It’s that time of year when predictions for the new year are rolled out. Here are some that won’t require a mystic or crystal ball:
• People will argue endlessly about everything — and not a single mind will be changed.
• Politicians will deliver speeches appealing to the middle class and then pivot to serve a different economic demographic.
• Many people will earn more money — but it will buy less than it did before.
• Social media will steal even more time from those who use it.
• More famous people will be accused of wrongdoing — and they will suddenly drop out of sight to spend more time with the family.
• People will complain about Austin traffic and then not use public transit, nor vote to expand light rail whenever that comes up next for vote.
And at the end of 2018, someone else will make these same predictions that will come true again.
DON CILLO, TEMPLE
I recently watched a TV program about Sasquatch, the 9-foot tall, hairy, muscular, bipedal ape-like creature. I was excited because I believed there would be some images that a reasonable person would believe that Sasquatch exist. The tedious hourlong program was especially pitiful because Sasquatch scenes were at night — and the best evidence of the existence of the mysterious creatures was a tall, broken tree limb.
It is common sense that it is impossible to prove that a creature, a thing or a collusion did not, or does not, exist. In politics, “control freaks” use this phenomenon to their advantage.
The newest popular American folklore is that Hillary Clinton lost; therefore, the Russians must have interfered. The only evidence is ad hominem against President Trump — and includes that Trump does not have the morals of Bill Clinton. Democrats, get a life.
BILL TURPIN, GEORGETOWN
As 2018 approaches, these are my New Year’s Resolutions:
• I accept that President Trump is a bigot, a racist, a sexist with an overblown ego — but was elected by the American people.
• I accept that Congress passed a tax bill that awards corporations and the rich at the expense of Americans like myself.
• I accept that we are the only nation that is not a member of the Paris Climate Agreement— despite three major hurricanes and a California wildfire still burning.
• I accept that the Russians interfered in our elections with the collusion of the Trump campaign.
• I accept that 800,000 Dreamers may be deported.
• I accept that 9 million American children may no longer be covered under the Children’s Health Insurance Program.
Of course, I don’t have a good track record in keeping my resolutions so, as Trump would say, “We’ll see.”
FARIDA KHAN, AUSTIN
Re: Dec. 24 commentary, “We may be seeing end of the middle class.”
Colorado State University professor Steven Pressman has been studying the middle class through the lens of inequality for decades. Perhaps he needs to see an optometrist?
His analysis claimed new deal legislation fueled the post-war boom, not the victory that left U.S. industry intact and the rest of the developed world in ruins. Pressman claims U.S. tax policy, anti-worker bias and pro-business domestic policies decimated the middle class.
Pressman’s lens left the rest of the world out of his analysis. What about the incredible productivity gains of the developing world since World War II? What about the competitiveness of U.S. industry versus the rest of the world? Various economists claim the Indian middle class is 600 million people and the Chinese middle class is 300 million to 400 million. This won’t affect the U.S. middle class? Bifocals? Trifocals? More lenses, please.
JAMES GREENE, 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
What kind of tax bill steals from children’s health care to give to the rich? And at Christmas time? What kind of so-called Christian does that? Stealing money from homeless vets at Christmas time?
Y’all make me sick. Our forefathers would be ashamed to call you Americans. The GOP has turned into a bunch of fake Christians.
From now on, when people think of red states, they’ll think of Putin-loving, immigrant-bashing commies. Not the blues-creating, neighbor-loving south of old, with hounds on the porch and good food for all. At this time of year, I would ask you to look into your hearts and ask, what’s more important — making the rich richer or helping Tiny Tims?
MIKE LUTHER, LOCKHART