Letters to the editor: Electric vehicles, voting rights, saving democracy

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Electric vehicles

In response to Dave Szplett’s letter, “Electric Vehicles,” Dave wrote, “We already pay the road tax for owners of electric vehicles.” Well, no you do not. When I register my electric car each year I pay a $140 “electric fee.” That money is distributed to the same departments that receive your fuel taxes. That fee is the tax equivalent to buying 424 gallons of gas. I’m in my 3rd year of owning an electric car so I’ve paid tax on 1,272 gallons of gas. I’ve driven 14,842 miles. I’m paying the same amount of gas taxes as 2 vehicles that get 23.5 mpg and travel 14,842 miles each. The current method penalizes the owners of vehicles that get the worst MPG. A 10 MPG vehicle pays 3 times as much in taxes as a 30 MPG vehicle that travel the same distance. That’s not fair. How about this, a mileage tax. You pay tax based on how much you use the roads, not on how many gallons of gas you buy. You’re right about one thing, this is crazy! BTW, my car is American made.

Joe Getusky, Boise

Voting rights

Senator Joe Manchin normally champions democracy and the Constitution … until now! In his recent oped he touted his unwavering support for fair election rights then announced he would vote against the “For the People Act.” At a time when Republican states are enacting laws to suppress the very rights he supports, his no-vote is unfathomable.

While his dedication to bipartisanship is commendable, the GOP no longer shares his vision as evidenced by their continual bad-faith actions. Everything they do has partisan motives, including killing the Jan 6th Independent Commission bill which would have exposed GOP complicity in the assault. Expecting bipartisanship from them is a fool’s errand when they use the veto-like power of the filibuster to kill bills they oppose. Their goal is absolute Republican power. Hence, their rush to enact voter suppression legislation before the 2022 elections.

The filibuster is the antithesis of the “majority rule” that decides our elections and guides most decision-making bodies including our Supreme Court. The notion that the minority party should be allowed to overrule the majority party is absurd. Please write or email Senator Manchin and voice your concerns about voting rights and the filibuster. I did!

Homer (Tex) Beauchamp, Meridian

Save democracy

What else has to happen before Americans recognize the clear and present danger to our already moribund democracy? Jeff Sessions and Bill Barr spied on Democratic representatives, and Barr lied to Congress about it. Republicans are blocking any real accountability for the insurrection on Jan. 6 because they know they and Trump are complicit.

The Brennan Center for Justice reports as of May 14, 2021, Republican legislators have introduced 389 bills with restrictive provisions in 48 states. This is clearly aimed at black and brown Americans.

Charles Koch, and his dark money 501c3 and 4 network propagandizes the people and buys off Congress to push their free market extremism. Similarly, myriad Christian nationalist groups have their hooks deep in the centers of power to push the Christian nation myth and use the First Amendment to oppress anyone who does not accept their world view.

The Democratic establishment will not save us; they’re so clueless and out of touch that they cannot understand how close to fascism we actually are.

We must demand a return to democratic norms, replace the corrupt and clueless politicians with people who are committed to democracy while we still can. Fascism can happen here.

Tim Teater, Boise