Letters to the editor: Dec. 24, 2017

    12:00 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 23, 2017 Opinion

I have written to my elected officials to let them know the tax bill is immoral and enriched GOP donors on the backs of working class Americans.

It is even more immoral — absolutely incomprehensible — that you would vote to give yourself a tax break before reauthorizing the Children’s Health Insurance Program. Children in Texas will die while the idle wealthy line their pockets.

I hope this is the last Christmas many of your GOP colleagues spend in office and that Texas is part of turning the house and senate blue.

I hope you feel a deep sense of shame, and act quickly to reauthorize CHIP and protect the most vulnerable citizens in our country.

PAUL CLANCY, AUSTIN

My kindergartener comes home singing “Jingle Bells”; she knows the names of Santa’s reindeer; she watches “The Polar Express”; and hears about the Grinch and elves at school.

We are not Christians. In fact, she is the only one in her class not celebrating Christmas. But this does not mean we do not share in the joy of our neighbors during this holiday season.

Muslims believe that Jesus was a revered prophet of God. The Qur’an states, “We gave him the Gospel which contained guidance and light … and an admonition for the God-fearing” (5:47). We believe in the virgin birth of Jesus, but do not believe in his divinity.

So, we may not have lights hung on our homes, but we baked sugar cookies and shared them with our neighbors, as our faith stresses loving neighbors. In fact, Prophet Muhammad said, “Whoever believes in God … should be generous to his neighbor.”

AALIYA AHMAD, AUSTIN

My wife and I received our statements from Social Security showing a modest 2 percent increase in benefits, amounting to $54 per month.

However, our Medicare premiums increased by $42 due to the methodology used to determine rates using income from prior years.

We will try to use our increase of $12 per month wisely and we certainly hope this increased benefit will not contribute unduly to accelerating the financial ruin of Social Security and our health care system.

SAMMY GUTHRIDGE, GEORGETOWN

Congressman Michael McCaul,

Having read the latest tax bill, I’m angry and ashamed that you — as my representative — support it. Specifically, the section that describes the types of entities that will receive pass through deductions.

From what I can tell, the bill excludes service entities — like the consulting company I own, which paid over $600,000 in taxes this year — but it includes real estate pass-through LLCs, like the ones owned by the Trump family.

Not only did you literally just give the president a pay raise, you did it on the backs of small businesses like mine — and did it without understanding how much of a benefit you provided him, because you didn’t see his tax returns. Your actions are criminal. You and the cronies in Washington are stealing from me. I’ll see you and every one of the GOP pickpockets at the ballot box.

MATTHEW FRANKS, AUSTIN

What people haven’t grasped yet is this is really a monster tax hike.

Defunded education will mean higher taxes locally.

Infrastructure improvements? Forget it. Higher local taxes and more public/private toll roads.

Health care? Fear getting sick or face bankruptcy.

This list is endless. The ramifications of this raid on the Treasury is almost beyond comprehension.

This a concerted attempt to drown government in the bathtub, per Grover Norquist. Without government to work in the collective interest of the people, we’re at the mercy of the Corporate Kleptocracy, which will make the Gilded Age look like the New Deal.

CHRISTOPHER W. RINGSTAFF

Re: Dec. 19 letter to the editor, “Evangelicals have good reasons to back Trump.

I am writing in response to a recent letter commenting on a column by Mary Sanchez.

Sanchez wrote that many Americans could not understand how Evangelicals could believe that Trump was standing up for Christian morality and principles.

The letter writer stated that while it might be difficult for others to understand, it was not difficult for Evangelicals. Evangelicals supported Trump because he promised to nominate conservative judges for the Supreme Court. This was the first thing that gave me pause. We should not be nominating conservative judges or progressive judges. We should be nominating judges who fully understand the law and apply it fairly to the case at hand.

But the statement that really made me cringe was “He is our hammer — and we are using him to pound you into the ground.” And I thought evangelicals were supposed to be followers of Christ.

JUDY GOODMAN WARDLOW, COPPERAS COVE

Re: Dec. 19 letter to the editor, “Evangelicals have good reasons to back Trump.

I’m not a Christian but have friends who are. Their focus isn’t anything like the spiteful hate expressed by the letter writer. They’re people who are interested in charity, winning people over by their good work, and doing what they can to make life better for everyone.

The writer referred to Trump as their “hammer.” There is clearly no interest in the middle ground that makes democracy work. This attitude is not part of any successful long-term solution that benefits the most people. We’ll see how the next election sorts things out. Hopefully Alabama is an indicator of the future.

In the meantime, when are the real Christians going to step up and take the high ground from this destructive minority?

PETER FLYNN, PFLUGERVILLE

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