Drivers subsidize Muni’s money-losing operation

A Muni board member was recently quoted as saying, “Muni riders have long paid more than their share for the agency’s deficit.”

As best I can determine from the agency’s own website, which does an excellent job of obfuscating the expense budget, San Francisco Muni takes in about $180 million from fares and spends more than $464 million operating the buses.

Parking tickets, parking meters, parking-lot taxes and residential parking permits to park in front of one’s own home subsidize this money-losing operation.

So if anyone has paid “more than their share,” it is the owners of the more than 300,000 cars registered in The City, and the decreasing number of commuters and shoppers who drive into The City. Why shouldn’t we “means test” Muni riders and charge full costs to the majority who can afford it, while subsidizing only the low-income who cannot?

Cary Fulbright, San Francisco

Pelosi is allowed to invest

The criticism of Rep. Nancy Pelosi and her family investing in Visa stock is absurd. In 2008, Visa became a publicly traded corporation by selling 447 million shares to tens of thousands of members of public, including myself. This was not an exclusive transaction for the influential few, but was available to most people who had accounts with major brokerage houses at the time.

 According to public reports, the Pelosi family liked the company so well that they purchased more shares in several transactions — and still own these shares. That is not insider trading, but a long-term investment.

There is corruption in Congress, but Pelosi’s owning Visa stock is not part of it.

James W. Haas, San Francisco

Who really occupies?

News of the MF Global bankruptcy and criminal investigation of $1.2 billion “gone missing” from customer accounts underscores who really “occupies Wall Street.”

Jon Corzine, the now-resigned head of MF Global, is also a former chairman of Goldman Sachs and a former Democratic New Jersey governor and U.S. senator.

In 2008, Goldman Sachs employees set a record by contributing nearly $1 million to President Barack Obama’s campaign. In 2011, Corzine hosted a fundraiser for MF Global employees and “bundled” more than $500,000 in contributions for Obama.

Meanwhile, Obama holds the record for the most money ever raised from Wall Street — $15.8 million in 2008. Have the Occupy Wall Street protesters made any connection between Wall Street donors and the Obama administration?

Jim Hartman, Berkeley

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