Caltrain disagreement healthy and informative 

Thank you for notifying readers about the Caltrain board meeting Thursday morning — which I attended. I was delighted that the current 86-train schedule will be retained. The staff’s original proposal was to run 76 trains, but at the suggestion of San Mateo County Supervisor and MTC Chair Adrienne Tissier, this meeting was called to “bridge the gap” and keep the current 86-train schedule.

San Francisco residents should question the votes of their two representatives on the Caltrain board. City Treasurer Jose Cisneros and Supervisor Sean Elsbernd opposed the motion because they wanted it to state that the “sustainable” schedule was an unacceptable 48 trains.

However, I did appreciate the 5-3 vote by the board — for too long, they have acted unanimously in their voting. The disagreement was healthy and informative.

Irvin Dawid, Palo Alto


Taxes will hit the big boys

Whether the threshold for repeal of President George W. Bush’s tax cuts is eventually set at $250,000, $500,000 or $1 million, the higher rate will only affect net taxable income above that limit. It is rather doubtful that such a tax increase will affect many small businesses.

It seems to me that politicians deliberately confuse the facts, making it look as if the proposed tax increases will affect all income and kill small businesses. On the other hand, if we try to fix the deficit by cost-cutting, we will only dig ourselves deeper into debt.

Unemployment will increase, demand for goods and services will decline and the economy be pulled more strongly into a downward spiral.

Also, any comparison with personal situations is faulty. While a dollar spent by a family, is gone, a dollar spent by government remains in the national economy, circulating among buyers and sellers until someone puts it in savings or spends it overseas.

Jorg Aadahl, San Mateo


Why the US needs OPEC

I can answer the letter-writer’s question about why the 12 OPEC countries should be allowed to ruthlessly control the price of oil that more than 190 other nations need.

Under the Obama administration, America won’t drill, won’t mine, won’t extract natural gas or build a nuclear power plant.

Our government has just loaned multi-millions to Brazil’s Petroba Gas and loaned another $2.5 million to Colombia to build a refinery. But we haven’t built a U.S. refinery in 35 years. We’ve got energy resources in our own country but are not allowed to use them. That is why we are so dependent on OPEC.

Pat Micciche, Moraga

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