Letters for October 24, 2019

On airplanes and taxes

Re “Revenue seekers” (Newslines, by Ashiah Scharaga, Oct. 17):

As reported, two spoke (thanks, Mary Kay Benson) in opposition to restoring commercial air service to the Chico Airport. Our reasoning (falling on deaf ears) is simple: In a time when the burning of fossil fuel is precipitating an environmental holocaust, our use of air transport should be sharply curtailed, not enabled. Beyond that, short-hop flights (i.e., to SFO) are grossly inefficient—worse than driving an eight passenger van with only one passenger. (Overall, buses are three times more efficient than planes for domestic, intercity travel.)

In other news, the council heard painful facts from men in suits—aka Team Nakamura. Chico is roughly $500 million “in the red” and counting—the lion’s share due to deferred maintenance on sewers, storm drains, traffic signals and, especially, roads. Instead of raising sales taxes in the last 10 years (as did 99 percent of California cities), Chico has been the poster child of tax-phobia and slash-and-burn governance.

A 1 cent sales tax is slated for the ballot in 2020, and would bring in about $18 million per year—little and late. Short of divine intervention, most of our roads—now needing $400 million in repairs—will suffer exponential deterioration and pavement failure. Maybe there’s some perverse environmental silver lining to this mayhem.

Patrick Newman


Not so fast

Re “Where are the tax haters?” (Editorial, Oct. 17):

There is much to hate in the sales tax increase proposed. Bias and disinformation abounded as EMC Research’s survey contacted 400 out of 90,000 plus residents. The desire to address unfulfilled needs should offer voters optional funding sources to achieve a stated goal. A miniscule percentage of potential voters were in favor of the unrestricted funding intended for the general fund. Granted, 70 percent of those 400 said yes, but what about the remaining 89,600? Representative of the rest of us, I think not.

As to the amount, $200 per year per person, that is erroneous. In order for Chico to receive $18 million in tax receipts, a family of four would have to incur $80,000 in taxable purchases. As not all is taxable, how does a family making $40,000-plus do that? The aggregate sales amount would have to be $1.8 billion to award the city its $18 million in revenue.

Chico needs road repair, street lighting, fire and police, housing and homeless issues resolved, but do it with accurate, doable solutions. What if the simple majority-passed measure is used for pension shortfalls, salary increases and other perks? Think long and hard before you vote. You may regret it.

Joe Azzarito


Support Medicare for All

Private insurance corporations kill more than 28,000 of us every year by blocking access to pay for needed care. One in 3 of us skip care even if we’re insured because we can’t afford the additional out-of-pocket expenses. Harsh facts. True nonetheless.

The 2019 Medicare for All Act, H.R. 1384, is the only current national legislation that will change this and it will cost less than what we are spending now.

Go to Butte County Health Care Coalition, Physicians for a National Health Program, National Nurses United, and Public Citizen and read what it does. Join the campaigns for local Medicare for All resolutions. Demand your inclusion in this social good—like fire protection, roads and sewage treatment. Represent your family and friends at the Medicare for All rally in San Francisco on Nov. 2.

Simple facts, clear solution. Hard fight. Let’s win it.

Paul O’Rourke-Babb


The POTUS show

A week in the life of the Disclaimer-in-Chief. More than embarrassing, it’s a serious concern:

The president has actively been obstructing a congressional impeachment inquiry.

Four associates of Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s personal lawyer, have been arrested for alleged campaign finance violations, including attempts to inject foreign money into U.S. politics.

Trump spent time at a Dallas rally belittling an ally that fought side-by-side with Americans in the war against ISIS.

The president announced that he had chosen his Doral Resort in Miami as the site for the June 2020 G-7 Summit, claiming he won’t make any money off it.

Trump’s acting chief-of-staff, Mick Mulvaney, said Trump tied the release of congressionally approved military aid for Ukraine in exchange for help in an investigation of a political opponent, exclaiming, “We do this all the time, get over it.”

Trump released his letter sent to Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan telling him not to be a fool.

Mulvaney went on Fox News and denies it when Chris Wallace pressed him on what he said on camera.

Probably at the advice of consigliere William Barr, Trump removed Doral from consideration as the host site for the G-7 Summit.

Hollywood would be hard-pressed to script this. You can’t make this stuff up.

Roger S. Beadle


Acknowledge the turd

Nearly every opinion last week (silent spring, Trump, PG&E, unsustainable population) whined about the smell while sidestepping the turds of the elephant in the room: free market capitalism. It’s like you are allowed to exercise your human-nature need to complain as long as you don’t mention Big Brother by name. Ten Commandment No. 3: “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.” Until we are willing to reject this heartless, soulless ruler of the world—and to identify its inevitable path to (global warming—oops, not allowed to say that) climate change, scarcity, apocalypse—we are all pawns in the devil’s plan.

Roland McNutt