Thanks to those paying a fair share of taxes

Tax Day and all year around we should honor and be grateful for the patriotic Americans who pay their fair share of taxes. Oliver Wendell Holmes said, "Taxes are what we pay for a civilized society."

I guess Tax Day is more like "Merry Christmas" for hedge-fund managers, Wall Street bankers and corporations hiding their money offshore. Warren Buffett blew the lid off the tale about the rich being soaked with taxes when he revealed his taxes, based on lightly taxed dividends, were calculated at a lower rate than his secretary, who made her income by actually providing her labor.

Sadly, for the last 30 years, the rest of us have been subsidizing the rich when we pay our taxes from our stagnant paychecks.

So, thanks to all you wonderful patriotic Americans who do your part and more. Tax-dodging 1 percenters and big corporations not included.

Karen Beck

Danville

Congress will never allow flat tax to exist

In a recent letter, Wayne Lambert's proposed simple income tax solution, or flat tax, has been put forth many times and rejected. To understand why, you must consider the motives of many politicians.

Most, but not all, members of Congress entered politics because they were failures in the private sector. Their motives for seeking public office were to acquire wealth and power; dance to the tune of the corrupt leadership and special-interest lobbyists; and embrace corruption as the surest way to achieve wealth and power.

Since most of this corruption in Congress emanates from lobbyists, members of Congress seeking wealth and power would be self-defeating if they eliminated one of the biggest sources of lobbyists' interests, the tax code.

Spreading money, these special-interest manipulators influence Congress to further tweak the tax code to benefit their clients.

A flat tax would eliminate the ability of Congress to satisfy the requirements of the K Street denizens and, ipso facto, cut off the flow of wealth and power for which these politicians have sold out their constituents.

Ernest Hampson

Pittsburg

Lighted crosswalks well worth the money

This is regarding an April 3 letter by Elaine Hannah of Pleasant Hill, "Crosswalk indicative of much larger issue."

Yes, lighted crosswalks are new, and the nice thing about them is that they work. Pedestrians can actually cross because the lights stop the cars.

Hannah seems to think lighted crosswalks are not only a waste of money, but a sign of government that somehow forces drivers to give up personal responsibility of stopping at crosswalks for pedestrians. If all drivers took that "responsibility" seriously, that might be true. Unfortunately, they don't.

I'm assuming Hannah has never tried to cross the street in crosswalks. If she had, she would understand the frustration and time wasted in simply trying to cross the street.

Yes, lighted crosswalks cost more than painted lines, but they work and we need more of them.

Geraldine N. Judt

El Cerrito

Solar panel systems not entirely 'green'

As I watch the construction of the solar panels at some Brentwood schools, I cannot help but wonder: How much carbon did it take for the miners to get to work to mine the aluminum?

How much carbon did it take to mine the aluminum, smelt it, transport it, get the people to the manufacturing plant, manufacture it into its shape, transport it, transport the workers to the job site day after day, truck the fork lifts and other equipment to the job site, and run the equipment on the job site?

The same goes for the solar panels. And how much carbon will it take over the life of the panels to service them? How about making the materials for the panels and the panels themselves?

Are we fooling ourselves that this is green? I'll bet the owner of this equipment got a tax paid subsidy to build this solar array that blocks the view of our truly green hills of East Contra Costa County.

Want to talk about the giant windmills on Vasco Road?

Tim Guernsey

Brentwood

Evolution is fantasy, not an actual theory

Jayne Thomas, in her April 9 letter, "Evolution is not a 'viewpoint,'" is right in insisting evolution isn't a viewpoint.

The fantasy, not theory, of evolution supposedly works by survival of the fittest. Fittest for what? Fittest to survive? So evolution merely asserts that those who survive, survive.

My friend, God, nearly laughed his head off when he heard that one.

Raphael Sealey

Berkeley