Letters to the Editor

Drug prices, candidates’ taxes, Joe Biden, vote by mail, carbon tax, 2nd Amendment

The (Tacoma) News Tribune

Legislation threatens R&D

Re “The bill Pharma wants to bottle up” (Editorials, Aug. 11): The Bee’s editorial severely undermined the impact “transparency” legislation would have on California’s innovative manufacturing industry. The proposed legislation would require pharmaceutical, bio-pharmaceutical and bio-tech manufacturers in the state to disclose proprietary business information, including R&D expenditures.

California’s manufacturers spent $81.7 billion on R&D in 2012, ranking it highest in the nation. As a result, manufacturers in California are global leaders in innovation, creating 1.2 million jobs with an average compensation of $92,801 in 2014. However, R&D is risky and expensive. If manufacturers are forced to turn over valuable intellectual property, their investments wouldn’t be worth it.

Transparency legislation threatens the development of life-saving medical devices and medicines, but it would also set a dangerous precedent for the manufacturing sector. In order to protect manufacturers and jobs, legislators should fight to create an environment that safeguards intellectual property.

Robyn M. Boerstling,

vice president of

infrastructure, innovation and human resources policy, National Association of Manufacturers

Price transparency can work

Re “Beware of simplistic solutions” (Letters, Aug. 15): The California Life Sciences Association carries the drug manufacturers’ water by asserting that Senate Bill 1010 “obscures the real cost picture” of prescription drug pricing because it does not produce complete and accurate information.

The association asserts the rise in prescription drug prices is due to pharmacy benefit management firms which were started in response to consumers’ demands for someone with pharmaceutical experience to be on their side. Then they claim that discounts and rebates “offset four-fifths of brand medicine price increases.”

Policymakers should take note of the fact that disclosure laws in the health care market have been essential tools that preceded market-based competition. Public transparency worked before. It should be given a chance to work again.

E.J. “Bud” Lee,

Granite Bay

What’s the big deal about taxes?

Re “Clinton, Kaine show more of their taxes” (Page 1A, Aug. 13): Everyone knows that wealthy people have more tax loopholes available to them than ordinary folks, enabling them to avoid or reduce their tax burden. By wealthy people I’m referring to Hillary Clinton, Tim Kaine, Donald Trump, etc. Unless someone breaks an IRS tax law, I ask you, what difference does it make how much taxes they’ve paid?

It has nothing at all to do with gauging their qualifications to become a president, teacher, construction worker, waiter, etc. Most ordinary folks are already aware of the fact that in many cases we pay more taxes than some wealthy people. Does that make us better citizens? If a wealthy person paid less taxes than we do, does that make them worse citizens than we are?

Stick to the qualifications that really matter, like honesty and character. Who cares how much taxes were paid?

Paul E Adler, Roseville

Biden is no working-class guy

Re “Biden: Trump’s ‘you’re fired’ shows true colors” (Page 8A, Aug. 16): It’s funny how Vice President Joe Biden likes to come off like a hard-working Joe. Fact is he’s been in politics since the 1970s. He says Donald Trump helping the middle class is a bunch of malarkey. Well, Trump employs thousands of middle-class folks whose families count on that paycheck. Biden, on the other hand, has been an overpaid politico for over 40 years.

I’m voting for the real working man.

David Brannan,

Citrus Heights

He prefers voting in person

Re “A roadmap to improve California’s elections” (Opinion, Numbers crunch, Aug. 13): I oppose Senate Bill 450, which would provide all voters a ballot by mail. Although the ballots may be dropped off at polling places, it would reduce the number of centers thus impacting people like me to vote in person.

I feel strongly that voting publicly at your local polling station is a civic duty that supersedes the convenience of absentee or mail balloting, except in the case of the most egregious circumstance.

John R. Williams,

Rancho Cordova

Carbon fee would help climate fight

Re “How do we combat climate change?” (Letters, Aug. 16): Letter writer Carl Kube expressed concern that revenue from a carbon tax would be misspent by politicians. That concern can be addressed by making the carbon tax revenue-neutral, with 100 percent of the money returned to taxpayers. British Columbia offers one successful example.

The Assembly recently passed AJR43, which calls on the federal government to implement a revenue-neutral carbon tax. Californians should call their state senators to ask them to vote for AJR43.

Dana Nuccitelli,

West Sacramento

Right to guns emphasized

Re “NRA’s big lie about the 2nd Amendment” (Letters, Aug. 16): Letter writer Bill Durston puts the cart before the horse. In the minds of the framers of the Constitution, the right to bear arms pre-existed the Constitution. The Second Amendment is actually saying the right to bear arms exists and will not be infringed.

One of the reasons for not infringing was that a well-regulated militia was seen as a good thing. Put it this way, the Bill of Rights recognizes many individual rights. That the right to bear arms is emphasized by having its own amendment is significant.

John Kosman, Fair Oaks

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