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Tuesday’s Letters to the Editor

McConnell’s tax claim

EDITOR: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell claimed that the Inflation Reduction Act “increases the burden of taxation on lower-income people significantly.” His statement confused me, so I looked for his rationale.

The act does add a 1% excise tax on stock buybacks and imposes a 15% minimum tax on corporations with more than $1 billion in profits. I doubt many lower-income people are affected by stock buybacks. I could see them affected by small, but less than significant increases, not in taxes, but in the price of some consumer products they buy due to the new corporate minimum tax.

Perhaps McConnell was thinking of the additional taxes the Internal Revenue Service will collect from the increase in tax audits made possible by added IRS funding. Usually, though, such audits affect taxpayers with more involved tax returns — like McConnell himself who, along with his spouse, have an estimated net worth well north of $100 million and surely take advantage of numerous tax loopholes.

In conclusion, I decided the only way McConnell could have made his bogus claim was that, after he questioned his accountant about his personal taxes, he got confused and transferred the answer to lower-income people instead. Or maybe he just watched Fox News.

SHERMAN SCHAPIRO

Eureka

Biden, Trump and GDP

EDITOR: Robert D. Shoptaw mentions the erosion of GDP under the current administration (“Economy destroyed,” Letters, Aug. 8). GDP under President Joe Biden for 2021 was actually higher than GDP in 2019, when Donald Trump was president.

Shoptaw goes on to say the current administration is committed to sustainable development goals. Evidently, this is a bad thing. He quotes Craig Rucker of the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow. This organization explicitly denies climate change and in the past has been supported by two coal companies, Peabody Energy and Murray Energy (both now bankrupt). He then says the World Economic Forum is a threat to our republic. I invite readers to check out its website, weforum.org, to see if they are a real threat.

RON WHITE

Santa Rosa

Turn signal scofflaws

EDITOR: Steven Nielsen’s tongue-in-cheek speculation about a potential Supreme Court ruling causing a profound lack of turn signal usage in Sonoma County missed a key element (“Surprise turns,” Letters, Aug. 7). The massive amount of electrical energy required to activate these turn signals contributes to global warming, and these drivers are really only doing their part to save our planet.

KEN RICHTER

Santa Rosa

Living near a rental

EDITOR: After the Tubbs fire, a lawyer from San Diego bought the house next door to me, which had been a long-term rental. I was told the house would be used by law firm staff while they were working on wildfire claims. Within six months, the property was listed on Airbnb — three bedrooms, sleeps 10, fireplace. The homes in my neighborhood are 8 to 10 feet apart. You can park two, maybe three cars in front. We have no driveways.

This “hotel” next door, managed from San Diego, became a party place. It had overgrown landscaping and landscape lighting that was on 24/7. My neighbor on the other side discovered the lights were very hot. A complaint was sent to the rental manager. Nothing happened. The landscaping caught fire early one morning. The Santa Rosa Fire Department came.

The “hotel” had no garbage service. My cans were used. I complained to city code enforcement, and they promptly cited the property owner. I complained to Airbnb. Santa Rosa police were called many times when noise ordinances were violated. I complained to the manager. She threatened me. The property was sold last January. It appears the new owner will live there. I hope so.

I remain permanently traumatized by the experience. I’m not alone.

CHRIS THWAITES

Santa Rosa

Not so straightforward

EDITOR: Tom Glynn’s statement that the moment of conception is “the beginning of a new and individual human life” calls for a bit of finessing (“News or opinion?” Letters, Aug. 10). Yes, it’s a beginning (and it’s certainly human), but when the “individual” comes into play is not so straightforward. Before viability, in this mother’s opinion, the fetus belongs wholly and indivisibly to the pregnant person herself — not to a religious body, not to the government and not to those with, as Glynn writes, an evidence-based scientific and “atheistic point of view.”

REGAN HEMPHILL

Petaluma

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