Thanks, 'dear leaders'

Just when we thought it couldn't get any worse, our "dear leaders" in Sacramento are sticking us with more taxes so as to maintain our position as the model of highest taxes in the country. Of course increased gas taxes will be used for much needed road and bridge improvements. Yeah right. Oh, and probably that will include mass transit. Can we assume then that mass transit will include Jerry Brown's inspired vision of a bullet train? Since he's having some difficulty with financing his ill-conceived step-child, possibly that will be in the plan.

Future construction will not be spared. "Prevailing wage rates" is code for the input of union leadership who help to elect our legislators who, of course, strive to keep themselves in office. So get ready to pay a lot more for that house you've been thinking about.

Cigarette taxes will take a huge hike, and though I've never smoked and can't really sympathize with that activity, that does seem exorbitant.

Now that our governor has declared an end to the drought of these past years, one can't help but wonder why nothing was ever done to preserve the previous water that now, for a lack of new reservoirs, will be swept out to sea.

Maybe it's time to move to Texas.

Mele Bond

Oak Hills

Government run by polls?

I am so sick and tired of all the polls inundating the public. The latest released today from a "selected nationwide group of 1,006 adults" expressing approval or not of our county's bombing of Syria in response to the chemical attack on the civilians and children. 1,006 adults nationwide. Oh come on now, that proves what?

Has the government been reduced to operating on the results of so-called public polls?

There are polls fashioned to create approval or not from both sides of the political spectrum.

I guess the information I received from my course in Journalism/Advertising 101 at University in 1943 that the intelligence of the general public is that of a 15-year-old teenager seems to be true today.

I can only hope and pray that those in government regardless of political identification will ignore this trash coming out from the "Fourth Estate" and make decisions and govern wisely.

Rube Wolf

Apple Valley

What Jesus really said

Re: April 10, 2017 “Blatant lies about Jesus”

On March 31, the Daily Press published a letter I submitted in response to an earlier writer who claimed that the Republican Party stands in opposition to the teachings of Jesus. In a response to my comments, the original author refers to me as, “The lying letter writer,” when all I did was quote Jesus who said, “I have not come to bring peace on earth, but a sword,” (Matt 10:34).

Christian apologetics has been dancing around this little problem for 2,000 years, trying to fit the square peg of what Jesus said into the round hole of what they'd like it to mean. The writer declares what Jesus really meant, but offers no support — only his opinion. Jesus said what he said. I think that if, as the writer claims, Jesus had directed his comments only to those who “lie and cheat other human beings,” he would have said so. Trying to massage a statement of Jesus to make it more palatable is just another vain attempt to stuff that square peg.

The writer doubles down: “You cannot be a Republican and a Christian at the same time,” laying out his primary contention that Republicans support “low wages.” He quotes Luke 6:20-21, “Blessed are you who are poor…” as if to show his support for “working people.” While this is a non sequitur, Jesus is also quoted in what may have been the same sermon, “Blessed are you who are poor in spirit,” (Matt 5:3), indicating that, perhaps, Jesus was not proposing government mandated wages but was, instead, speaking of spiritual deprivation, an affliction suffered by many who prefer to fit Jesus into their theology rather than base their theology on what Jesus actually said.

Lawrence Wilson

Apple Valley

Assumptions breed division

In response to “Blatant Lies about Jesus,” why generalize and single out Republicans? Are all Republicans rich, do all Republicans support low wages and lack empathy? How infantile to judge in that manner. “Do not judge, or you too will be judged.” Matthew 7:1 NKJ.

The Bible clearly defines many “rich” men that used their money, power and influence to further God’s kingdom. Joseph in the Old Testament was put in charge of Egypt and saved the land from famine. King David built the Temple and was a “man after God’s own heart.” Job, yes a rich man, the Bible says he was “blameless and upright.” To top off describing some of the Biblical one (1) percent, the Lord Jesus’s tomb — a key subject this time of year — according to the Gospel of Matthew, was donated by none other than Joseph of Arimathea — a rich man!

Are all rich men good? Of course not! Are all poor men good? Of course not! Good or evil doesn’t lie in a particular political party, ethnicity, or gender. Good and evil lies in the hearts of all people. If delineating good or evil was that easy than I would just cross the line from the “bad” party to the “good” party and all would be well! If only it were that easy! Get off the perceived moral high ground. Together let’s offer some real solutions to society’s ails, rather than pointing the finger and making assumptions based on labels.

Sam Arvizu

Hesperia

Layoffs not due to end of funding

The Daily Press inaccurately reported on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in “Hospital layoffs come after state-funded program changes,” (4/9/17). The story gives a misleading impression, reporting that Victor Valley Global Medical Center, as well as Southern California’s MemorialCare Health System, laid off employees due to financial challenges brought on by the ACA, including “the ending of the Medicaid expansion program stream of funding.”

We cannot speculate why these hospitals laid off their employees. However, we can confirm that the stream of funding is intact. While payment for the Medicaid expansion changed from all federal funds to a mix of state and federal funds, this shift did not change payments to doctors or hospitals.

Medi-Cal, California’s Medicaid program, provides health coverage to about 13.5 million Californians, including 3.8 million adults added under the ACA’s Medicaid expansion. Hospitals will continue to receive the same amount of money to care for Medi-Cal patients, as well as see lower costs for treating the uninsured.

Medi-Cal beneficiaries may come away from reading your story with the idea that their expansion coverage is ending. It is not.

Jennifer Kent 

California Department of Health Care Services