Some can't pay even a minimum

Wendy Tuthill's Sept. 21 letter wasn't loaded with venom, so her motive isn't questioned.

She expressed the belief, generally attributed to Republicans, that every American should pay some federal income tax to establish that they "participate in our democracy." Tuthill doesn't identify what that nominal amount should be.

The requirement that every adult citizen pay some federal tax to qualify as an American is ludicrous, at best.

She advocated, "Democracy requires the responsibility on the part of the electorate to vote and pay taxes." That argument is impossible to sustain since only about 62 percent of the electorate participate in presidential elections, and even fewer in off-year elections.

The vast majority of America's elderly, who pay no federal tax, are existing on a shoestring budget, and those earning less than $20,000 annually, who pay no federal tax, are equally challenged. There is very little, or no, money remaining after those two groups pay for essential needs.

Forcing them to pay federal income tax would shatter their already fragile existence.

Ronald Entwistle

San Pablo

Romney and Ryan don't have answers

Gov. Mitt Romney left Massachusetts with fewer jobs and in economic chaos. Now he and Paul Ryan plan to voucher Medicare, gut Medicaid and welfare while ensuring tax cuts for the wealthy 1 percent. What he did and they plan to do shouts so loud, I can't hear what they are saying.


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And ... prevaricator Ryan's "secret plan" reminds me of the woman who was still a virgin after five years of being married. When asked how that was possible, she replied, "My husband is a politician (congressman?) -- all he does is sit on the edge of the bed and tell me how good it's going to be when I get it."

Translation: He doesn't have a clue how to help the economy.

M. Danny Levin

Benicia

Hercules has gotten best deal it could get

Regarding the paper's article on Hercules land sales, the City Council's actions were properly noticed, with contracts available to the public, discussed and voted on in public meetings.

Regarding two properties for which there is no retail interest and that retail experts have said are not good retail sites, there was a town-hall meeting to discuss the sales before the City Council approved the deals at subsequent meetings.

The City Council directed staff to market the properties for the highest and best use and the highest price in each case, and to consider all land uses. The site that is now in contract with Safeway is obviously an outstanding retail site and that's why they want it. The site that is now proposed for high-end, transit-oriented residential apartments is walking distance from the transit center site and the retail node planned for Bayfront Boulevard adjacent to the transit center.

The final site is also a nonstarter for retail due to location and the best offers were from single-family residential developers.

Steve Duran

Hercules city manager

Nation will never forget Sept. 11

Our nation will never forget 9/11 and the thousands of innocent people who died. The media is so fond of reruns, I find it strange, in remembering, they totally ignore President George W. Bush with bull horn at ground zero encouraging and assuring Americans that no one can defeat us. He has been so vilified, no one dare mention his name.

Neither Bill Clinton nor Barack Obama had a 9/11 to cope with. Clinton ignored the bombing of an American vessel.

Sept. 11 not only was a tragedy in lives lost, it had a huge impact on our economy demanding ever-increasing vigilance.

Regarding repetition: Americans just don't like Mitt Romney. It must be so. The media has told us a thousand times.

Pauline Walton

Lafayette