Letters from our readers: Additional fees cripple city’s business base

Your Friday story “Businesses face more fee hikes” is yet one more piece of evidence of how totally out of touch with reality our Board of Supervisors has become.

The unemployment rate in San Francisco now tops 10 percent. The City is littered with graffiti-covered vacant storefronts providing no jobs or tax revenue. More than 200 restaurants have closed down over the past 12 months. Many businesses are struggling to stay open and many have fled The City.

So what does our Board of Supervisors want to do? Impose more fees on business leading to more closures, more unemployment, a smaller tax base, etc.

When are San Francisco voters going to elect people who will end this insanity?

E.F. Sullivan
San Francisco


GOP tactics worrisome

I am registered as an independent voter. I was raised in south Louisiana. I have lived and worked for many years in the U.S., Europe, Far East and Middle East. The Republican Party’s arrogant negativity and “scorched earth” political tactics frighten me as much as Middle East jihadists.

Let us all hope that recalcitrant, wheeler-dealer “conservative” Democrats soon realize that they must act like true Democrats or they will lose their next election to a Republican or a real Democrat.

Bill Kennedy Kedem
San Francisco


Challenge to Republicans

Ward Connerly led his national campaign against reverse discrimination to victory in six states and is targeting six more. At the same time, he is taking Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to court, having passed a quota bill.

Some good advice for Republican candidates would be to stop whining about the health care bill. Get behind Connerly, challenge the “Party of Quotas” and go on to win the California governor’s race.

Philip Melnick
San Francisco


Reining in health costs

Now that the Senate has passed the health care bill, it needs to pass the Health Insurance Industry Antitrust Enforcement Act of 2009. This would repeal the McCarran-Ferguson Act exemption of health insurance companies from the federal antitrust laws. It already passed the House with a bipartisan vote of 406-19.

When referring to health insurance companies, politicians have used terms such as “secret pricing and consolidation,” “exorbitant price increases” and “confidential agreements with hospitals, physician groups and device makers.”

All these allegations raise antitrust concerns. Yet, antitrust violations are now beyond the reach of the federal laws. While lack of competition in the health insurance industry may have other causes that cannot be cured by repealing the McCarran-Ferguson exemption, this is a relatively simple first step to reining in health care costs.

Ralph E. Stone
San Francisco

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