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The tax bills

EDITOR: After weeks of reading the Democratic talking points on the tax cut bills in your paper, I thought it might be time for a fair-and-balanced presentation of some facts.

First, the tax rate cuts are set to expire in eight years because of arcane budgeting rules in the Congress. But ask yourself, what future Congress would allow the tax rates to increase? You might recall that the George W. Bush tax cuts were set to expire in 2013. However, in the budget negotiations that year, Barack Obama allowed the cuts to become permanent, thus converting them into the Obama tax cuts. This made Harry Reid so angry that he never allowed Obama to go into budget negotiations again.

Second, the dire predictions of $1 trillion to $1.5 trillion added to the national debt are based on economic forecasts that only assume 1.9 percent GDP growth. Granted, we are coming out of the slowest growing economy in post-war history under Obama. However, under Donald Trump, the economy is already starting to surge past 3 percent growth, a fact that has been underreported in your paper. A growth rate of just 2.6 percent will make the tax cuts revenue-neutral, and anything beyond 2.6 percent will lower the deficit.

Let’s keep the discussion fair and balanced.

JOE GAFFNEY

Rohnert Park

Charter schools

EDITOR: It was interesting to see a letter complaining about the advantage that private Catholic schools have over public schools in sports competition (“Separate private schools,” Monday) when just two pages away was an article headlined, “One charter school outcome: growing racial isolation.”

The beautiful ideal of public education was that all children would have a chance at equal education and learn to get along with others from different backgrounds. Even if they didn’t have parents who were involved, some parents would advocate for all the children.

How many charter school children meet children of other ethnic, socio-economic, racial and political backgrounds?

Hence Donald Trump, Betsy DeVos, all the NIMBY superheroes. The hoi polloi be damned.

WEEDY TUHTANJOSEPH

Sebastopol

Condemn Hamas

EDITOR: Mona El-Farra points out a crisis in Gaza (“Gaza knows suffering too well,” Close to Home, Saturday). I agree. Now is the time to replace Gaza’s overlords, Hamas.

In 2005, when Israel handed control of Gaza to the Palestinian Authority, Hamas could have brought to Gazans peace and prosperity and made Gaza a light to the nations. Instead, Hamas turned off the lights, both figuratively and literally. Hamas turned schools and mosques into missile launching pads (more than 11,000 attacks so far). Hamas transformed this Palestinian self-governed region into the nightmare it is today.

Hamas hates non-believers more than it loves its children. Its broadcasts teach Gazan children to hate Jews and others. In the past, Hamas used its open borders with Egypt and Israel for terrorism, so now both countries restrict border crossing.

Egypt and Israel choose to keep their citizens safe from the evils of Hamas and extremism. Santa Rosa, it is now time for all people of good will to condemn Hamas and decry its current propaganda campaign in Santa Rosa.

ELI COHEN

Santa Rosa

Degrees are overrated

EDITOR: I read with great interest Wednesday’s article about President Donald Trump’s nominees for science-related positions (“Trump’s science nominees missing advanced degrees”). It is my observation that the most successful people who make the most contributions to technology frequently lack any university degrees. The best known are Steve Jobs and Bill Gates.

I have also witnessed that a master’s degree was given to a person who used my design for a communications processor. He was in line to receive a doctorate, but his thesis was inadequate, and he received a master’s degree as a consolation prize.

Another problem is that an individual spending too much time at a university is subjected to anti-American indoctrination and doesn’t appreciate the free market competitive benefits to industry, advanced technology and job creation.

KENNETH LARSEN

Calistoga

Provoking Sessions

EDITOR: As the cannabis industry becomes more mainstream, it still faces draconian threats from U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Going against a rising tide of American culture, Sessions has stated a frightening intent to use federal resources to disrupt the industry, even in states where it is legal.

For this reason, it is mystifying that the directors of the Emerald Cup would see fit to include out-of-state vendors in this year’s event and promote them on social media.

Some locals ask why the directors favor out-of-state vendors over local ones who have suffered massive losses in the recent fires. Why would they brazenly promote out-of-state vendors on social media, which makes the event non-compliant with Proposition 215? Why would they issue Proposition 215 recommendations to non-California residents in violation of state law and advertise it? And why would they allow this to occur at a time when Sessions threatens to make a grandstanding display of shutting down such operations?

Hopefully, none of this will occur. But why create this undue risk? And why give preference to out-of-state vendors at a time when local vendors need all the help they can get in the aftermath of the tragic fires that devastated much of the local industry?

H. SCOTT PROSTERMAN

Oakland

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