Letters: 10/3/19

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Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

People want fairness

I noticed the brief letter to the editor commenting on tax fairness and the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). (Re: “Whose side are candidates and elected officials on,” Letters, Sept. 26, 2019).

The richest 1% of Americans own a whopping 40% of total household wealth. 83% of the 2017 tax cuts are going to the top 1%, making our wealth divide much worse. Economies depend on consumer spending and that spending comes mostly from the bottom 90%. 

The Working Families Tax Relief Act would help the uneven path we’re on, by expanding the EITC and Child Tax Credit. Forty-four million U.S. families would benefit and lift 11 million children above the poverty line. In Colorado, 1,821,000 individuals, including 781,000 kids would benefit.

We need the Working Families Tax Relief Act in any upcoming tax legislation.

Donna Munro/via internet

Greta and the Pope

There is a comity of message in Pope Francis’ call for a compassionate Christianity and Greta Thunberg’s campaign for action addressing climate change, a message of caring for the Earth and one another, present and future. The Pope has said he welcomes criticism from Conservative America, and Greta sees the negative attention paid her as confirmation of the fear she and her message create in the world powers currently sitting idly by. Speaking truth to power is powerful indeed. 

Robert Porath/Boulder

Trump-Pence impeachment

President Trump’s spin on his Ukraine scandal is cartoonish, his argument that’s he’s done nothing of substance wrong (“for that?!”), childish and immature.

A president asking for personal favors, financial or political, from another nation in a quid pro quo manner is what the Constitution calls an impeachable “high crime”; it’s a kind of treason since it betrays the national trust. It’s what precipitated the Mueller investigation. Shortly after the Mueller Report was “released” (and covered up), Trump publicly announced he’d accept help from a foreign nation in the upcoming 2020 election. People were rightly amazed, and the FBI Director Wray issued a statement warning candidates that such activity was illegal. Apparently, Trump just didn’t get it — and still doesn’t.

According to the New York Times, the White House has a “listening room” where top officials with clearance listen into a President’s conversations with foreign leaders. Almost two dozen officials, including Secretary of State Pompeo, listened in on Trump’s July 25 conversation with Ukrainian president Zelensky. Here, then, are Trump’s alleged “spies.”

Apparently, several were stunned by the clearly illegal nature of the conversation, and not one, but several, approached an appropriate government official with their concerns. That official, in turn, determined those concerns had enough merit to require investigation and officially filed the complaint as a secondary source; thus, simply by doing his or her legitimate job, that official became the “traitor!” Trump wants to meet face to face and have executed. Of course, intimidating witnesses is illegal Mafiosi-like behavior that’s still further cause for impeachment.

But won’t Senate Republicans dismiss impeachment out of hand? The Hill reports that “GOP strategist Mike Murphy last week said on MSNBC that a Republican senator had told him that as many as 30 GOP senators would vote to impeach President Trump if it were a secret ballot.” Senator Mitt Romney is leaning towards impeachment; Murphy adds that Senate Republicans now fear staying blindly loyal Trump could lose them seats in at least four states, including Colorado. With a CBS News poll showing 55 percent of Americans now supporting impeachment and that number growing daily, don’t assume the Senate and its Republicans are a dead end.

Also, impeachment needs to target Mike Pence. Trump sent him to Vienna to meet with a Ukrainian official as part of Trump’s scheme; so, he’s in the loop and implicated too.  

Paul Dougan/Boulder 

Booker and veganism

In the third primary debate, Cory Booker was asked, “You are a vegan since 2014 … should people follow your diet?” As a vegan Cory Booker gave the worst possible response to this unexpected question. He said “no” and repeated the translation in Spanish as a joke, “No.” He could have said it would help the climate if everyone made changes towards a plant based diet since deforestation for cattle grazing is the number one reason for the Amazon rainforest fires going on for the past month. He could have said that would make a huge impact on our health care system and costs, since the majority of our chronic diseases are related to diet, specifically cardiovascular disease which is the number 1 killer of Americans. He could have said that would be great but I do not plan to legislate people’s diets. Why did Cory Booker fumble this question? Maybe he lacks the courage to lead on this and a number of other issues. It’s fantastic that veganism was finally discussed during a presidential debate.  Whether or not you want to believe it, the Amazon is burning because of hamburgers.

Also, a half pound of beef causes as much greenhouse gas to be emitted as driving 55 cars for one mile. We all marched in the Global Climate March, inspired by Greta Thunberg’s school strike for climate. Greta is vegan, too. Yes, just 100 companies are responsible for 71% of greenhouse gas emissions and we demand change at the top but we can also stop consuming their products to create change.  We can end their profits. Please be a conscious consumer and don’t eat animals.  

Joshua Smith/Boulder