Letters to the editor: July 31, 2018


Re: July 27 article, “Traffic crackdown targeted common violations by immigrants.”

What is wrong with Bastrop County’s “zero tolerance”?

In a car accident, would you like to be hit by a driver with no license or any financial responsibility?

“Zero tolerance” is the price you pay for being in this country illegally. But what about the legal citizens caught up in the zero tolerance? Shame on them for driving with the lack of responsibility and not having a license or insurance, and placing the lawful drivers in danger.

We need more enforcement of this nature everywhere.

LEO O. MUELLER JR., AUSTIN

Re: July 27 article, “Traffic crackdown targeted common violations by immigrants.”

The Bastrop County traffic stops that led to deportations by Sheriff Maurice Cook simply fulfilled Trump’s ongoing campaign rhetoric. By all means, secure our borders — but the status quo is not moral.

The real driver is millions of U.S. businesses happy to save money on low wages. “Thanks for harvesting our crops, hotel service, raising our kids, doing construction and saving me a bundle. Sorry you got deported, but look how much I saved!” Deportations affect only a tiny fraction of the undocumented; they are basically just window dressing to fool the base that action is being taken. Behind the scenes, it’s business as usual.

If a crimp in the flow of cheap workers ever happened, guess who would be lobbying to fix that? We need to have an honest discussion as to which sectors have a legitimate use for this labor source how to get those workers legal status. Immigration reform should happen now.

FRANK SHOFNER, LAGO VISTA

We all want lower taxes. One reader suggests Austin Independent School District simply lower the tax rate and just keep the first $5,000 per student. Well, sadly it does not work like that.

The state’s overly complicated school finance system was partly designed to help hide the fact that it no longer pays for most of the cost of public education. The current funding rules are “designed” to guarantee a certain level of funding per student per each penny of maintenance and operations tax rate.

This means even if Austin ISD cut its tax rate in half, the state would still take about one half of the collections, because every penny of M&O tax rate levied produces more than $5,000 per student per penny. Meaningful reductions will only occur when the state resumes a much larger share of funding for per student at low-wealth districts and reduces recapture for Austin ISD.

JIM BROOKS, AUSTIN

Re: July 26 letter to the editor, “Texas needs reasonable gun safety laws.”

The writer proposes laws to force Texans to store and lock their firearms — and lock their ammunition in another location. As a parent, I can empathize with the horror of losing a child by any means. However, such laws would do more harm than good.

If you’re not a criminal, most people own guns for one of three reasons: to protect family and self; recreational hunting; and gun-collecting. Consider this: It’s 2 a.m. and your home is being broken into by armed men. What good is having an unloaded firearm locked away with ammunition locked elsewhere? Dialing 911 is not going to protect you from imminent danger.

Gun safety begins at home. At an early age, I demonstrated the deadly power of guns — and gun safety — to my son and daughter. After that, not once did they have any curiosity or desire to handle my firearms. Common sense is more powerful than more laws.

LARRY J. MASSUNG, SAN MARCOS

Though I’m no fan of her boss, I must confess to a grudging admiration for Sarah Sanders. Day after day — and all alone — she faces down the Washington press corps as they incessantly badger her to admit that the emperor has no clothes.

Remarkably, she deflects most of the salvos with quick wit and civility, qualities which the president blatantly fails to display in conducting his own press conferences. In addition, his atrocious pronouncements often deny Sanders any access to the high ground of truth and reason as she fends off attacks, thus rendering her media performances even more remarkable and courageous, though ultimately tragic.

HARVEY CAUGHEY, AUSTIN

We are now a lawless land with a misogynistic, white supremacist, sexual assault advocate as our president.

He claims in his own recorded words how he finds sexual assault a fun perk of being a billionaire. I ask every man and women who voted for this thing called “the Donald” if you would allow your daughter alone in a room with this man?

We need to forgive the people who voted for Trump. The act of voting for Trump was a desperate cry for change from the corrupted status quo that festered for decades. Trump was the bomb that blew everything to smithereens. We the people must unite with purpose: to forgive the Trump supporters, and to leave our children’s children a world with peace and prosperity. It ain’t rocket science.

CRAIG C. BUDREAU, AUSTIN



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