Letters to the Editor, Oct. 24
Trouble ahead, trouble behind. The trouble behind is the election of Donald Trump as president. The trouble ahead is that, by virtue of his personality, he consistently degrades the office of president.
His executive orders negatively affect health care and the environment. He has suspended cost reduction payments to insurance companies such that health care costs for many people will increase. He turns the clock back on environmental regulations aimed at protecting our air, water and clean energy. He opens the door to mining and drilling in pristine areas such as Bristol Bay in Alaska.
If you are not happy with what is happening, then find ways to push back. You can contact representatives, support those who share your values, contribute in any way you can to organizations that are like-minded. These are serious matters and now is not the time to remain quiet.
The Republican-led Congress is also troubling as they advance legislation that puts extractors of natural resources in the driver’s seat. We may well lose many of the gains we have made as stewards of the environment.
Elections matter. We are finding that out the hard way. Stay informed, be active and don’t give up.
The corporate tax myth
President Trump says that our 35 percent federal income tax rate is too high. Here's what we're not being told.
An internet search will provide the following information. A study of 258 corporations that were consistently profitable in the eight years from 2008-2015 revealed that 100 (39 percent) paid no federal income taxes in at least one of the eight years. Two examples: 1. General Electric ($33.9 billion profit 2008-2013, $2.9 billion tax refund, negative 9 percent effective rate. 2. Bank of America (2010 profit $4.4 billion, $1.9 billion tax refund, $1.3 billion bailout. It was reported in 2014 that in 1952 corporate income taxes accounted for 33 percent of taxes collected, whereas in 2014 it's down to 9 percent.
Are we to believe corporations will give up the loopholes that allow them to avoid paying taxes and, in order to "make America great again," pay the new tax rate? Will the "mailbox" corporate subsidiaries (B of A had 300 in 2012) in tax havens like the Cayman Islands come home? When lobbyists spend corporate dollars influencing tax reform, who will be the winners and who will be the losers?
The need for a new jail
The picture of the overcrowded jail cell: Do we want them to be comfortable?
There is a website called Area Vibes, a city comparison tool from economy to weather anywhere in the U.S. Medford has more crime per thousand than Reno, Nevada, a state that has legalized gambling and prostitution. We have parks the drug users and transients take over, people here bring them food, we have green bags, free meals, cheap clothing, social programs to assist, free hospital.
You drive around parts of town and it looks like the living dead, apartment buildings with nobody working. You have made them very comfortable for people with a failure to thrive. They're not going anywhere, they like it here. Why is this community in the business of handouts? You see people getting off the freeway with their belongings. The word is out, this is a destination.