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Going down a rabbit hole at DMV

People wait in line at the DMV in

People wait in line at the DMV in Bethpage on Jan. 13, 2020. Credit: Barry Sloan

I, too, was almost erased [“Child of Holocaust ‘erased’ by U.S. ID rules,” News, March 10]. I was born in Brooklyn 79 years ago, and never had trouble proving it until I went to the Department of Motor Vehicles to get an enhanced driver’s license in order to fly.

Unfortunately, my birth certificate had “female” in place of my first name so it was not accepted. I brought my baptism and wedding certificates, but they, too, were not acceptable because they weren’t federal documents. A passport would be proof, but mine had expired. I was told I could renew it if it expired only within the past five years. Fortunately, my passport had expired only 4 ½ years earlier. I went to the post office, paid $125 and applied for a new passport. When it arrives, I will again exist to our government.

Vera DiLeo,

Middle Island

  

Holocaust studies a must in schools

I was alarmed to read that a 2018 study found that two-thirds of Americans ages 18 to 34 did not know what Auschwitz is. It’s imperative that schools, 75 years later, be required to teach about the Holocaust so nothing like it will happen again.

Bernard Fradkin,

Jericho 

Taxing the rich isn’t the answer

Morris Pearl doesn’t seem to “get it” [“Taxing NY’s rich more? Why not?,” Opinion, March 8]. While I will agree that taxing the rich more is a noble idea, it is not likely to happen to any real degree. Why not? The short answer: The wealthy will continue to do what they are already doing but at a more accelerated rate — leave New York. And thereby leave the rest of us to pay ever higher taxes to make up the shortfall.

In addition to property taxes, think about all the other taxes paid when people, including the rich, buy a new car or have home improvements done, or go to restaurants, movie theaters, stores, etc. A great deal of money is spent, and that money is also taxed. But if the rich continue to leave the state they will take their money and spend it elsewhere, and pay taxes elsewhere. The result: less tax revenue for New York.

Our elected officials should start cutting wasteful and unnecessary spending and stop trying to tax the rich (as well as the rest of us) as a means of solving their overspending problem.

William McMahon,

Patchogue 

Taxing the wealthy is not necessarily the answer. Fiscal restraints are desperately needed. Corporations and many wealthy individuals, plus those with incomes below the wealthy, are relocating from New York to low-tax states.

The high level of taxation has spawned the so-called “underground economy”: individuals and businesses not reporting all of their income. This includes the butcher, the baker and many in between illegally evading tax, a criminal offense.

The annual gross domestic product of the United States is approximately $21 trillion including New York’s $1.7 trillion. No one can say for certain, but estimates of unreported income nationally range from $1 trillion to as high $2.5 trillion, excluding the drug trade, illegal gambling and sex trafficking.

At the low end, tax evasion in New York is about $170 billion annually and nationally more than $1 trillion. What is needed is a national sales tax; you spend it, it is taxed. It would require exemptions for certain goods and services to avoid a regressive tax on low- and middle-income individuals coupled with a major reduction in federal and state income taxes for all.

Drew Governali,

Flushing 

 

This novel idea is in the bag

My son, Charles, and his, wife, Ana, have a backyard where they take care of our feathered friends. Since groceries will no longer supply plastic bags, Ana came up with a great idea for using the large bags that contain bird seed. She took one of the bags, turned the top half into the bottom half, securing it with tape on the bottom, attached wide, strong ribbon, like grosgrain, for handles and now has her own sturdy shopping bag displaying an attractive picture of birds. At 92, I pass this idea along to my fellow readers.

Charlene Straceski,

Whitestone

  

Kaminsky: Step up against National Grid

It’s time for Long Island’s elected officials such as Todd Kaminsky (D-Long Beach), chairman of the state Senate Environmental Conservation Committee, to finally speak out against National Grid’s fracked gas schemes [“Renewables pushed,” News, March 10].

New York’s ambitious climate goals, which Kaminsky helped enshrine into law, will not be met if Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s administration approves the company’s expansion plans. Real leadership on climate change means standing up to greedy corporations whose business model is fueled by fracked gas.

Eric Weltman,

Brooklyn

Editor’s note: The writer is a senior organizer of Food & Water Action, a Washington, D.C.-based organization designed to mobilize people to protect water.

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