Cal Fire fee
EDITOR: In my opinion, the SRA, or Cal Fire tax, is just that — a tax that should have been voted on by the people (“Climate bill holds key to end fee,” Sunday).
The Legislature called it a fee so it could be passed without polling the people. Now the governor, the same guy who wants to take more of our water and increase the tax on fuel, wants to bribe rural residents impacted by this illegal tax for support of his cap-and-trade plan.
The SRA tax was passed during the recession so the state could take funding from Cal Fire and replace it on the backs of the poor taxpayers. This not only impacted these folks but hurt fire districts that could use more funding to improve their service and find it difficult to pass funding measures because they require approval by two-thirds of voters.
Cap and trade seems like a legal way for big corporations to continue polluting and just throw money at the state. It may be a start at cleaning up the environment, but bribing citizens with money illegally taken from them in the first place is another example of how the government of the people has become the government ruling the people.
I feel that the SRA tax will be overturned in court. What will he bribe us with then?
Senate health plan
EDITOR: The latest revision to the Republican health care plan — an obscene upward redistribution of wealth in disguise — merely puts lipstick on a pig. In fact, the Ted Cruz amendment makes it even more draconian and heartless (“Amid GOP wrangling, fear grows over ‘junk insurance,’ ” Sunday).
Financially crippling Medicaid, which insures more of us than Medicare, and other policy provisions, means at least 22 million Americans will lose insurance coverage, according to the Congressional Budget Office, and more will be shunted into either high-risk pools or shoddy policies that aren’t quite as bad as no coverage at all.
The long-standing American social compact of mutual assistance and compassion, a cornerstone of our democracy — although not inclusive — is being shredded and replaced by cold self-interest and, in the case of Congress, exclusive devotion to the donor class. How else to explain such attitudes, increasingly becoming social norms, as “I’ve got mine; too bad for you,” “the poor deserve their fate,” and, as the secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Ben Carson, said recently: “Poverty is a state of mind.”
Will America ever recover and become “great again”?
Population and climate
EDITOR: Another take on climate change: Until we get world population growth under control, climate/global warming is a moot point. Think about how much body heat is added to the global temperature generated by 7.2 billion humans, a number growing at unsustainable levels. Instead of blaming other countries or industry, look yourself in the mirror. We all contribute to global pollution, loss of habitat, resources, etc. one way or another.
EDITOR: Our Sonoma County coastline and ocean waters are currently protected as part of the Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary, but they are at risk. The Trump administration is reviewing our marine sanctuary with an eye toward energy development. Take a look at areas with oil development, and you see that it’s not if, but when, an oil spill will occur.