Stop paying taxes

President Donald Trump is busy writing/executing executive orders serving his grandiose plans to overturn business as usual in these United States.

I have an idea to immediately overturn Trump's plan to disrupt our government and lifestyle in these United States.

This country has always risen to outside challenges and now the challenge is our own executive branch. We are not powerless, we are the crucible of democracy, and we are the government, as we are the governed. And we are the power.

Recent changes Trump has proposed to the National Security Council have worldwide implications concentrating his power to the few and limiting access to their decisions.

I propose we immediately quit paying federal income tax on all levels, personal, corporate, small business, whatever. We will stop the flow of money into a corrupt, unconstitutional kleptocracy and we will do it now, immediately, a just response to an administration that has lost its mind and moral compass.

The government shutdown folks during the Obama administration haven’t seen anything yet; this is way bigger than anything we’ve seen in the past and far more crucial.

“When injustice becomes law, resistance becomes duty.” — Thomas Jefferson.

Jim Akins

Phoenix

Resist

It seems Trump/Bannon plan to govern by executive actions. Just bypass the legislative branch. After all, what can we expect from a man who said he could shoot someone and no one would care? Well, we care, Trump.

That executive action he signed last week? The one about extreme vetting and a ban on people from dangerous countries (where he does not have investments)? It should have been vetted. Guess he is practicing being a dictator.

He is sloppy, self-aggrandizing and illegal in his manner of governing. He's surrounded himself with oppressive and extremist “Yes” people. He can no longer tell us what he plans to do and how great we will feel about it. Most are not convinced. Anyone who didn’t vote for him are his enemies? That says it all.

Truth be told, he will probably go down as history’s most inept and corrupt U.S. president. Hopefully, his is a short stay.

He works for us.

Subscribe to the Tribune, contribute to the ACLU, and continually call your representatives, also support NPR.

Penny Keenan

Medford

Protect public lands

Early in January the U.S. House changed House rules making it easier to transfer millions of acres of federal public lands to states.

Incoming head of the Interior Zinke and Trump have stated they do not favor the transfer or sale of public lands. Zinke could be fired. Trump could be persuaded to change his mind.

Big money rules the day. Cash-strapped states would be tempted to bend to the interests of logging, oil and gas, mining and other commercial concerns. The House did not make this rule change on day one of session without cause. It was very intentional.

We have enjoyed access to out public lands for centuries for camping, hunting, hiking, fishing, snowmobiling, skiing, and for its endless beauty. Our public lands are precious. They are irreplaceable. If we lose them, there will be no taking them back.

We should all be very alarmed by this rule change. Please call and write Rep. Greg Walden to reverse this rules change. Please help save your public lands.

Sally Humiston

Talent

Medicare is threatened

I am a Senior Health Insurance Benefits counselor and I am concerned about the effects of repealing the Affordable Care Act on Medicare recipients.

The Kaiser Family Foundation has concluded that the ACA has already done much to reduce increases in patient medical costs. This has been done through “reductions in the growth in Medicare payments to hospitals and other health care providers and to Medicare Advantage plans, benefit improvements, payment and delivery system reforms, higher premiums for higher-income beneficiaries, and new revenues,” to quote the report.

Full repeal of the ACA would “increase Medicare spending by $802 billion from 2016 to 2025.” Providers, hospitals and Medicare Advantage plans will receive more money. However, recipients will have higher copayments, deductibles and premiums. Fewer preventative services will be offered. Patient share for prescription drugs will increase, even while premiums decline.

Removing the income threshold for paying higher Medicare premiums will result in lower-income families paying higher percentages of their incomes. Before the ACA, the predicted insolvency date for the Medicare Hospital Trust Fund was 2017. After enactment, the insolvency date was rolled back to 2028. I believe the entire act is something that should be kept and refined.

Gary Pound

Medford

Commerce pick's 'wizardry'

Wilbur Ross has been nominated as secretary of Commerce. The Mail Tribune reported this nomination Nov. 30, 2016. The article touted financial wizardry.

"Ross’ seminal deal, starting in 2002, cobbled once-iconic steel-making companies into International Steel Group Inc., what was then the nation’s second-largest integrated steelmaker. He and his backers in 2004 announced the sale of the Ohio-based firm for about $4.5 billion to Indian-born, U.K.-based steel billionaire Lakshmi Mittal, reaping more than an eight-fold profit, about $2.9 billion.”

Wilbur Ross merely transferred a liability, resulting in private enrichment of a few ($2.9 billion) at significant expense to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp., a U.S. government agency ($2.2 billion).

At the time of Ross’ seminal deal, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. reported, "With combined assets of almost $2.2 billion and benefit liabilities of $4.4 billion, the plans are underfunded by about $2.2 billion, PBGC estimates.”

While cleverly packaged, the reality of math portends this administration’s transfer-of-wealth trinity: privatization, deregulation and cuts to public services.

Paul Kay

Phoenix