Taxes will go up temporarily

I'm actually confident -- not worried -- that Congress will plunge off the fiscal cliff without those stonewalling Republicans extending a reasonable middle-income tax cut that's not held hostage by additional tycoon-coddling cuts.

Tax rates on everyone will go up temporarily. But more important, they'll finally go back up on those wealthy non-job-creators.

We will then be able to clearly blame GOP intransigence for raising everyone's payroll and income taxes -- all while overprotecting capitalists who will still enjoy their pork of the low 15 percent capital gains rates.

The backlash could sound the death knell of austerity conservatism, the plutocratic GOP and those mad-as-a-hatter tea partyers.

Ed Chainey

Richmond

Show us the way, pay 'fair share' up front

President Barack Obama and House Democrats insist the top 2 percent of wealthiest Americans pay more in federal income taxes to avoid the fiscal cliff. I believe this is all political theater.

However, if Obama and his wealthiest supporters, such as John Kerry, Nancy Pelosi and Warren Buffett, for example, say it's the right thing to do, who am I to say how they should spend their money?

But it seems to me if these mega-millionaires truly believe they're not paying their fair share and this is the reason we're in such dire financial straits, why wait for a new law to do the right thing? Demonstrate your belief by instructing your tax accountants to quickly calculate retroactively the amount of taxes you would have paid at the pre-President George W. Bush era rates, plus strip away the loopholes you took advantage of that you now feel are unfair, and write a check for the difference.

Then ask your 2 percent friends in the entertainment and news media, who aggressively campaigned for you, to do likewise.

Doing up front what you demand others to do is what's called leading by example.

Bill Behan

Brentwood

Fault doesn't lie with fire chief

Your Dec. 10 editorial really unloads on Fire Chief Daryl Louder of the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District and demands Louder be fired for ineptitude.

The author of the editorial seems to be less than knowledgeable of the issues. Maybe the writer missed the fact that the downturn of the economy has resulted in fewer tax dollars, which is the root cause of the staffing problems. Maybe the writer is unaware that contracts signed during more prosperous times can't just be rescinded willy nilly.

The editorial demands more efficiency of the fire protection district when responding to emergency calls. But how? You can't change the distance traveled to a call, and you still have to bring your equipment. Sure, a bicycle with a backpack would be more efficient, as would be a smaller vehicle, that needs to be funded.

My feeling is close fire stations in areas with the most no votes on Measure Q so that the fire protection district can be more responsive to areas willing to pay for needed services.

E.J. Keller

Concord

How could anyone have so much evil?

The events in Newtown, Conn., are not just incredible -- they are unbelievable. How can someone have so much evil in their heart to take not only innocent lives but the future of little children? What could possibly warp a psyche so terribly?

The events of Aurora and Ft. Hood and Littleton and other places, while terrible, pale in comparison to this. Why would anyone look at a child and then deliberately murder him? I do not understand it. Is this now the American equivalent of a suicide bomber?

My heart, prayers and love stream out to the families and loved ones who have been so unfairly victimized by this act that I can only characterize as demonic.

May God welcome his new angels and comfort those left behind.

John Brown

Hayward

Motive doesn't appear to be rocket science

Authorities always pose the question "What was the motive?"

In this case, it seems pretty obvious. To paraphrase Tommy Smothers' usual complaint to his brother Dickie; "Mom always liked you best."

In this case, Adam Lanza probably felt his mom liked her school kids best. It's not rocket science.

Bruce Onken

Fremont