Letters to the editor: Dec. 20, 2017

Re: Dec. 17 article, “Viewpoints: Why Austin voters may have the last say in MLS turf deal.”

Your editorial in Sunday’s paper encouraging a vote on the Major League Soccer team’s stadium location means that a very small percentage of Austin’s population will determined in which part of our city this stadium is placed.

In the November 2017 constitutional and bond election, less than 14 percent of Austin voters participated. Our City Council was elected to represent all the city. Let’s leave this decision up to them.


The “Too Big To Fail” bros went scot-free after tanking our economy in 2007, while the rest of us have had to struggle with the damage they did, from which so many have not yet recovered.

Those same fat cats are about to get huge tax breaks at the expense of the rest of us and our already-bloated deficit. All courtesy of our fine elected representatives in Washington, D.C.

At the very least, we must not forget this repeated travesty when they come up for re-election. Enough is enough.


Remember the Republican “voodoo” economics of the Reagan administration? Huge tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations were supposed to stimulate the economy and create jobs and wage increases for the middle and working classes. Actually, it created massive income shortfalls, resulting in a larger national debt.

Corporations in the real world actually do four basic things, in this order, despite what the economists tells us:

• Make profits.

• Raise stock values by buying back stock (this is where the executives earn their bonuses).

• Pay dividends.

• Create jobs.

Notice where we come in? Very little “trickles” down — but Republicans keep selling it and we keep buying. Sad.


The time is now for Sen. John Cornyn to demonstrate that he stands with defending our democracy.

Senator, you need to vocally support Robert Mueller and this investigation. You need to publicly state that regardless of the outcome of the investigation, you stand behind it. When you say that you will support it depending on what it is, it casts a shadow of doubt on the investigation’s validity. Maybe you didn’t mean it like that. Therefore, you have to simply state that you believe in the impartiality of this investigation and you are eager to hear its findings.

I urge you to show that you care about our country — and state that you definitely want to find out what Russia did and if there were Americans involved in undermining our elections. More importantly, say that you stand with your earlier words and support Mueller’s investigation and its findings, whatever those might be.


This week I received a letter from Social Security. All seniors should be getting their letters this month informing them of the large 2-percent increase due to the increase in the cost of living this past year. They did not bother to inform us that along with the 2-percent increase, we get a 22-percent increase in our Medicare premium, which amounted to a $24 increase in Medicare and $11 increase in my Social Security deposit.

I called Social Security to ask about this discrepancy. I was informed by the bureaucrat that answered the phone “because they can; it is in the law.” When I attempted to complain, she hung up on me. The Medicare premium comes off the top before any funds are deposited into our accounts.


When people discuss death taxes, they often ignore one major benefit: These taxes provide a strong incentive for wealthy people to establish charitable foundations. For example, the Ford Foundation was established to reduce the taxes that would be due on Henry Ford’s death.

The legal requirement that these foundations distribute part of their assets each year provides a vital flow of cash to nonprofit organizations that distribute food to the poor and elderly, provide shelter for the homeless, scholarships to low-income students and many other services that reduce the pain of poverty.

If death taxes are eliminated, the big losers will be the poor people in the U.S.


It seems that world leaders will convene again in Paris for more climate talks. Now, I ask, is climate change due to a warmer Earth really that bad? Consider that our planet has gone through major devastating Ice Ages. There have even been shorter periods of cooling, like the Little Ice Age. Wouldn’t even a minor cooling cycle have more negative impact than climate change on our food-producing industries in a world already struggling to feed a growing population?

Imagine if future people, with far better models and supercomputers, realize that the planet is entering a cooling period and muse: “If only those fools of the 21st century didn’t curb carbon dioxide dumping in the atmosphere!”


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