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Newsday letters to the editor for Thursday, Dec. 21, 2017

Newsday readers respond to topics covered.

Linemen work on electrical transmission towers in Barceloneta,

Linemen work on electrical transmission towers in Barceloneta, Puerto Rico. Photo Credit: AP / Ramon Espinosa

Grumblings about tax-code overhaul

I read in Newsday that New York State gets back only 79 cents for every dollar we send to the federal government [“Tax reform raises ire for New Yorkers,” Letters, Nov. 19]. Some Southern states receive more than $1 in services and funding for every dollar they send. The idea is that the richer states help out the poorer states.

Since Republicans say that the new tax cuts are leveling the field for all, will that mean that New York will get back 100 percent of the money it sends to the federal government? Will New York get fair treatment when Washington passes the infrastructure bill that President Donald Trump has been talking about? Unfortunately, I seriously doubt it.

Kathleen Smith, Lindenhurst

So we are having our standard deduction doubled to $12,000 for single taxpayers [“A house devalued?,” News, Dec. 19]. However, I don’t hear the White House talking about the elimination of the personal exemption of $4,050. So, in reality, this isn’t a big double deduction. We are getting an increase of only about $2,000 instead of $6,000.

Why doesn’t President Donald Trump brag about that?

John Wills, Mattituck

Republicans of Long Island, you’ve been had. Long Islanders who voted for President Donald Trump will pay for it dearly.

Property tax deduction, all but gone. State tax deduction, gone. House value, diminished. Wake up!

Esther Pollack, Commack

Give voters input on Hempstead pacts

Hempstead Town Supervisor Anthony Santino’s final official acts spotlight the attraction of a civil service position: rock-solid job security, a pension calculated generously, and medical benefits that protect the worker from most deductibles and co-pays [“Hempstead Town’s tug of war,” News, Dec. 13].

Does this make sense?

In a town that can hardly boast of universally wealthy homeowners, such compensation to the supervisor’s favorites is irrational. The only solution appears to be voter input into labor contracts. One person at the top, with four compliant board members, should not have sole discretion on how public money is spent.

Kevin Morris, Flushing

The true barrier to Middle East peace

If the United States were to formally recognize that the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa Mosque are in Muslim or Palestinian control, there would be no similar reaction to the U.S. plan to move its embassy to Jerusalem [“Fatal fallout over Jerusalem,” News, Dec. 16].

That those sites are in Palestinian control is a fact, and the same is true that West Jerusalem is Israel’s capital. Neither fact is subject to dispute or serious negotiation.

Only groups unprepared to accept Israel’s basic right to exist would challenge recognition of Jerusalem’s status for Israel through acts of violence.

To this point, neither Hamas nor the Palestinian Authority has recognized Israel’s right to exist. This is the true barrier to lasting piece, and it will not be overcome by pandering.

Gary Wohlberg,Holbrook

Puerto Rico is making progress since Maria

I have homes in both New York and Puerto Rico and have been to Puerto Rico three times since Hurricane Maria.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s statement that “the way it has been handled is an embarrassment for this nation” is wrong and unfair to the thousands of workers who are diligently helping in Puerto Rico [“Guvs: Puerto Rico needs $94B,” News, Dec. 12].

The progress being made there is remarkable considering the devastation. Everywhere I go, I see trucks and workers from all over the United States repairing the infrastructure, especially the electrical power system.

After the storms, some predicted that it would take years to get power back. Yet as of today, many residents and businesses have their power restored. While there is still much to do, it’s important to note how much has been done already.

Puerto Rico is again welcoming tourists, and I’ve had reservations from many regulars for the apartments I rent out. The interest is less than usual, because people think there is no water, electricity, etc. However, hotels, restaurants and attractions are operating and anticipating the customarily busy winter season.

Puerto Rico and its workers deserve acknowledgement of their efforts and encouragement to continue to restore the island’s splendor and beauty.

Nora Bertucci, Islip Terrace

Bannon, not King, should go away

I completely disagree with the letter “King should go, along with Steve Bannon” [Dec. 18].

Rep. Peter King has the guts to disagree even with Republicans.

I agree that Bannon, after he left the White House, should have butted out for the good of the Republican Party and himself. His image was not clean, and he should drain the swamp of himself.

Tony Guardino, Bay Shore