Friday’s Letters to the Editor

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Tax rates

EDITOR: Let’s talk tax policy. In 1936, the tax rate for the most wealthy was raised to 79%. It went up considerably during World War II and in the 1950s and then down again, but never dropped below 70% until Ronald Reagan slashed the tax rate. In 1942, the corporate rate was 40%. It’s gone up and down a little, but never dropped below 38% until 1988.

Our current tax rates, coupled with a spending cap on Social Security that caps people who make a lot of money from paying into Social Security the whole year (most athletes cap out after one day), accounts for more than $10 trillion that should be in our economy every year. When you take into account corporations paying zero federal tax and the amount of untaxed money in overseas tax havens, this number goes up to about $12 trillion.

So when the government says it can’t afford to spend more on education, health care, veterans or your grandmother’s Social Security check, that’s why.

JASON KISHINEFF

American Canyon

Seeing the big picture

EDITOR: The suggestion that Burning Man is primarily about art and “orgy dens” is misleading (“Burning Man could be future,” Sunday).

Although Burning Man encourages freedom and self-expression, people get the wrong impression about the Burn if they aren’t aware of its many lectures on science and self-help and the participatory activities in arts and crafts — tai chi, yoga, religion, bicycle repair, alternative energy solutions, building communities and so much more.

A great deal of thought and hard work go into the many weird and wonderful pieces of art and bizarre vehicles that participate. There’s even a half-size replica of a Revolutionary War frigate, complete with three masts and sails, that drives about. This year there was a giant man’s head that had a multi-story maze in it, and a beautiful animated metal Pegasus.

There is much more to Burning Man than parties and orgies.

Go online and take a look. It’s an incredible gathering of sharing and learning for people from all over the world.

C. L. ROGERS

Sebastopol

No promises from SMART

EDITOR: Hey Cloverdale, Geyserville, Healdsburg — in Sunday’s paper, SMART declared it didn’t want to commit to going farther north and be misleading (“SMART stresses fundraising ability”). Does that tell residents of these three communities something? It should.

We may get SMART in the next decade or not. But they still want us to pay for it! I’m sorry, but with the high property taxes and sales taxes we already pay, I am not inclined to fork out any more for something I will never see or use. But Cloverdale has the station — since 1999. We’re ready, SMART.

LINDA ELLIOTT

Cloverdale

Regulating guns

EDITOR: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” However, federal law has infringed on “the people” with laws prohibiting minors, felons, certain domestic abusers and the mentally ill from purchasing or possessing a firearm, and individual states have further defined prohibitions (see lawcenter.giffords.org). Why? Common sense, to protect the rest of “the people.” These are sane laws that no one can argue with.

As a responsible, civil society, we have laws that require citizens to possess a driver’s license, register vehicles, carry insurance and obey the laws of the road or risk losing that license.

As a responsible society, we must require the same of gun owners and criminalize the possession of military arms by private citizens. Doing so wouldn’t compromise our rights any more than current laws mandate.

In addition, the National Rifle Association must be stopped from enabling the slaughter of Americans. The NRA no longer represents sportsmen/women; it promotes domestic terrorism, funded by honest citizens, brainwashed into believing the NRA is somehow benefiting them.

Congress must act. Investigate the NRA; ditch Mitch and the disgraceful president.

CINDY OMOTH

Santa Rosa

Cattle at Point Reyes

EDITOR: I don’t understand why the cattle are being pushed off Point Reyes so people can enjoy it.

The cattle are being blamed for all sorts of environmental crimes. Truth is, it’s people who are the cause of the deteriorating environment, global warming, pollution, etc. Quite frankly, the cattle are more deserving of the fantastic views of Point Reyes than humans are.

Leave the cattle alone. It’s people we need to fence off and limit, as humans are way more destructive than cattle ever will be.

ANISA THOMSEN

Petaluma

California’s lead

EDITOR: The Trump administration wants California to stop the “illegal” clean car deal (“White House tells California: Scrap ‘illegal’ clean car deal,” Saturday).

What this administration has yet to realize is that Daimler-Benz, Ford and the other carmakers need the fifth-largest economy in the world. Moreover, other smaller economies will follow California, making the Golden State’s leadership even more imperative and central to an evolving automotive world.

Each of these carmakers has already spent millions making their products more efficient. Why would they provide Chinese automakers an opening or otherwise delay presenting the world with a better product?

This failing administration needs to follow California. The rest of the world already is.

GARY SCIFORD

Santa Rosa

You can send a letter to the editor at letters@pressdemocrat.com.

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