The planet and the debt
EDITOR: It’s easy to envy folks who have more than I do. But, really, as long as I have enough, I don’t care if rich folks can leave $22 million to their kids tax-free. What I care about is my kids. They’re going to be left with a massive national debt, and they’ll have to pay for it with higher taxes, fewer benefits and no social safety net.
They’re also going to be left with a planet that is too hot and violent to live on.
Barack Obama was slowly but steadily bringing the deficit down. He was also working to slow down the rise of the average global temperature. And that has changed too with the present administration. When rich people leave their kids $22 million tax-free, don’t they care that the planet will be uninhabitable for them? It seems pretty foolish to me.
And you know what they say about a fool and his money.
Middle-class tax breaks
EDITOR: All I see in the paper is that the new tax law gives breaks to the “rich.” I haven’t seen any actual details of the law. As usual it seems that you haven’t read the law, so I did.
It provides some help for the middle class: doubling the standard deduction to $24,000, doubling the child credit to $2,000, allowing use of 529 funds for private grade schools and high schools, a $10,000 deduction for state taxes (that would seem aimed at the middle class).
Close to half of Americans pay no income tax. You can’t get lower than zero, and this law doesn’t seem to change that.
So the rich and corporations get a break. Good, maybe they will stay in the U.S. and hire Americans. It seems the problem in your eyes isn’t about taxes but about redistribution and continued division of Americans into us and them.
Columnist Ron Lieber needs therapy for his rich envy. He is so upset that the rich get to contribute to their children’s 529 college funds (“529 Plans let wealthy save for private school,” Dec. 24). So can everybody else. The rich don’t get preferential treatment.
Read the law. Quit the us vs. them, and get Lieber to go to therapy.
Health bill hearings
EDITOR: In a Dec. 23 letter, Don Waltenspied said the Affordable Care Act was “jammed through Congress” without adequate hearings or Republican input (“Did history repeat itself?”). The truth is, the act was subject to 47 public hearings and a round table before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee and 53 before the Senate Finance Committee. In addition President Barack Obama invited the Republican leadership to the White House at least twice to discuss the bill, and there were more than 130 Republican amendments. If you question this, look it up yourself.
Isn’t it time the Republicans stopped lying to Americans about what happened and started bipartisan cooperation?
Toxic political climate
EDITOR: In my 38 years of professional work and in my private life, I have supported and worked for justice, equality and inclusion of all people to achieve a society in which we each have opportunities to improve our life situation and that of our children. I have seen the positive results of bringing people along by offering them programs, education, affordable housing, training and jobs.