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Newsday letters to the editor for Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017

Newsday readers respond to topics covered.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, center, with Small

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, center, with Small Business Administration Administrator Linda McMahon, left, and Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), speaks to a group of small-business owners about federal tax legislation on Capitol Hill on Nov. 30, 2017. Photo Credit: AP / J. Scott Applewhite

Ready to tackle reforms in NY State

Now that the dust has settled after the defeat of the state referendum on holding a constitutional convention, groups such as mine that supported a convention have started working on our wish list of policy reforms [“Con-con foes can get to work,” Editorial, Nov. 27].

Our plans to modernize voting, clean up Albany’s corrupt legislature and pass a true equal rights amendment are finalized, and we are ready to get to work. We have been joined by several organizations that opposed holding a convention, including unions, civil rights groups and grass-roots advocates.

Unfortunately, the governor and legislature do not seem nearly as eager to work on these reforms. They insisted that a convention was not necessary to pass these reforms, and that they had the power to make the progressive changes New Yorkers so desperately need.

It’s time for our State Legislature to put words into action and pass these reforms.

Jennifer Wilson, Albany

Editor’s note: The writer is the legislative director for the League of Women Voters of New York State.

Don’t name bridges after politicians

The original name of the old Tappan Zee Bridge was not the Gov. Malcolm Wilson Tappan Zee Bridge [“Tappan Zee name change is disgraceful,” Letters, Nov. 30].

The Tappan Zee Bridge opened in 1955. Wilson was Nelson Rockefeller’s lieutenant governor and became governor in 1973 when Rockefeller resigned to chair the Commission on Critical Choices for Americans. Wilson’s name was added in 1994, 39 years after it opened.

I oppose naming structures after politicians, including the Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge, the Hugh L. Carey Tunnel and the new Gov. Mario M. Cuomo Bridge, but retaining the name of an unelected governor who served one year would be even worse than naming it after an elected governor.

Stanley Kalemaris


Views of tax bills from many angles

Water is the lifeblood of a swamp, and money is the lifeblood of the Washington swamp [“Dems, GOP clash on tax bill cost, process,” News, Dec. 4].

President Donald Trump has increased the likelihood that the Washington swamp will expand. The “tax reform” bills are aimed at rewarding money and penalizing work. Trump has not drained the swamp but has encouraged and championed its worst excesses.

As a middle-class taxpayer, I wonder why Trump and his gang of 51 Republican senators think they can outsmart the public. The truth always comes out.

John Libretti, North Bellmore

Newsday’s article about Long Island MacArthur Airport attracted my attention as a retired executive [“A new approach to a sound future,” News, Nov. 26].

It’s a perfect example of how a successful businessman or woman can clear up a mess created by politicians.

Sound familiar? President Donald Trump is cleaning up the mess created by the politicians of both parties in Washington. His policies have made significant improvements in the health of the United States.

Brian Keane, Patchogue

I support comprehensive tax reform, but I do not support the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

This irresponsible bill would add at least $1.4 trillion to the deficit and could add as much as $1.7 trillion. The development of the bill left out most rank-and-file Republicans and all Democrats. The proposal relies on magical thinking about economic growth to pretend there won’t be massive increases to the deficit and debt, and uses gimmicks to make it look as if changes in law will cost less down the road.

In 1986, the last time Congress did comprehensive tax reform, it was an inclusive, bipartisan process, and the Senate passed it 97-3.

Congress is taking us in the wrong direction and playing tricks to get it done. It needs to go back to the drawing board.

Sharon Hirschhorn, Oyster Bay

You’ve got to admire President Donald Trump’s strategy: Trot out some old lies, add a dash of derision and distract attention from his tax plan, which will hurt many middle-class people and benefit his billionaire buddies. And we’ll never know how many millions he’s making because we’ll never see his tax returns.

Chris Marzuk, Greenlawn

The GOP and the Trump regime’s “tax reform” sets in motion the rapacious corporate takeover of America.

Their ultimate goal appears to be to dismantle, monetize and privatize our public goods and services, including health care, education, clean air, clean water, public lands and parks, energy and transportation infrastructure, communications and internet access, and national defense.

They seem willing to hand these over to for-profit businesses as commodities, for sale to those Americans who can afford them, but unavailable to those who cannot. This reduces our once proud and enlightened American democratic enterprise to a kleptocratic oligarchy, very much in the image of President Vladimir Putin’s Russia.

Karin Barnaby, Sea Cliff