Letters to the Editor

Border camps: Letters to the editor, Sept. 6, 2019

After weeks of waiting for their turn at the Casa del Migrante Nazareth shelter, a Venezuelan family prepared to seek asylum in the United States, in the border town of Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, July 10, 2019.
After weeks of waiting for their turn at the Casa del Migrante Nazareth shelter, a Venezuelan family prepared to seek asylum in the United States, in the border town of Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, July 10, 2019. NYT

Just what is our country coming to?

What is this country, if not the world in general, coming to when a federal appeals court has to force an order requiring “detained” children captive at our border be supplied with basic and adequate food, water, bedding, toothbrushes, and even a bar of soap? In the words of Jesus himself from the Gospel of Matthew: “See that you do not despise one of these little ones.” Oh God, please help us.

Rick Flores, Fresno

On climate, go past business as usual

I’m glad that the Heritage Foundation and other conservative groups now acknowledge that climate change is real and caused by greenhouse gas emissions. But the recent opinion piece by Heritage staff seems to claim that we can’t address climate change without harming our economy.

Three thousand five hundred economists, including all living former Federal Reserve chairs (ie, Alan Greenspan, Janet Yellen) and 27 Nobel Prize winners urge putting a price on carbon where it is produced and returning all the collected fees to American households. A recent study aggregated the results of 11 top peer-reviewed models that simulated the results of such a policy. There was a clear consensus this would not harm the economy. The study showed it would save thousands of lives, reduce climate risk, and save money by eliminating a number of regulations.

HR763 is a bipartisan bill that proposes such a policy and now has 59 co-sponsors in the House. The bill uses market forces rather than regulations to inspire the innovation we need to drawdown greenhouse gas emissions. It also offers a just transition to a cleaner energy economy. For the sake of our children’s future, we need to move beyond “business as usual”

Andrea Farber De Zubiria, Fresno

A key water decision is at hand

No one would volunteer to tax themselves, right? Wrong. In a historic first, water agencies and other water users have agreed to tax themselves annually with the money going to environmental restoration projects and water supply reliability.

This is just one piece of the voluntary agreements on water that the Newsom administration is trying to bring across the finish line. But all that work will be thrown out the window if Senate Bill 1 is passed as written.

Through years of negotiations between all water users, California is on the verge of making these voluntary agreements a reality. In return for taxing themselves, water agencies will receive a set amount of water agreed upon by all sides, making the supply more reliable for everyone.

Without amendments to SB 1, there’s no water reliability, no voluntary funding agreement, no fully funded environmental projects and no voluntary agreements. SB 1 is most certainly a recipe for continued failure of California’s water policy.

Daniel Errotabere, Riverdale

A $10 million settlement between Kings County and high-speed rail is a difficult pill to swallow. Isn’t HSR a public funded project? An assumption here, then, is taxes collected over the life (or death) of the fiasco are paying for the beautification of Corcoran. Paying for staff time (already paid by public funds), a relocation of a fire station and for unnamed general plan updates. HSR as originally touted is dead and was from the outset.

Close it down. Let the graffiti artists take over. The HSR project will be labeled “Stonehenge” West.

Carl Lyon, Visalia

For senior care, follow the money

I discovered a few years ago that Medicare pays an average of $6,000 a month to care for seniors in skilled nursing facilities. That money often goes to large corporations that own nationwide facilities, making multimillions of dollars off taxpayer money.

Contrary to that, IHSS pays individuals for caring for seniors in their own homes. The same care (actually better care) is provided for half the cost in a home setting, which has been shown to benefit health and well-being.

The same corporations who benefit from this form of human warehousing also lobby the government to maintain those Medicare contracts and to discourage in home services. That’s why IHSS workers are not being paid appropriately. Follow the money

Libby McKay-Johnson, Fresno

There’s Trump, then there’s reality

“Huge” reality check:

1. The U.S. lost on trade. The trade war with China is destabilizing the stock market. Trade deficits with China and Europe increased , and are now higher than when Trump took office. Tariff income didn’t even cover the taxpayer bailout of farmers.

2. Surveyed manufacturers state production is seen at lowest level since Trump took office, with many blaming Trump’s tariffs.

3. Farmers in the Midwest are going broke at record rates.

4. Job creation under Trump is 800,000 short of the job growth seen during the first 2.5 years of Obama’s presidency. Remember, this is with more people retiring than hired.

5. Tax cuts would pay for themselves. We now added trillions to the national debt. More than 70% of surveyed CEOs and economists expect a recession before the end of Trump’s first term. Kudlow, Trump’s economic advisor had said in December 2007, “There’s no recession coming. The pessimists were wrong. It’s not going to happen.” No planning has been made for a Trump recession.

Trump said, “You have no choice but to vote for me, because your 401(k)’s down the tubes, everything’s gonna be down the tubes.”

Unfortunately, it’s happening now.

Devin Nunes may never recover his losses from his new micro farm.

Bill Osak, Visalia