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Checking facts

EDITOR: What a minute. Chad Sheldon (“Repeal the gas tax,” Letters, Wednesday) said that “if you drive 1,000 miles a month, at just a 12-cent increase, it takes $700 profit out of your pocket.”

Cars and light trucks sold in the United States hit a new record for fuel efficiency last year: 23.6 miles per gallon, on average. When we take 1,000 miles and divide it by 23.6 miles per gallon, we get 42.373 gallons of gas required to travel those 1,000 miles, and 42.373 gallons of gas times 12 tax cents per gallon equals $5.08 — a somewhat smaller amount than $700.

Do you editors ever bother to fact check the dubious claims made by your impassioned letter writers?

JOHN TRUBEE

Santa Rosa

Cutting the debt

EDITOR: Democrats claim that the GOP tax bill would hurt the middle class and argue for retaining the tax deductions for state and local taxes and home mortgage interest, both of which primarily benefit the rich, who end up with lower taxes. This is contrary to their arguments that tax reductions for the rich shouldn’t be implemented. Doubling the standard deduction should help many intermediate- and low-income taxpayers.

Economic growth is the only way out of our national debt, which doubled under President Barack Obama and now stands at more than $60,000 for every man, woman and child and is ever increasing with our deficit spending.

The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the deficit will double over 30 years with our current growth rate of under 2 percent. At a 3 percent growth rate, it would be reduced by a quarter.

I find it hypocritical that Democrats object to the $1.5 trillion cost of the tax plan over 10 years but didn’t object to the Obama deficit.

Progressives should embrace this tax plan, since with economic growth the tax base would provide more money to the government for increased spending on social programs.

As much as we dislike President Donald Trump, we should support him in getting the country growing again, which is why he was elected.

HENRY SCHMID

Sonoma

Cable news hyperbole

EDITOR: With the immediacy of the media frenzy, it won’t be long before we see on cable news: “We interrupt our news program for Breaking News … wait … we’re holding the Breaking News for Developing News. I’m sorry, we leave our Developing News for Apocalypse Now News.”

ARNOLD LEVINE

Sebastopol

Ham-handed humor

EDITOR: George Will made a ham-handed attempt at humor in a Thanksgiving Day column (“A nod to one more year of US hilarity”), proving once again that you can’t laugh at politics and culture while, at the same time, ignoring the irony and deception that drives our world of news and information.

GARY KASTERNAKIS

Petaluma

The Gratitude section

EDITOR: Many thanks for the stunning, deeply moving Gratitude section you included in the Thanksgiving Day edition. The tales of homespun heroism evoked tears but also an upwelling of love for this resilient community. Your leadership in making meaning and shaping our memory of these events is greatly appreciated.

LINDA LEE CLADER

Santa Rosa

Slow but sure

EDITOR: As I listen to the news this Friday morning (concerning Michael Flynn’s admission of lying to the FBI), I am encouraged that the great experiment in American democracy has the strength in its underpinnings to bring uncomfortable, messy truths to light.

While I openly admit my revulsion at the destructive clownish, and frankly stupid, behavior of the 45th president, I am encouraged by the careful (if slow) progress of Robert Mueller’s investigation. His truly non-partisan work has the potential of exposing how our own elected leaders may have manipulated the electoral process to further their political goals.

Regardless of our respective political leanings, we should all preserve and protect the honest dealings of the people’s government.

MARK H. DOWNING

Santa Rosa

More granny units

EDITOR: Sonoma County’s housing shortage is difficult to solve. When we look at the massive rebuilding effort, especially in middle-income areas, we need to look at all solutions. What if government, contractors/developers and lenders banded together to encourage victims who are rebuilding to add second dwelling units (“granny units”). We could not only help add thousands of lower-cost units to the market, but aid those middle-market citizens in creating more income for themselves, enabling them to afford the ever-increasing cost of living in Sonoma County. There are insurance and lending issues that need to be coordinated, but what better use can we make of the $20-plus million raised then to support our fire fighters, teachers and blue-collar workers in building these units (whether grants or loans) and having a chance to afford to live in Sonoma County.

BRUCE DZIEZA

Sebastopol

A real threat

EDITOR: I am 80 years old. I have lived through wars, recessions and a whole lot of political turmoil. However, in all that time I have never believed that my country and my way of life had been at any serious threat. Our current president has changed all that.

Donald Trump is a truly disturbed person and, I believe, is a real mental case. Many of his actions go well beyond irrational and approach true evil. I, fortunately, will probably not have to live to bear the results of this threat to our future and can only hope our political system is strong enough to rid us of this odious and dishonorable man before he does irreparable harm to our nation.

WILL TURNER

Forestville

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