Pay our debt

The other evening as I was leaving Rosauers, I encountered a Salvationist standing outside, ringing his bell. The weather was particularly unpleasant; cold, wet, windy and dark. Despite my personal objections to some policies of The Salvation Army, I felt bad for the volunteer, standing outside in inclement weather, trying to collect money from some of the lowest wage earners, many of whom already pay their taxes.

Here is my counter suggestion: We, the people, through the electoral process, must utilize the levers of power of our government to levy New Deal era tax rates against the wealthiest individuals and corporations in this country, as well as close tax loopholes that allow them to shield their money offshore, and to prohibit them from moving jobs and operations offshore. The message is this: If they make their money here, they pay taxes here; and if they make a lot of money off the exploited labor of the proletariat, they have a debt to society to pay back.

This is how we will pay for, or significantly reduce, the cost of college for those who wish to attend, and this is how we will fund Medicare for All or a similar national health system that doesn’t leverage crippling debt against one’s health.

We are one of the wealthiest nations in the world, and since we have sacrificed the ecosystem to build that wealth, the least the top 1 percent in this country can do is pay back their debt.

It is for this and many more reasons that I will be voting for Bernie Sanders to be the Democratic challenger for the presidency.

Benjamin Sheppard

Hood River

Congrats

Congratulations to Gladys Rivera on her appointment to City Council. It’s exciting to finally have a voice in local politics for our Latinx community. Thank you to our current councilors who selected her to join them.

Natalie Speck

Hood River

Use our voices

Thanks for the reminder to “make Christmas an occasion to share our blessings (“The Porch” by Kirby Neumann-Rea, Hood River News, Dec. 14). With one in five children and one in seven seniors in poverty, anytime is a good time to share. Of course, beyond giving to those in need, we can ask those who represent us in Congress to end rampant hunger in America and provide ladders out of poverty. This can be done with tax fairness that gives those in need a hand up, like a renter’s tax credit and an increase to the tax credits that help low income folks with or without children.

Our calls and letters to those who represent us can make a differences, and this holiday season is a good time to start using our voices to ensure Congress takes initiative to benefit all Americans.

Willie Dickerson

Snohomish, Wash.

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