Tax plan only helps the rich

To the Editor:

For the last 40 years, the middle class in this country has been shrinking. We have seen a massive redistribution of wealth from the poor and middle classes to the very rich.

In 2010, the Citizens United decision gave corporations the power to buy our elections and control our political process. A lot of people who think the Republican tax plan will benefit the middle class are only looking at the brackets; what they aren’t taking into account is the effect of lowering the corporate tax rate.

Recently, the Paradise Papers revealed how billionaires like Trump are exploiting loopholes in the law to avoid taxes by stashing their profits in offshore tax havens. The Republican tax plan does nothing to close these loopholes. If it passes, it will be a disaster for this country.

Eighty percent of the tax breaks will go to the top 1 percent, 30 percent of the middle class will pay more, and 40 percent will go to the top one-tenth of 1 percent. They plan to cut Medicaid by $1 trillion, slash Pell grants by $100 billion, and cut affordable housing by $37 billion.

All of these tax cuts will increase our national deficit by $1.5 trillion. This is on top of the already existing inequality in this country. Already, the top one-tenth of 1 percent owns as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent, and the 20 wealthiest Americans own more wealth than the bottom half of America.

Trump and the Republicans do not represent us. If you would like to meet some real, local people running for office who have your best interests at heart, then come to the Democratic Club, which meets every second Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the Pine Tree Restaurant. Also, take a minute to call your congressmen and express your disapproval for this tax plan.

Andrew Clemo


Dangerous decision

To the Editor:

The Tuolumne County Board of Supervisors held a special meeting Tuesday night at the Opera Hall for the purpose of listening to the opinions of experts and the public on the subject of allowing marijuana to be grown outside on privately owned parcels of land. One speaker after another eloquently and clearly stated that allowing any outdoor growing would be a dangerous and costly mistake. These speakers included the county sheriff, the superintendent of public schools, a CHP commander, pastors, a police officer, and long time residents. The supervisors listened carefully and frequently praised the speakers and the supportive audience. And then they voted for a preliminary ordinance that ignored almost everything that was said.

The reason given for this very strange vote was that people with medical needs may need more than the six plants grown indoors that state law allows. The supervisors failed to understand two very important points:

1. All outdoor growing of marijuana plants would bring about a long list of serious and costly problems.

2. There is a simple solution to helping those in serious medical need.

The solution is to allow patients with a letter from their doctor to apply for a variance in the ordinance rules. This procedure would be similar to a handicapped person obtaining a handicap placard. So, instead of saying marijuana plants could be grown on all parcels an acre or more in size, outside plants would only be allowed for the very small percentage of patients who have a serious medical need. A simple solution that should satisfy all concerned parties.

It’s not too late, because the proposed ordinance has not been finalized. Please contact your supervisor and ask he or she to vote for this idea.

Dave Bohnen