Re: Jan. 1 commentary, “Time is right for Texas GOP to fix property tax system.”
I totally agree that property taxes in Texas are egregious. I’m not surprised that, despite having no state income tax, Texas ranks as the 14th-toughest for taxpayers.
What this commentary fails to mention is that it’s the portion of property tax we pay for schools that is the main culprit. Taxes paid to local government entities, who the writer says should be subject to a cap that triggers a vote, are less than half the tax bill for most of us. The current “Robin Hood” policy, which sends millions from Austin to other districts every year, is what is really killing us.
Fix school funding — and all of us will be able to keep more of our hard-earned dollars. However, funding for schools — unless we’re talking about vouchers for private schools — has never been a Republican goal, so we will continue to be crushed out of our homes by rising school taxes.
RONA DISTENFELD, AUSTIN
Re: Dec. 27 article, “Trump slams FBI, Obamacare in post-Christmas tweets.”
“Obamacare’s Mandate!,” repeated with a demonized snarl, has worked for the Republicans. President Trump is giddily tweeting that the elimination of the mandate “essentially repeals (over time) Obamacare.” So, another campaign promise appealing to our worst impulses is checked off the list, while millions may lose their health care safety net.
Yet, the mandates keep coming: sales taxes, gasoline taxes, fees and more. I’m mandated to pay this year’s school taxes, though I have no children in school. I’ll pay mandated automobile inspection, though my car is in perfect condition. I’ll soon pay my mandated income taxes to pay for programs I hate (a border wall) and programs I like (parks).
So, how do I feel about these dreaded mandates? On balance, pretty good. Along with most of us, I’m happy to share our mandate to pay for what it takes to have a good and great country.
MICHAEL HOVIS, WEST LAKE HILLS
I have asked Congressman John Carter to support the Alexander-Murray bill to ensure access to affordable health care insurance by reinstating cost-sharing reduction subsidies. Since this will not negatively affect insurance access and will reduce the federal deficit, there is absolutely no reason not to approve this bill.
Since the Republicans have failed to come up with a health care plan of their own, it is now imperative to do what is necessary to assure that the Affordable Care Act continues to be viable. Texas has the largest number of uninsured people in the United States — and our representatives in Congress should address this life-saving issue by voting for the ACA stabilization bill.
PAMELA OGLESBY, CEDAR PARK
We cannot allow these attacks against the FBI and Department of Justice to continue. This is witness intimidation and obstruction of justice.
As a member of Congress elected to represent your constituents and to uphold and protect our democracy and Constitution, I urge Sen. Ted Cruz to take immediate action to protect the Mueller investigation and to stop these baseless and illegal attempts by the president to undermine the investigation, special counsel Robert Mueller, the Department of Justice, FBI and our democracy.
America is watching, Sen. Cruz. Do your job and protect this country and the Mueller investigation. Enact legislation to prevent the firing of the special counsel by a president who is under criminal investigation for collusion with a foreign power to steal the election. If he were a Democrat, you would have impeached him six months ago. Enough with the partisan politics. Put our country and democracy first while you still can.
DIANA CERES, AUSTIN
Re: Jan. 6 letter to the editor, “Clinton relied on IT person to set up server.”
The letter writer calls Pat Buchanan’s Dec. 29 op-ed bogus. He said Hillary Clinton was “operating in good faith” trying to do her job. What the writer neglected to note is that she deleted 30,000 emails after they were subpoenaed.
In whose good faith do you think she was operating for? While he notes the emails that were received revealed no criminal plot, I wonder as do many Americans, what was in the 30,000 deleted emails, and why did she delete them in the first place? The only way to observe partisan politics s take off your partisan blinders.
TOM ORSAT, ROUND ROCK
Considering the urgency of the destruction that threatens our country, why is there nastiness and terrifyingly dangerous behavior at the center of every news program — at home and abroad — from the equivalent of a 4-year-old tantrum throwing, myopic, uninformed bully?
Most among us would take the basic steps to ensure a 4-year-old would not operate machinery or balance checkbooks.
What does it take for a nation of many hard-working, caring, intelligent men and women to jerk a petulant 4-year-old from the dangers of his folly?
We cannot remain inept adults standing frozen in a room ruled by a myopic bully.
Where is our outrage at this infantile behavior?
SANDRA HUSTON, AUSTIN