Tax reform: A tax cut for the wealthy

To the Editor:

Americans don’t support tax cuts for the rich. Yet Congress is doing it anyway. It’s like serving pie and watching one person eat the entire pie. Congress is adding $1.4 trillion to our national debt to engorge the wealthy.

So what’s a billionaire? A billion dollars invested at 10 percent earns $274,000 a day. Eliminating the Estate Tax assures Trump’s kids inherit an extra $4 billion — or $1,096,000 daily — spending money. And we’re cutting their taxes?

Big money public relations slogans like “Trickle Down” are a rationalization for greed. The rich keep the money. Today our economy is more profitable than ever; so where’s the trickle down?

Then there’s “Job Creators.” Imagine being naive enough to believe giving our money to the wealthy creates jobs. The rich just keep that money. Today’s economy is swimming in money but not jobs.

The rich and corporate executives don’t go to jail for offshore tax evasion. They cut the IRS budget to prevent being pursued. Now there’s an example of “small government.”

And then there’s the preposterous perpetual money machine nonsense: “Tax cuts make the economy grow and pay for the cuts.” Nah, the rich keep the money. And why repay the world’s most secure investment, our national debt, when the rich own that debt and the stock market?

But raising the national debt does have its uses: it wrongly justifies cuts to needed programs for “Moochers and Takers,” like healthcare, education, infrastructure and Social Security.

Big money campaign donors make big money off our prime quality economy, and they don’t want to pay rent. As South Carolina’s Graham said, “The financial donors contributions will stop …” if Congress doesn’t deliver! How true.

Their best piece of public relations ever was, “Your vote doesn’t count.” When will it end? When we vote against them.

Robert Carabas

Sonora

Thank you for your support

To the Editor:

As your elected treasurer-tax collector, I am writing this letter to announce my retirement. I will not be running for re-election in 2018. I have loved this job, but I am ready for a new challenge. I will be treating myself to some well-deserved rest, time with my grandchildren and traveling with my husband. Then we’ll see what’s next.

Over the past 25 years employed by the county, I have held several positions including work at Tuolumne General Hospital, Animal Control and Child Support Services, and along the way met many wonderful people. I am so thankful for the support I have received from employees of the county and community leaders. I wish to thank you, the voters of Tuolumne County, for entrusting me with the responsibility of keeping the county’s treasures safe.

Shelley Piech

Tuolumne County
Treasurer-Tax Collector

School policy on God and science

To the Editor:

Re: Union Democrat article entitled “Christian family challenges school policy” dated 12 Dec.

I read with great interest Guy McCarthy’s article regarding the incorporation of religious issues in public school science classes. It is clear that the central character in the article, Grayson Mobley, is very bright, very sincere, very articulate and very resolute. However, I feel that he is also very wrong.

The issue of “balanced treatment” in public education has been adjudicated many times. Following are a few court cases.

• In 1968, in Epperson v. Arkansas, the United States Supreme Court invalidated an Arkansas statute that prohibited the teaching of evolution. The court held the statute unconstitutional on First Amendment grounds.

• In 1981, in Segraves v. State of California, the court found that the California State Board of Education’s Science Framework gave sufficient accommodation to the views of Segraves, contrary to his contention that class discussion of evolution prohibited his and his children’s free exercise of religion.

• In 1987, in Edwards v. Aguillard, the U.S. Supreme Court held unconstitutional Louisiana’s “Creationism Act” that, by advancing the religious belief that a supernatural being created humankind, the act impermissibly endorses religion.

In 1994, in Peloza v. Capistrano School District, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a district court finding that a teacher’s First Amendment right to free exercise of religion is not violated by a school district’s requirement that evolution be taught in biology classes.

Since creationist beliefs (where “belief,” as opposed to “fact,” is defined as the deliberate suspension of logic and reason) are not supported by empirical evidence, the legal consensus is that any attempt to teach creationism in public school science classes should be rejected, as has been confirmed consistently by the American court system.

Irwin Schwartz

Sonora

Open your eyes

To the Editor:

If you are worried, you are not alone. The damage being done by the Trump administration is so pervasive and severe that it threatens everything of value that we entrust the government to safeguard and enhance. The unfit and unstable leadership of President Trump combined with a heartless ideology and the Republicans’ allegiance to their wealthy donors is creating an ongoing national disaster. The evidence is there for anyone to see by looking behind the curtain of propaganda, and everyone who sees the truth should be sounding the alarm.

With the Republican party in power, President Trump has had few restraints. They share his agenda and are complicit in every misdeed and every piece of bad legislation. They confirm every appointment without hesitation, so that government regulatory agencies no longer serve the people, but are controlled by wealthy donors. Responsible and knowledgeable civil servants and scientists are being thwarted and ignored, and are being forced out to be replaced by incompetent hacks. The chance of this Congress exerting any meaningful oversight in any area seems unlikely.

Of course, the Democrats in Congress can speak out, but the majority controls the process. For the sake of the our future, the Republican hold on Congress must be broken. You are not alone; you have allies everywhere across the nation. We can work together to stop the damage and to make repairs. It is time for concerned citizens to think about how they can help to get the best people elected to congress in 2018.

I want to add that our friends and neighbors who are being swayed by the ruthless right-wing propaganda deserve our respect as fellow citizens. Let’s take care of our country and each other without rancor toward those who disagree.

John Watson

Columbia

19023995