Letters to the Editor

Maybe tax on air we breathe: Letters to the editor, May 18, 2019

Gov. Gavin Newsom uses a chart to show proposed funding to deal with California homelessness as he discusses his revised state budget during a news conference Thursday, May 9, 2019, in Sacramento.
Gov. Gavin Newsom uses a chart to show proposed funding to deal with California homelessness as he discusses his revised state budget during a news conference Thursday, May 9, 2019, in Sacramento. AP file

New for Newsom to tax — air

Well done by Gov. Gavin Newsom for proposing a new $140 million tax on Californian’s water. Activists like the proposal because it provides funding to improve infrastructure and maintain healthy levels over time.

In this light, I suggest that Gov. Newsom and the Legislature also consider an accompanying tax on a common resource that all Californians use, but has escaped taxation — air.

Taxing air will encourage more conscientious use, while also providing funding for legislative oversight. Per Gov. Newsom, officials will refer to the new assessment as a “fee,” not a tax.

It will certainly require legislators to establish a commission to ascertain how much air is being consumed and by whom.

Implementation problems can be anticipated. Equity issues will arise since not all residents use equal amounts of air. Runners and cyclists, for example, use more air than sedentary persons, and should probably be taxed at a higher rate. Do low income communities use more or less air than high income communities? Should undocumented residents be excluded or allowed to breathe freely without taxation?

Undoubtedly, air represents an opportunity for our progressive governor and legislators to tax another essential commodity. I’m holding my breath to see if it happens.

Clark Mello, Sanger

Spanking changes bad behavior

Gil Duran wrote how “brutal, harmful and ineffective” spanking is, but there is another side. Have you seen a spoiled child? A child who has his/her own way, who is asked what he/she wants to eat for lunch and if they’re ready for bed. It is ugly and exhausting.

I’m 70. I taught for 37 years. I have three kids and nine grandkids. Raising a kind, helpful, considerate child is not easy. Children are born with a strong self-interest instinct, and that’s not all bad, but to let it run rampant is ugly to see. Lying is bad, cheating is bad, selfishness is bad. You can talk until you are hoarse, and the child is not strongly motivated to change. A brief, moderate pain is effective in most cases. Duran talks about beatings, whooping, abuse, etc. That’s off the subject. Those are not spankings, and most parents have figured that out.

He offers no alternative. Time out? Lecture? Take away privileges? Many children take those in stride. They are not deterred. But pain is non-negotiable. A spanking is 15 seconds of pain followed by love and care and an explanation of how to avoid this pain. Pain changes our brain.

How many parents have asked, “How do I get my kids to just do as I tell them? Wash your hands, do your homework, don’t hit your sister, stop that!” Every interaction shouldn’t be a battle of wills, children shouldn’t be a strain, a pain, a regret, a negative every day.

Parenting is full time, unrelenting, self-sacrificing work. Let’s give them a tool that is safe and effective. Do it right. Do it appropriately. Do it from love for the child.

Alan Langstraat, Selma

Trump’s ways well known in NYC

Many years ago, I was in and out of New York for business. No, I wasn’t living in Fresno, but a short train ride from Connecticut.

It seemed as if everyone in New York knew the reputation of Donald Trump, and the many problems you would have doing business with him. He lied, gave false statements etc. In fact, this was the same tactic he used against those men he went up against to be the Republican candidate for president. Of course, he followed through against Hillary, and as we know, it paid off.

Today, he’s pulling the same game plan against anyone (Congress) who wants to see documentation that may indicte him or anyone else around him.. The perfect example without going through the whole list is Mr. Barr, the attorney general of the United States. Mr. Barr was served with a subpoena, which he has ignored.. If that was me, I be looking out a window with bars, or looking at an outrageous fine that would break me financially in short order.

If those in charge of the decision to serve the subpoena and having it thrown back in their face don’t t move to the next step quickly, we know, they will lose all momentum, which they deserve.

Ted Maltin, Fresno

Trump wants war, we must stop him

When President Lyndon Johnson could not get his War on Poverty to work, he let the generals invent the war on the Vietnamese nationalists, which killed more than 2 million people.

When President George W. Bush could not attack Saudi Arabia that sent suicide terrorists into the World Trade Center, his Vice President Richard Cheney of the war profiteering Halliburton Corp. invented the Iraq War.

Now the corrupt friend of Vladimir Putin, President Donald Trump has been caught multiple times with his pants down, and he is inventing a war with Iran knowing full well that he is diverting our attention away from his misdeeds and sins. Do not let him do it.

We need to make sure all of our senators and congressional representatives prevent this war.

John Mizenko, Fresno

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