EDITOR: Michael Burwen’s letter (“California taxes,” Wednesday) was based on data rated as false by Politifact on Nov. 1. The numbers used by Burwen were based on an outdated Reason Foundation study.
Although it is more expensive to maintain roads in California than the national average, the cost is 2½ times more, not five times more. California’s state roadways are larger and more congested than in other states, making them more expensive to build and maintain.
Furthermore, the voters of California have, with their votes, supported candidates who are committed to protecting the environment, and they are obviously willing to tax themselves accordingly.
EDITOR: In the weeks following the fires, many of us expressed extravagant gratitude to the government representatives who came to the aid of countless citizens during these emergencies. It is clear that their work averted a disaster that would otherwise have been much more destructive, and even though these people had to be paid with public money to do their jobs, we feel lucky that they were there.
But now that all that is behind us, we are back to griping about having to pay for public services. It is a salient weakness of the philosophy of democracy that many citizens will vote for representatives who promise to save them money without remembering that every community needs services that can only be performed by its government.
Talk is cheap. Starving the public sector is social suicide.
A nation diminished
EDITOR: Here and there one reads or hears of this post-truth era that we have fallen into. If true, then we are at the end of the road of the great experiment in democracy. When the electorate is so easily convinced more with lies than with truth, then how can it be trusted to wisely choose the people who would lead us?
At this very moment, what an absolute majority prefers is not what laws are made or even who is making them. A minority has bent so greatly the rules of election, hindering large groups from voting and seeking to deport others to blunt a fearsome blue tide, that democracy as it was envisioned once no longer prevails even now.
And having elevated to the most esteemed position the foremost purveyor of lies, a nation once great is diminished, perhaps irreversibly, and the whole world knows it. We are now in the post-democracy era.
The Sea Ranch
Under Jackson’s portrait
EDITOR: This concerns “From uncrackable to incomprehensible” (“Thumbs up, thumbs down”) in Tuesday’s Press Democrat editorial. Did you not notice that Donald Trump’s “honoring” of Navajo code talkers took place under a portrait of Andrew Jackson, who was infamous for the slaughter of thousands of Native Americans in the Trail of Tears?
Was the White House acting out of incompetence, ignorance or outright meanness?
ELIZABETH F. CROWN
EDITOR: I read in Monday’s Press Democrat that the Sebastopol police investigation found no grounds to arrest or cite the driver who hit and killed Julie Reibel in the Bodega Avenue crosswalk in August.
I live near that intersection and struggle to understand, based on how the article described the accident, how they were “unable to determine who had the right of way: Reibel or the driver.”