Thanks, Arizona GOP,
for lowering my taxes
Last year, the Republican-controlled Arizona Legislature, without any Democratic votes, passed House Bill 2757, reducing state income taxes and aligning state income tax standard deductions with those that were increased by President Trump’s 2017 federal tax cuts and reforms. The federal income tax standard deduction for a married couple doubled from $12,200 to $24,400. Many states, including Arizona, did not follow and kept using the older, lower federal standard deductions.
They were conforming to a pretax reform version of the Internal Revenue Code. Arizona uses federal adjusted gross income as the starting point for state tax calculations, updating the state’s conformity date without making any other changes made for tax increases of $155 million. Arizona will return that additional revenue, along with the anticipated new revenue from online sales tax collections, to taxpayers through rate cuts, a higher standard deduction, and the replacement of dependent exemptions with a new child tax credit. For 2019, my state refund jumped by over $400. Thanks, Republicans!
Skip the races;
they’re a horror show
Before you go to the horse races, please consider that hundreds of horses die on America’s racetracks every year in brutal, painful fashion. In 2019 alone, 756 horses were killed, including 50 horses on Arizona’s tracks (six at Arizona Downs, one at Rillito Park and 43 at Turf Paradise). And these are just the numbers we know about. Who knows how many more die behind the scenes during training.
In addition to this loss of life, horses used for racing often suffer years of intense and solitary confinement, drugs and doping and being whipped or beaten for motivation. And then, when their racing utility expires, they are sent off to slaughter for their “retirement.”
Horse racing is an unscrupulous exploit that harms horses for entertainment and greed. We would never tolerate a so-called “sport” that saw hundreds of human casualties a year and we should not tolerate it for animals either, especially when they have no say in the matter.
Re: the Feb. 16 article “Company making steel for Ariz. wall donated $1.7M to pro-Trump PAC.”
Star reporter Curt Prendergast did another report on the ongoing build of the border wall. He previously did a story titled “Contract for stretch of Arizona border wall raises concerns of improper influence.” The Star is not supportive of building the border wall and has done numerous stories criticizing it. The latest article portrays builders of the wall to have gained construction contracts based on contributing to political action committees supporting Donald Trump.
But, let me turn to former President Barack Obama and the many things given by him to lobbyists. In 2009 the Center for Responsive Politics reported that Obama had elevated 24 of his highest campaign donors to ambassadors. In 2011 the Center for Public Integrity did a story titled “Obama rewards big bundlers with jobs, commissions, stimulus money, government contracts, and more.” The border wall could save migrants’ lives by acting as a deterrent. Is it then not worth building?
Never-Trump anger only drives his support
First, I admit to being a “deplorable.” Yes, I believe we are much better off now due to President Trump’s policies. Unfortunately, I cannot have a civil conversation with friends and family who don’t want to hear anything good said about Trump or want to see him booted from office and put in jail. When I hear statements like this, I smile and move on to another topic.
When someone is filled with so much hate, anger and vitriol it is impossible to calmly discuss the subject. It only makes me more supportive of the president. The president is not afraid to take on the intellectual elites and media. This is what attracted me to him during the election. Since the election the media has fanned the flames of never-Trumpism 24/7. His failure to bow down to these groups has resulted in the continual bias in their reporting and commentary. I am seriously concerned about what things will be like after he wins the 2020 election.
‘Medicare for All’
makes everyone safer
Consider what would be happen in our country if we had an outbreak of something like the coronavirus among our homeless population. Isn’t it obvious that universal medical coverage would benefit us all, not just those who can’t pay for insurance?
Department of Justice
The Office of the Attorney General of the United States was created, along with many other federal legal institutions, by the Judiciary Act of 1789. The U.S. Department of Justice was created in 1870 to handle legal matters arising out of the Civil War, most importantly to defeat the KKK.
William Pelham Barr, an attorney licensed to practice law in the state of Virginia, is the current U.S. attorney general. He is also in charge of the DOJ. In 2017, by annualized continuing resolution, Congress sent $28.8 billion (with a “b”) for 117,274 employees, to the DOJ. In 2018 the DOJ requested that Congress send $27.7 billion for 107,346 employees.
President Trump, aided by Mr. Barr, has corrupted the DOJ beyond repair. Using its constitutional power of the purse, Congress can fight this corruption by defunding the DOJ.
Simple, effective, constitutional; cut their funding.
Trump an easy choice over socialist Sanders
I lived in Venezuela when it was ranked the No. 4 wealthiest country in the world. Today, it is ranked somewhere around 170. That started to happen when Hugo Chavez was elected president by promising free everything. The lowest-income people welcomed it and voted for him. He was followed by Maduro, who has become a socialist dictator. As a result, the income inequality has become one of the worst in the world. If someone believes that socialism will create income equality, they have their head in the sand. If Bernie Sanders (who is not even a registered Democrat) becomes the Democratic nominee, I will definitely vote for the reelection of Donald Trump.
Without honor: McSally shrinks in time of crisis
You seem to think Americans are tired of the ongoing effort to hold the president accountable to the Constitution and the rule of law. You are wrong. What we are tired of is the nonstop abuses of power being committed by this man, the latest being his transformation of the Justice Department into his personal tool for revenge and rewards.
When over 2,000 former DOJ employees, many of whom served under Republican administrations, are on record calling for Attorney General William Barr’s resignation, I think it’s safe to say we are in a crisis, if not an emergency.
If you had any honor, Sen. Martha McSally, you’d stand against a lawless president and with the Constitution and the rule of law. Too bad you don’t.
Raytheon article got scary, fast
Re: the Feb. 16 article “Raytheon a key force behind hypersonic missile progress.”
“Scary fast,” said the bold type on the Arizona Daily Star’s front page, inviting me to turn to the business section and read all about Raytheon’s latest line of deadly weapons. Scary? Absolutely, especially if you’re an unlucky resident of a place the Masters of War have chosen as their target of the moment. Yemen, for instance.
The article quotes Raytheon’s Artie Mabbett: “A layered defense is what we are going to need.” The “we” he refers to must mean Raytheon, which does need an endless global arms race to keep making billions. He couldn’t possibly mean we human beings and other inhabitants of planet Earth. What we need is for the insanity of endless war to stop now.
To all those UA engineering grads considering going to work for the war profiteers at Raytheon: Wouldn’t you rather work to save humanity than help destroy it? You might not get to drive a Mercedes, but you’ll sleep better.
Think about it. Please.
Not everybody wants to shop with your dog
Re: the Feb. 17 letter “Stop letting pets in grocery stores.”
Regarding the recent letter about pets in grocery stores. I think it should cover all stores. I’ve seen dogs in carts, sprawled on floors, and blocking aisles in grocery stores. I have also seen them lying on the floor in JCPenney’s, in Home Goods, Kohl’s, JoAnn Fabrics and even in Williams Sonoma. The worst was in Home Depot, where I saw a woman walk in with a dog on a leash. Just past the cash registers, it squatted and pooped on the floor.
She started to walk off. I said “you are going to clean that up aren’t you?” She pulled out a bag and picked it up, not bothering to wipe up what was left. Another day I watched a man walk in with a dog, not on leash. While busy looking through packets mounted on the wall, his dog lifted its leg and peed on the lower-shelf merchandise. Dogs blocking the path at the Rillito Park Farmers Market are also a major annoyance. Leave your dogs at home!
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