On infrastructure funding, Trump has it right by proposing that states and corporations pay the bulk of maintenance and construction.
In our early national history, entrepreneurs cut pikes through forests and built ferries to cross rivers. Users probably complained but paid the tolls nonetheless.
It wasn’t until the highway system was established that we became accustomed to federal money paying for roadways. We need more of our early thinking: If you use it, you pay at the toll gate or with higher fuel taxes.
The argument that tolls are unfair is without merit. You get what you pay for. That is how it should be.
We all benefit from having electricity, clean water, phones and internet. What is the difference? Those systems are highways. If you object to paying tolls, then stop paying your electric bill and observe the consequences.
JIM DOWNING, AUSTIN
President Trump’s fiscal year 2019 budget proposal recommends a 30 percent cut in foreign affairs budget. No matter what the bottom line is, the U.S. must smartly invest in effective programs that positively impact the lives of millions that live in abject poverty. House Resolution 466 and Senate Resolution 286 express the importance of education worldwide and coordinating donor-country efforts using the Global Partnership for Education. The Reach Every Mother and Child Act (House Resolution 4022 and Senate Bill 1730) will save more lives by coordinating interagency efforts and focusing on high impact interventions.
I thank Congressmen Michael McCaul and Lloyd Doggett for co-sponsoring the education resolution, and Congressmen McCaul and Lamar Smith for signing up to save mothers and children. The bills would be stronger if Congressmen Bill Flores, Roger Williams and John Carter, as well as Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz joined the effort to make our foreign aid tax dollars smarter.
ANNE CHILD, DRIPPING SPRINGS
Re: Feb. 8 article, “Dan Patrick: Sandra Bullock & Co. can’t shoot Wendy Davis film in Senate.”
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has vowed to prevent a movie about Wendy Davis’ filibuster to be filmed in the Texas Senate chamber. His reason was because “they have already disgraced it once. I’m not going to let them do it again.”
It seems to me that the real Senate chamber disgrace took place when Canadian-Cuban senator Rafael Cruz read from a children’s book on Sept. 24, 2013. Cruz’ decision to read from “Green Eggs and Ham” was a waste of time and taxpayer money. At least Davis had the good sense to stay on topic.
I guess Dan Patrick is OK with such a disgrace and is willing to “back down” when the filibuster is Republican.
PETE VERA, GEORGETOWN
OK, Big Tax Cut — for some — followed by Big Budget Increase shockingly results in Big National Debt Increase. Our fearless leaders once again flummoxed by math.
If you think the existing gang of “tax and spend” Democrats or “borrow and spend” Republicans are going to fix this, you haven’t been paying attention. The only commonality is “spend.”
It should be apparent now to even the most partisan of us that these folks don’t represent you. How’d you like those town hall meetings? Me, too.
Our government is supposed to be driven by the voters, not the party. The only way to fix this is to replace the whole herd. You can’t drain the swamp using the same alligators. (Granted, the newest alligator isn’t working out so well but it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try.)
Vote the anti-incumbent party. Repeat as necessary.
MIKE LOOBY, ROUND ROCK
With all of the talk about the expense and inconvenience of the military parade Trump is talking about, I have another perspective: Perhaps because I am Jewish, I am more sensitive to this than others, but in my mind all I can picture when Trump or others talk about a massive parade of the military through the streets of Washington, D.C., are the rows upon rows of Nazi soldiers marching through Berlin under the watchful eye of Adolf Hitler, or the goosestepping Russian soldiers marching through Moscow while Josef Stalin looks on approvingly.
Trump clearly intends to use this parade as a sign of his imaginary power over the government and the people of this country, much like dictators before him. Instead I see it as a sign of his insecurity and weakness and an effort to convince others that he is more than he is.
RICHARD ANTON, AUSTIN
During the Feb. 13 Senate Intelligence Committee hearing, Sen. Marco Rubio spoke on television of the threat that China poses to U.S. dominance in commercial and military world power. The senator is a little late in his concern if we can believe a January Gallup poll. The survey of 134 countries showed that the U.S. now ranks below China in worldwide approval ratings.
Perhaps this decline is the desired result of the Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. elections, the Russian activity that President Trump has called a “hoax” and all reports of it “fake news.” What further decline in our reputation may we expect without leadership in confronting this ongoing Russian threat and enforcing procedures to stop it?
JUDITH MCDOWELL, GEORGETOWN