education has been on the public mind a lot in California these days, what with recent University of California tuition hikes. Now we’re hearing stories about how President Obama wants to provide two years of free community college education, so long as students maintain a decent GPA and make timely progress to graduation. I must say, as someone currently having to deal with the outrageously high costs of college, this sentiment resonates with me.

But already, Republicans are countering that they don’t like Obama’s proposed source of funding. Their concerns are legitimate, and I can respect them. However, if our nation’s education system is going to suffer and lag behind the model already accepted by much of the rest of the West because Republican lawmakers can’t bring themselves to propose a compromise funding strategy, well, I think that’s a good indicator of what’s wrong in Congress.

Christopher Mitchell, Sacramento

Free tuition for a better U.S.

Many students have shown signs of approval and anticipation for President Obama’s proposal to waive the cost of community colleges. The plan would pay for two full years at a community college for many students.

Considering the amount of money students and families can save and the increase in education nationwide, President Obama’s plan will give students a promise and chance to receive education. Just in California, there are 112 community colleges that will be made available to students. Because of financial issues, many students in the past had not considered college and a chance to a better life. America’s College Promise can only benefit the nation, making it better and stronger.

Alicia Cheong, Sacramento

Low-hanging tax fruit

Re “Obama urges new taxes on rich to relieve middle class” (Page A5, Jan. 17): Sunday’s “Washington” section of The Bee accurately predicted that, during his State of the Union address, President Obama would propose estate and capital gains tax increases aimed at the nation’s richest Americans.

Rather than fruitlessly taking on these third rails of conservative tax policy, the president should focus on the inexcusably generous tax treatment afforded to America’s richest via the loophole inherent in the “carried interest” rule.

In 2014, the manager of a larger hedge fund earned an average income of $2.4 million, $2.1 million of which was from so-called performance bonuses subject to a 20 percent tax rate. That’s 5 percent less than the 25 percent marginal tax rate levied on a middle-class couple with a combined household income ranging from $73,800 to $148,850.

The American people deserve to know how anyone can justify keeping the carried interest rule around while the nation and less wealthy individuals suffer alike.

Rachel Wood, Sacramento

It’s their choice when to let go

Re “Give dying people a compassionate way out” (Editorials, Jan. 21): If they chose to let go, it’s their decision. No one knows what pain they are going through or their way of thinking. If they go, let them. Grieve and then enjoy the memories.

Micaela Mercado, Sacramento

Closer look for end of life issue

We should allow it so those who don’t wish to stay on this planet can leave as they wish.

I think it’s torture that they have to bear the pain they feel and to be told they can’t take their own life to end their suffering. California is going to see a lot of people move to Oregon just to commit a form of suicide. Instead they need to see the pros and cons of this issue.

Alex Washington, Folsom

The degradation of education

Re “California short on guidance” (Capitol & California, Jan. 20): It is downright outrageous what this nation has come to. The fact that our students are so undervalued and that situations like those of Jose Salas go past the school administration’s eye is proof that our education system needs reform.

The education of the nation’s children should be our top priority, and where our tax dollars go speaks to what we value. It isn’t our children, which are the future, and the future workforce. Neglecting the education of our nation’s youth will not only hurt them but will also hurt the economy in the long run. Counselors are vital to the success of any student. Letting them go shows that we don’t care about our children or the future of this country.

Ilya Palenyy, Sacramento

Guidance counselors necessary

As a high school student, I can see the increasingly important role of guidance counselors. High school is probably some of the toughest years of our lives. Without the help of counselors, many kids may find themselves lost, helplessly scrambling at the last minute to get all the credits they need or simply just not knowing what to do.

When dealing with tough situations, our counselors are supposed to be there for us no matter what. We need counselors to keep us on track to graduate, write letters of recommendation and basically guide us through high school to get on the right track for our futures. With a limited number of guidance counselors available at schools, this causes us to have less time with our counselors, not allowing for us to develop solid relationships, often leaving us in a state of confusion or helplessness.

Marissa Akiyama, Sacramento


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