Letters to the editor: Dec. 4, 2017

Re: Nov. 29 commentary, “U.S. Rep. Bill Flores: It’s time for a 21st century tax code.

Rep. Bill Flores’ comments about “updating” our tax system contain the same old propaganda his party has been putting out for years, especially his talking about the so-called “death tax.”

An objective analysis of the inheritance tax shows that the number of families potentially affected is minuscule and has little to do with family farmers. It has everything to do with rewarding wealthy donors and locking in fortunes to ensure the perpetuation of an upper-class royalty. He should be ashamed.


I hope that these recent outings of inappropriate behavior are a sign that our culture is finally growing up. This has been going forever and it’s about time this was properly addressed. If you look at the old James Bond movies, they’re no longer sexy and suave; they’re just cringeworthy.

And, kudos to the companies, like NBC and PBS, who are addressing this promptly and appropriately. In their defense, they probably had no indication that these folks were going to act like they did. I mean, it’s not like they had a recording of them bragging about grabbing women’s genitals.


Here is an open letter to Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz:

I think that most Christians would agree that their duty is to take care of the poor. This tax bill would take care of the rich.

I think that most Christians would agree that their duty is to take care of the sick. Repealing the individual mandate would leave many of our sick Americans with no health care.

I expect you to act like a Christian, or stop calling yourself one.


Re: Nov. 18 commentary, “My family fought for the Confederacy. They were heroes.”

This letter is reference to Marshall Kuykendall’s commentary in which he honors his Kuykendall ancestors as Confederate patriots during the American Civil War.

My great grandmother was Mary Jane Kuykendall, born in Tennessee and raised in Smith and Van Zandt counties. Many of her family members served in the Confederate Army. I do not honor them for that; I can only say that they were victims of a badly conceived legal and social system that gave them few choices.

As circumstances would have it, she married my great grandfather, who came from Indiana to Texas in 1850. He remained loyal to the Union. I often wonder how he survived that while living in Smith County in the 1860s. Such people who remained loyal to the United States under difficult circumstances should be honored.


The move to repeal the individual mandate for the Affordable Care Act within tax reform legislation is misguided.

No American goes without “health care.” But people end up in the emergency room, where care is delivered inefficiently, unfairly and inhumanely. Treatable medical conditions are not attended to and go on to become costly tragedies: a breast mass, ignored, may become a more advanced cancer. The bills for all this ER care are ultimately paid by all of us though increased taxes (local, state, federal) and hospital cost shifting — charging insurance companies more to cover those patients who cannot pay their bills.

The GOP proposal is deceitful accounting. Health care costs are being hidden and shifted so as to justify the Republican tax plan. Health care will be more expensive for all. It is time for our leaders to address the real issues of cost and accessibility of health care in this country.


If those who watch television and read news articles online are constantly exposed to the “supposed” bad choices of a president, the policies proposed may not be given a chance in the first place because of the already negative view possessed by the public.

If I am an uneducated voter, how am I supposed to be more informed when I am only hearing about the scandals that a current presidential candidate is in? I agree that it is important to know, but I think greater importance should be put on learning their platform.


Sens. Ted Cruz and John Cornyn, like all of us, are going to die someday. As they lie in state, according to my theology, hearing from a loving-kindness driven creator, I imagine they are reflecting on the words, “What did you do for the least of these while on Earth?” The answer is, “Oh my God, our focus was on the Koch brothers, the Mercer families and being sure their welfare was first. The creator continues, “Was it too much to at least fund the CHIP program, so children could have health care and food?”

I believe Cruz and Cornyn have souls and consciences; however, in today’s world it seems they practice ignoring anyone who is not paying them on top of their health care and lifetime salaries we provide.


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