Please, let’s stop shaming people (“Stop enabling,” Letters to the Editor, Jan. 29) for their “poor choices.” Many people who are driving “late-model” cars or carrying “expensive smartphones” weren’t planning on a pandemic that put them out of work. Good grief, have some compassion, and stop patting yourself on the back for your “smart choices.”
Help human beings
Seriously, Allen Michael (“Stop enabling,” Letters to the Editor, Jan. 29)? You want people who have cars on credit and cellphones with service plans to be denied food simply because our tax dollars help nonprofit organizations purchase and distribute food during the worst pandemic of our lifetime? You are judging people’s lifestyles in photographs in food lines by their cars and cellphone usage?
I’ve read a few letters to the editor that got my dander up, but your thoughts take the cake. I suppose you approve of the billions of dollars that large corporations received from the CARES Act because those corporations really needed tax dollars to get by, especially since their profits remained in the black. Yes, let’s give our money to entities who don’t need it but not to human beings who have an unsatisfactory lifestyle in your mind. An appalling letter. American exceptionalism indeed.
Biden right on oil
Our public and ancestral tribal lands are under assault from oil and gas drilling. We must urgently transition away from fossil fuel development that threatens New Mexicans’ health and degrades lands and waters for communities and wildlife.
That’s why President Joe Biden’s climate executive order to pause new oil and gas leasing and drilling on federal lands makes sense. Temporarily pausing new leasing isn’t jeopardizing jobs or revenue, but it is giving the Biden administration the time and resources to do this critical transition planning with communities.
In New Mexico, 10 percent of the 4.2 million acres that already have been leased by the federal government are just sitting idle.
In the last four years, the Bureau of Land Management approved over 5,600 drilling permits in New Mexico. Our leaders, here and in Washington, must seize this opportunity to chart a new path for New Mexicans and the rest of the country.
Rio Grande Chapter
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, wonders if we could impeach former Presidents Jimmy Carter and Barack Obama, since we are holding former President Donald Trump accountable after he left office.
If Carter spent years roiling the Revolutionary Guard in Iran, convincing them that certain American institutions and political parties were their enemies, if he held rallies in Tehran exhorting crowds they had to fight like hell for their country and he would go with them to do so at the American embassy, then, yes, impeach him for the resulting hostage crisis.
If Obama incited Libyan terrorists to harm American diplomats by constant lies insinuating the diplomats were annihilating liberty, government and religion, absolutely impeach him, even eight years later. Neither Carter nor Obama did anything like these things. Trump did, and worse.
Paying a fair share
You published a letter (“Stop taxing benefits,” Feb. 3) from a Santa Fe resident who urged the Legislature to enact House Bill 49 and exempt all Social Security benefits from state income tax, regardless of the retiree’s total income. I’m a retiree. I agree that taxpayers with less income should be taxed at lower rates, or not at all, so they aren’t burdened beyond their ability to pay — whether they happen to be retired or not. But that’s not what HB 49 is about.
HB 49 would single out one type of income — Social Security benefits — and simply make it tax-free. Why? Not all retirees are poor. Many of us have livable incomes from several sources combined, including Social Security. There’s no reason we can’t pay our fair share like any other taxpayer.