<b>Tax equity</b>

EDITOR: I disagree with Joanne L. Mumola Williams' view that our property tax system under Proposition 13 is unfair ("Tax inequity," Letters, Nov. 1). It is as fair as the sales tax, because the amount of the tax is based upon 1 percent of the selling price of the property, not upon some assessor's opinion. During the housing bubble the median price of homes in California was $504,000 (in 2005), generating $5,040 in tax annually per home sold at that price. Now that homes are less expensive, people buying today will pay lower property taxes based on the same rate.



<b>Looking forward</b>

EDITOR: President Barack Obama won a legitimate, decisive victory, winning more than half the popular vote and almost sweeping the swing states. The president's coattails brought a solid Democratic Senate majority. Most of the lunatic candidates were defeated. The American people have spoken, and democracy has won.

The right-wing campaign of dishonesty and fear-mongering was defeated by the intelligence, hope and optimism of the American psyche. Obama is not a socialist, a Muslim, a Kenyan or a terrorist sympathizer. He is a good family man with Christian values; he speaks the truth and he governs from the center. If you believe otherwise, your sources are wrong, and your intelligence has betrayed you. It's time to end these childish attacks on his character.

This divided country needs to come together and our leaders need to govern through negotiation and compromise. Furthermore, democracy demands an involved electorate. It requires its citizens to be informed and to engage in the governing process. The Republican tactic of obstruction didn't work then, and it won't work now. Don't let our elected leaders put partisan politics above the best interests of our country. This is our democracy, folks, so let's roll!


Santa Rosa

<b>Low-interest savings</b>

EDITOR: Do businesses or the government think people with savings accounts will want to go out and spend their accrued interest to help the economy? How? You can't spend interest that isn't there. Retirees might think about spending some of the accrued interest on their accounts, but guess what — the little interest they receive on a savings account will not encourage them to spend it.

Even with inflation at 2 percent to 3 percent, saving accounts are losing value when interest rates are around 0.25 percent. It's plausible that low savings account interest is a national and possibly international policy by which the power players try to force as many savers as possible back into financial gambling — gambling with their retirement money. Basically, too-big-to-fail financial institutions, investment banks and Wall Street want the money from your savings "invested" using brokers and fund management companies.

And, how is the Fed helping a main-street saver? The Fed is keeping interest on savings at low rates. Go figure.

One more thing: Where is the estimated $14 trillion in equity lost because of the 2007-08 bank failures?



<b>Wanton cruelty</b>

EDITOR: It broke my heart to read about the despicable coward who shot and killed a horse with a rifle at long range ("Horse shot, killed in pasture near Annadel," Tuesday. One of God's most beautiful creatures, minding its own business in a pasture with its companions, deserved better than this. There is a special place in hell for people who commit such wanton cruelty.


Santa Rosa

<b>Save the arts</b>

EDITOR: From grade school to high school, the arts are very important. Yet every year schools continue to cut arts programs because of lack of funding. After watching (for the hundredth time) the movie "Mr. Holland's Opus," it brings tears to my eyes that schools throughout our area have lost music, dance, drama and choral programs.

Music, for example, gives kids a niche. Kids find that they have something they're good at and a place to go to enhance their craft. This can become something that keeps them out of trouble and even get them a scholarship. The same can certainly be said for sports. However, when it comes to budget cuts, it's always arts programs that are cut or dropped.

In "Mr. Holland's Opus," the high school principal has to find ways to make budget cuts, and his choices mean laying off teachers who teach the arts. If he had a choice between Mozart and reading and writing, he would choose reading and writing. Mr. Holland's response says it best, "I guess you can cut the arts as much as you want, sooner or later these kids aren't going to have anything to read or write about."


Santa Rosa