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Taxes and health

EDITOR: Since tax day is coming up, it’s a good time to talk about health care. After the Republicans’ failure to overturn Obamacare, the president declared that it would just “explode” on its own. That is incorrect, but if someone, like Donald Trump, wanted to light the fuse, it wouldn’t matter how Congress voted or if it voted at all.

If taxpayers lack health care, the Internal Revenue Service notifies them, ordering that they follow the law. Taxpayers are fined if they don’t comply, so enforcement is key. Trump’s overall policy relaxes federal regulations. Taking its cue from a president who won’t let the public see his taxes, the IRS declared it wouldn’t follow those rules anymore.

So many Americans are relieved to keep their health coverage, but if the government won’t demand compliance, Trump is right, the law won’t survive. Most disturbing is that Congress never mentions the loophole to the public.

Taxes are the new front line in America, and though I don’t love paying them, I believe it is the patriotic thing to do. This year it’s going to be harder than usual though since even the president and the IRS won’t protect the law, and they don’t have to.


Rohnert Park

Mismanaged state

EDITOR: While The Press Democrat and many Donald Trump-hating letter writers keep their focus on the president, California is disintegrating because of one-party governance. This is evidenced by the passage of Senate Bill 1.

Because transportation funds received over the years have gone into the general fund, there is now no money for fixing roads and bridges. Therefore, Gov. Jerry Brown, with the help of the Democratic-controlled Legislature and the promise of $1 billion (called arrangements) going to certain districts, was able to pass SB 1. This law, starting on Nov. 1t will raise the price of gas by 12 cents per gallon. On Jan. 1, the cost of registering your car will increase. These tax increases have no sunset.

It is interesting to note that the bill was pushed through as fast as possible so that public opinion would not affect passage. It is no wonder that more people are leaving California. California has become a state of bad management with a fixation on every odd idea and latest fad. It was once an efficiently run state. By the way, Trump had nothing to do with SB1.


Santa Rosa

Fearless girls

EDITOR: Thank you for publishing the article about removing the “Fearless Girl” girl statue from its Wall Street location because somehow it sparked a negative reaction from the male sculptor about his charging bull (“Wall Street’s bull sculptor wants ‘Fearless Girl’ removed,” Thursday). Yes, it’s all bull alright.

Here’s a thought that might help all of us in these polarizing times: Let’s celebrate all the fearless girls and women among us for the strength, courage and compassion they display despite facing constant push back from sexism in every walk of life.

And right here locally, in this newspaper, let’s start with equal coverage of female athletes in every sport and of all ages. Let’s devote the same amount of space in every issue to the feats of women and girls who too often are unsung and appear to be an afterthought.

It’s one division we can easily heal.


Santa Rosa

Sold short

EDITOR: My state legislators, Sen. Mike McGuire and Assemblyman Jim Wood, sold out to Gov. Jerry Brown for peanuts. Sonoma County will get $20 million annually for 10 years from the transportation tax while Mendocino County will get $5.6 million a year (“Planners outline local impact of gas tax,” April 8).

Yet in bowing down to the governor’s pressure, I read in another newspaper that a Republican state senator from Stanislaus County received $400 million to pay for an extension of the ACE train and another $100 million for a parkway from UC Merced to Highway 99. Two Riverside County Democrats got $420 million for local projects to vote for Brown’s bad transportation bill.

People will see higher shipping bills once the increase in the diesel tax starts. And if truckers can’t pass the added costs on to others, maybe they will stop picking up products from our ports and trains.

Our local elected officials, of course, are thrilled to have this extra money for fixing roads and bridges. But if the economy slows down, and added costs for gas and diesel fuel see drivers cutting back on use, maybe all the money promised never materializes.

I do hope that SMART can get the money needed to extend the system to Windsor to have a better chance of being successful.


Santa Rosa

Union school’s choice

EDITOR: My dear friend and neighbor, Diane Lavio Rowley, has served on the board of trustees of the Union School District for the past 22 years (“Union School to consolidate with nearby district,” April 4). She has poured her heart and soul into Union School. Her three children attended and graduated from Union as did my two. I served alongside Rowley for eight of those 22 years.

In a small school, just as in a big school, difficult issues come up, and decisions are made only after careful consideration and long hours, much painstaking research, information gathering, help and advice from the Marin County Office of Education and input from the community of the Union School District.

All Union school board meetings are posted and open to the public.

I want to thank Rowley for her many years of community service. Our world would be a better place if we could all be even just a little more like her.