Letters to the editor: Jan. 2, 2018


Re: Dec. 24 article, “Why the best autism treatment is out of reach for poor Texas families.”

The Republican governor of Texas, as well as all his supporters, should be proud for saving such vast sums of money by depriving poor autistic Texas children of the best medication for them.

President Trump will also be proud of you. Texas for all Texans!

ANDREW ZWARUN, AUSTIN

Well, we are getting closer to my ideal situation: 51 Republicans/49 Democrats in the Senate. At 50/50, we will be where I think we should be permanently.

Anything that is not important will not get done. If it is important for the country, then work it out and compromise.

The same should apply to the House. Each state has equal Republican and Democratic representation. An even crazier idea to attach: If a Democrat is president, then a Republican is vice-president.

I am relatively conservative — Republican, typically — but am so tired of either side of the swamp telling me all they have done is to “help” me.

KENT GIVENS, ROCKDALE

Re: Dec. 28 commentary, “Hyperventilating won’t help us drive Trump out.”

For the liberal New York Times, Frank Bruni’s article is surprisingly on the mark. But not everyone of his points.

Specifically, he wrote, “All signs right now point to enormous gains for Democrats in the midterms.”

This isn’t likely true. He missed the recent 2017 money raising numbers for each party. Democrats raised about $60 million this year, while Republicans report they raised $121.4 million.

This information does not portend well for Democrats in the 2018 elections. Yes, it’s possible that this report does not hold true for the next 10 months, but we deplorables are strongly behind our president and we won’t let him down.

Besides, the only way you are going to “drive Trump out” is impeachment. But, despite your wildest hopes and dreams, you’re not going to find any evidence of “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors” on President Trump.

CHUCK YARLING, AUSTIN

Re: Dec. 26 Scott Stantis editorial cartoon

I had to laugh — derisively — at the cartoon showing the GOP elephant strapped to a rocket that had “deficit” written on it. Surely this same cartoonist could have drawn seven or eight of those rockets during the Obama administration, but I’ll bet he didn’t draw a single one.

KENNETH K. EBMEIER, ROUND ROCK

As Congress looks for ways to pay for income tax reductions, it is amazing that one loophole continues to fly under their radar. Through 1031 exchanges, wealthy commercial real estate investors pay no capital gains taxes if they reinvest the proceeds into another property. This is on top of the depreciation allowance they exploit to reduce their income tax liability.

Every other investor pays taxes on their investment gains. You pay taxes when you sell a stock or mutual fund for a gain. Why do commercial real estate investors get this free ride on both capital gains and income? What socially productive benefit is derived from these loopholes?

Put the 1031 exchange loophole on the chopping block before reducing more deserving tax breaks, such as retirement plan contributions, medical expense deductions, charitable contributions or student loan interest.

MORGAN STONE, AUSTIN

Is it not time to invoice foreign heads of state for the incarceration of their citizens that have committed a felony in our country?

I suggest that we file a lien against the foreign aid going to the imprisoned felon’s country of citizenship. I also suggest that we give the foreign head of state the option of paying us for the incarceration or taking their felon citizen off our hands to be incarcerated in their home country.

Being incarcerated in a felon’s home country would be a much more effective deterrent to those who continually re-enter our country to be comfortably housed in U.S. prisons. Go for this approach, Gov. Greg Abbott.

WILLIAM NUNNALLY, AUSTIN

Texas has been a Petri dish for conservative Christian policies and their effects. Over the years, they’ve sabotaged sex education, interfered with contraceptive use, coerced women to bear children they don’t want or can’t support, created reproduction propaganda, funded fake crisis pregnancy centers, played games with women’s health care options, and worked overtime to restrict abortions.

It’s not surprising that Texas has the highest repeat teen pregnancy rate in the nation and the highest maternal mortality rate in the developed world. No study is needed to understand cause and effect. History will judge Christianity by what it has done, including those who did nothing. Let’s stop this de facto breeding program. We could easily solve these problems, as Europe has, by having a secular government with rational policies rather than ideology.

DON BAKER, AUSTIN

Austin has made a commitment to reduce our emissions of climate-changing gasses and to help demonstrate to the world that climate-cooling technologies are cheaper. The Austin City Council recently signed off on a deal to buy solar at 2.1 cents per kilowatt hour — a price so low that it’s now cheaper than electricity produced by natural gas. In 2015, the council approved a plan to buy 600 megawatts of solar by 2019.

The council approved an initial purchase of 450 megawatts. Austin’s leadership showed solar is so cheap that other Texas utilities are now building massive solar plants, too.

TOM “SMITTY” SMITH, AUSTIN



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