Sales tax solution flawed
Re: July 22 commentary, “Legislature missed chance at property tax reform.”
The column addressing missed opportunities for tax reform by the Texas Public Policy Foundation missed some important points. If sales tax is to be the single source of revenue for state government, while property and business taxes are cut or reduced, the tax burden then falls primarily on the poorer citizens. They will have to pay a greater share of their disposable income for taxes on necessities.
Furthermore, property owners and businesses receive huge tax breaks under the foundation’s plan. They also failed to address what happens when consumption slows due to pay cuts and lost jobs as witnessed from the most recent downturn. When public services are cut to compensate, the poor suffer more. How does a think tank not think about those consequences?
Blame belongs to all
Re: July 21 letter to the editor, “Crime and Democrats.”
The logic used by the writer to blame Democrats for crime and bankruptcy in Detroit and elsewhere could be used to blame Republicans for the recession and America’s lowered credit rating. Republicans were in control when the Afghanistan and Iraq wars started, but their costs were hidden from Americans through accounting games to not include them in the budget deficit. Tax cuts passed during those wars incurred a larger deficit. Under Republicans, Wall Street’s infinite greed destroyed middle-class finances.
Thus, void of facts, simple minds can use simple logic to blame Republicans for the recession. The blame belongs to all. To Americans who don’t bother to inform themselves, to Wall Street, and to politicians in Congress who ask not what they can do for our country but what they can do for their party. Regrettably, blame is always assigned using simplistic logic, void of facts, to come up with simple answers to complex problems.
Guns and stupidity
Re: July 20 commentary, “For Zimmerman Nation, safety is implicitly in a gun” and July 25 letter to the editor, “Simplistic gun column.”
I am assuming the author of the letter is a conservative because he thinks all liberals can do in a discussion is lie. Where were the lies? George Zimmerman wasn’t just watching, he was confrontational when told not to be by his neighborhood watch and the police — that’s the truth.
I agree with John Young that this murder was not about race, it’s about stupidity. I guess it’s easier for people to call people who disagree with him a liar versus looking for the truth. Let me help Young: guns don’t kill people, but stupid people with guns do. And if you’re OK with letting your child go to the store and get murdered with nothing more than a bag of Skittles and a iced tea by someone who was told to stay put, you are a bad parent. And like most of my liberal friends, I fight for the Second Amendment.
Pipe in some water
Am I crazy? They are building a pipeline some 3,000 miles to bring oil to Houston. So why not build a 3- or 4-foot diameter pipeline from Lake Travis to the closest Mississippi River point, which is only about 600 miles away, and pipe fresh water to Austin before it gets to the Gulf of Mexico? Then, try to desalt it as I have heard talked about. Oil isn’t worth much if there is no water to live on.
Obamacare's real roots
Conservatives need to confess they have no alternative to Obamacare because their health care plan is Obamacare. All the complex and unpopular parts of the law conservatives complain about were invented by the conservative Heritage Foundation back in the 1990s. The few simple and popular parts of the law were added by liberals over the conservative opposition. The law’s complexity comes from relying on a tangled web of private companies that have to be forced to compete with each other and only create plans that can be understood and compared without hiring a lawyer and accountant when the government makes them. To get a simple health care plan with low administrative costs that lets you choose you own doctor and keep coverage after changing jobs requires cutting out all the private middle men and moving to a public insurance plan like Medicare. This is the real alternative.
Nathan G. Hardee
Apparently, the City Council members have a choice of following their own preferences and pleasing an important Dallas law firm or following the ordinances and guidelines negotiated by the citizens of Austin from both sides of any given issue. The proposed Paggi Planned Unit Development does not conform to the PUD ordinance in acreage, floor to area ratio, or setbacks. What benefit would it offer superior to conventional zoning? Certainly not environmental. The City Council could offer 50 percent low income housing!
The Waterfront Overlay Board has recommended denial since it doesn’t conform in height (96’ instead of 60’), impervious cover or in any other way to the Overlay Ordinance. Our Lady Bird Lake is a major asset. I ask the City Council to please add to its setting, not detract!