EDITOR: Australia is a long way from the normally idyllic environment of Sonoma and Napa counties, yet as a nation we know only too well the devastation and heartache caused by what we call bush fires. Having spent some time in July 2002 in and around Santa Rosa, actually staying at the Fountaingrove Inn, we feel a sense of connection as your community struggles in the wake of such loss.
Rebuilding physical structures is one thing. However, peoples’ lives and livelihoods will take some time to recover and be restored. The response of not only government but also not-for-profit organizations will require the support of the whole community.
In times such as this, please be assured you are in our thoughts and prayers.
EDITOR: In this era of fake news and artificially created crises, truth is real news and should be heralded. Tucked away on page A9 of Friday’s paper is one more instance of tea party/Republican paranoia and vindication of Democrats and the Obama administration (“IRS targeted groups of all stripes, says report”).
The truth is that between 2004 and 2012, the Internal Revenue Service wasn’t biased in its use of identifying keywords to scrutinize the tax-exempt status of political groups. It equally targeted liberal and conservative groups by using words such as “tea party” and “progressive,” among others.
Truth sheds light. Put it up front so all can see. Perhaps it can help to lessen the acrimony and disenfranchisement created by false accusations.
Tax cuts and jobs
EDITOR: I want to comment on President Donald Trump’s plan to lower corporate tax rates to help spur on our economy. I am an enrolled agent, considered to be an income tax specialist by our federal government, and have owned and operated my own tax practice for 25 years.
The plan to lower corporate tax rates to help businesses become financially stronger is rationalized by saying the newfound revenue would help inspire new hiring. While this may be true to a certain degree, history tells us the profits will mostly go into more pay and bonuses for corporate CEOs and directors.
Stronger stock prices do help everyone who invests in the market, no matter what their income level is, but this windfall for corporations should be tied to a measurable increase of hiring for solid middle-class jobs.
Consider something like a 10 percent increase in hiring over layoffs to qualify a company for this lower tax rate. That would be a good incentive for hiring and retaining employees and could force a financial trickle down instead of just hoping for it.
Congress people and senators, please get on board with this.
TIMOTHY J. NELSON
EDITOR: It would be advisable to shut down the power grid during dry weather and high wind conditions. I noticed my lights flickering, which can be attributed to power lines shorting out and dropping sparks. Critical services mostly have backup generators, and the inconvenience to the public for a few hours should be acceptable versus the alternative we are suffering now.