Letters to the editor: Aug. 9, 2018


Re: Aug. 4 article, “Amid Trump-Koch feud, Abbott talks Texas v. California.”

Gov. Greg Abbott, given his long reign as top politico is this one-party state, must be credited for his electoral prowess and devoted partisanship, though his views regarding matters of political economy and social theory are peculiar.

His vision of Texas as the “leader of the national movement for capitalism” and of California as a leader in the race “toward socialism,” apart from its naiveté, distorts a less dramatic contrast between private versus public interest.

In Texas, government policy is mostly driven by private interest, whereas in California public interest is always a matter of consideration in government policy. Capitalism, of course, reigns supreme in the political economies of both states, as it does nationally. Isn’t Abbott aware that world capitalism’s first trillion-dollar corporation, Apple, is a California native?

H. SCOTT COOK, SAN MARCOS

Re: Aug. 5 article, “Gov. Abbott releases his 2016 income tax return, paid $8,668.”

Wow! I’d like to know how the governor managed to reduce his federal income taxes from $29,000 in 2011 to $0 in 2013.

Obviously, I’m missing out big on those “big deductions” — property taxes and mortgage interest — that I declare faithfully when I prepare my own return each year. Maybe the governor would care to share his secret with his constituents?

VALERIE BAUHOFER, AUSTIN

Re: Aug. 5 commentary, “Women should decide what happens after an abortion.”

It was so refreshing reading Rabbi Amy Cohen’s comments about women who really know how care for themselves and decry the need for inane governmental interference or regulations.

It would be equally refreshing if those politicians who think they know what’s best for women and which public restroom one should use would actually do something beneficial for our state: determine how to improve infrastructure, attack the property tax inequities, or ensure equitable public education funding throughout Texas.

GARY GIUS, KYLE

Re: Aug. 4 commentary, “Give Austin a broader voice; vote on democracy dollars.”

The League of Women Voters Austin Area commends Erik Moore’s commentary in the Statesman about democracy dollars, a program that puts the power of the vote before the power of the money in Austin elections.

The league has been communicating with the City Council because there have been no public discussions on the Charter Commission amendments. Their plan is to put two amendments on the November ballot with no public input. If these two charter amendments are adopted by voters in November, it will be two years before others can be reconsidered.

The league asks the council and mayor to put no charter amendments on the November ballot. Instead, put them on a 2019 ballot, and have opportunities to discuss the amendments next year. It is ultimately up to the voters to decide the merits of the programs — but they must be informed.

DIXIE DAVIS AND FRANCES MCINTYRE, LEAGUE OF LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS AUSTIN AREA ADVOCACY, AUSTIN

Just wondering: How much does it cost the American taxpayer every time President Trump spends a weekend at one of his own golf clubs?

Do our taxes pay for his room and board at his own hotels? Do our taxes pay for the large number of people who must accompany him, such as the Secret Service, White House staff and various personnel? I would also like to know who is paying for his political jaunts to campaign for Republicans. He has taken several of those lately and has announced that he plans on taking five or six a week from now on. Who is paying for the flights, Secret Service and staff on these political jaunts? Are campaign funds of the candidates paying for all of this, or are our taxes?

And, by the way, who is minding the store while he is constantly away playing golf and playing politics? Just wondering.

CONNIE MAVERICK, WIMBERLEY

Re: Aug. 5 commentary, “Myth, not renewable energy, generates Georgetown’s buzz.

Misstatements and unfounded predictions are to be expected from the author’s organization, whose raison d’être is climate denial and support for the fossil fuel industry. Where to start?

The author misrepresents the ratio of wind and solar Georgetown uses. It is unlikely that the city will run out of both at the same time, even with high demand — especially if the city initiates its plans to expand rooftop solar.

I am tired of hearing that renewable energy will produce pollution to develop the necessary infrastructure. Did that ever stop the petroleum industry, which pollutes during and after construction? Is the petroleum industry not highly subsidized?

Improved renewable energy technology continues bring costs and pollution down while creating jobs. The solar industry is working closely with wildlife groups to minimize harm to birds and bats, while climate change continues to cause extinction.

MARTIN BYHOWER, GEORGETOWN



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