High-speed trains must be buried on Peninsula 

State Sen. Joe Simitian, Rep. Anna Eshoo and Assemblyman Rich Gordon demanded on Monday that the California High-Speed Rail Authority drop its plans for building massive elevated tracks anywhere between San Francisco and San Jose.

San Francisco already has its all-tunnel route. But now all Peninsula cities — including San Mateo — must immediately coordinate to lobby the High-Speed Rail Authority for tunnels all through the county.

If not, then San Mateo’s selfish desire to place 150-mph trains on street level at the Hillsdale Caltrain station for the benefit of the Bay Meadows Phase II developer will doom Hayward Park-area families and Belmont to street-level trains, horns, vibrations and noise from 20 150-mph trains per hour in both directions for 12 hours
per day.

Mike Brown, Burlingame

Muni contract too sweet

How did the Muni drivers get their current contract approved? They seem to have a plum of a deal and they don’t appreciate it. We need to do what President Ronald Reagan did with the air traffic controllers — fire the lot of them and start fresh. There has to be some way out of Muni’s sweetheart contract.

D. Dougan, San Francisco

Protecting themselves

Conservatives continue clinging to the failed model of trickle-down economics, claiming lower taxes on the rich expand the economy and create jobs. It’s just not true! The Clinton administration added more than 21 million private-sector jobs when the top individual tax rate was 39.6 percent. When President George W. Bush left office, after cutting the top individual tax rate to 35 percent, there were actually 673,000 fewer private-sector jobs than on the day of his inauguration.

So why more tax cuts for the wealthy? A simple look at the personal finances of Congress tells the rest of the story. In 2009, the median wealth of a congressional representative was $911,510, up a whopping 16 percent from the year before (which was the worst year for Wall Street since the Great Depression). And with nearly 50 times more millionaires in Congress than in the general population, it’s not hard to see why Congress is so determined to protect the interests of the rich at any cost.

Christopher A. Roesner, San Francisco

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