Letters to the editor: Oct. 3, 2017


Re: Sept. 28 article, “Trump calls tax plan ‘middle-class miracle.’”

Charities and churches should be alarmed about the new Republican tax plan. With the standard deduction doubling and state and local taxes no longer to be deductible, many millions of taxpayers who usually itemize will not do so.

Even though charitable donations will remain deductible, the deduction will no longer be useful to most taxpayers. To the extent that people are motivated to donate by the tax deductibility of their donations and the sense that the government values those contributions, that motivation will vanish. With it will vanish enormous revenue streams for charities nationwide.

LARRY AKERS, AUSTIN

Re: Sept. 26 article, “Gov. Abbott urges Congress to pass latest Obamacare repeal bill.”

I disagree with Gov. Greg Abbott’s recent statement in support of the Graham-Cassidy bill and its premise that reducing federal government in health care and “giving states more flexibility to help their citizens make health care decisions better tailored to their unique needs” will deliver the health care they need. The record of the state of Texas in providing access to health care to persons with unique needs — low-income, women, children and people with disabilities — suggests that what is needed is political will.

National health care policy deserves and requires adequate review, debate and input of elected representatives and the citizens they represent. The budget reconciliation bill is not the legislative vehicle for creating a national health care policy. I thank Sen. John McCain for opposing the Graham-Cassidy Bill.

GLORIA MILLS, AUSTIN

Re: Sept. 28 letter to the editor, “Soldiers’ sacrifices protect protest rights.”

The author cites the casualties of military men and women during periods of armed conflict and writes, “When we ask our military to sacrifice to protect our freedoms, we do not include an asterisk that includes ‘freedom of expression not included.’” He goes further to say, “The greatest threat to our freedoms does not come from outside our borders but within.”

I would only ask the writer to inquire of any veteran what their opinions might be when they observe another American citizen failing to display the proper respect to the American flag during the singing or playing of our national anthem. The constitutional right to protest is a good thing; to display any disrespect to American flag or the national anthem is not.

MIKE BOSTON, RETIRED FROM U.S. NAVY, LAKEWAY

I am an Army veteran who served in Vietnam. I am also a retired Austin police officer.

In this country, we have a right to peacefully protest. I support this right so long as it does not interfere with the rights of others. Being able to take a knee during the national anthem or burning an American flag is a protected right in this country. If the KKK wants to march and gets a permit, they have a right to do so.

I do not agree with burning an American flag or with the views of the KKK or not standing for national anthem; if others choose to do so they have that right. I have decided not to go to or watch a NFL football game, exercising my right to choose.

DELL SHAW, AUSTIN

Re: Sept. 27 letter to the editor, “Entertainers should respect the president.”

One recent letter writer laments the fact that entertainers have been “mean-spirited” because they “bash and ridicule the president.” In addition, she states we “should respect” the president.

What the letter writer is not seeing is that respect is something that must be earned, and President Trump hasn’t earned my respect, nor that of many other Americans. He creates a hateful environment when he singles out people by name on a daily basis — and often in a much more ugly, contentious manner than just by kneeling on a football field or refusing to visit the White House.

Maybe if our president spent some time mending fences and not tweeting every time his little feelings got hurt, our entertainers would want to respect him.

SARAH WILSON, AUSTIN



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