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OpinionLetters

Newsday letters to the editor for Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2017

Readers respond to topics in the news

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, (R-Ky.), center, speaks

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, (R-Ky.), center, speaks to the media as other Republican senators listen, at the Capitol on Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2017. Photo Credit: Bloomberg News / Aaron P. Bernstein

Free recharging for electric cars?

I have no complaints about installing charging stations at Glen Cove’s parking garage, but I do have an issue with the finances behind them [“2 charging stations for electric cars open,” News, Nov. 23].

According to the article, they are “free charging outlets.” Drivers like me with gasoline-powered vehicles must continue to pay for our fuel, while drivers of electric cars will recharge for free.

Further, most of the money for these ports came from two sources: a $14,000 state grant and $3,500 in in-kind expenses from the city Department of Public Works — in other words, the taxpayers. Most of us don’t drive electric cars but are paying for these stations.

I know all the hoopla about how environmentally friendly electric cars are supposed to be. However, as more electric cars are sold, there will be a significant extra load on the electric grid, especially at night, when presumably many of these cars will be charging. Are the power stations providing this electricity a great win for the environment?

I really think our governments should give more consideration to all drivers and not a select few.

Barry Schwartz, East Meadow

Think about guns in the present day

In the debate over regulating guns, more people seem to be falling back on the argument that the Founding Fathers meant to limit gun ownership to something akin to musket firepower [“Read the entire Second Amendment,” Letters, Nov. 21].

While any sane person would agree that most people do not need automatic guns, this argument misses a large point. Our founders wanted us to be on equal ground with possible oppressor. How would this be possible if the people were stuck with 250-year-old technology while government had state-of-the-art weapons?

Bill Mahoney, Levittown

Most don’t see how tax plan will hurt

Not since the administration of President Ronald Reagan has a tax plan been proposed that will hurt the middle class more than the 2017 proposal [“Who wants a helping of tax reform?,” Opinion, Nov. 22].

I can’t remember radio and television ads being used in the past to convince Americans that this is true tax reform. It’s anything but that, and it’s a shame that most people do not even comprehend the nature of this reform.

The ads tout that the first $24,000 of married couples’ income would be tax-free. The issue not getting the attention it deserves is that all taxpayers would lose their personal exemption, as well as those for their children. As a tax preparer, I estimate that my average client on Long Island with a family of four would lose a deduction of $16,200. They also would lose their deductions of state and local income tax, which for my average married couple is about $6,500.

In addition, deductions for real estate taxes in excess of $10,000, unreimbursed employee expenses, gambling losses, 1127 tax payments if you are a New York City employee, casualty and theft deductions and many other deductions would be lost.

Phil Jaeger, Manorville

Opinion writer Mike Vogel states that when Walmart stock goes up, the insiders benefit [“The superrich are finally catching a tax break,” Nov. 18]. While this is true, there’s also a benefit to the many 401(k), pension and IRA plans that average people rely on for retirement.

Robert Halfon,Melville

Editor’s note: The writer is a retired CPA and tax partner at an accounting firm.

Put criminal asset money in general fund

Newsday reports that proceeds from criminal prosecutions were distributed by the Suffolk County district attorney to his staff as bonuses [“Bonus tally up,” News, Nov. 21].

Legis. Robert Calarco (D-Patchogue) proposes to control future payments by having them reviewed by the legislature’s Public Safety Committee.

Assets seized in criminal cases should be paid to the general fund to reduce the taxpayers’ burden.

This should be done at all levels. For example, the state Department of Financial Services and Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman have received more than $8 billion in fines and settlements with banks.

Lawrence Donohue, West Islip

Lack of accountability in Congress

The rightful public indignation about Congress settling sexual harassment claims with taxpayer money pales in comparison to how Congress itself conducts business [“Defending Moore,” News, Nov. 22].

The Congressional Accountability Act of 1995 applied civil rights, labor, and workplace safety and health laws to Congress. Previously, Congress was exempt. This act, as well as untold other legislation, passes by unanimous consent or voice vote. This allows passage without a recorded member vote.

This needs to end. Legislation without individual accountability is not worthy of a democracy.

Clifford D. Glass, East Rockaway

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