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Voice of the People, Oct. 15, 2020

Voice of the People, Oct. 15, 2020

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Protect trees in Margate

I think most of us would agree that climate change is happening. The worries that those of us had who were around for the first Earth Day in 1970 are here. And yet there is so much we can still do, locally, to stave off some of the crises we are experiencing here on Absecon Island.

In Margate, we are experiencing flooding in places that haven’t flooded before. We are also experiencing a construction boom like never before. Some beautiful old trees are being lost to demolition. Trees provide shade, offset flooding through their root systems, absorb carbon dioxide, and release oxygen into the atmosphere. Naturally, flooding occurs when there is little permeability and no place for water to be absorbed. Have we really “paved paradise to put up a parking lot”?

Globally, 27 football fields of trees are cut down around the world every minute, according to Jane Goodall. With global deforestation, along with local deforestation, I suggest we think globally and act locally.

The Margate Green Team is currently working on a forestry plan for the city to submit to the planning board. Some of Margate’s trees may even be considered historic and subject to preservation from that perspective. In an effort to preserve old trees, perhaps an ordinance prohibiting cutting down trees without a permit is in order.

I’m sincerely hoping that all of Margate takes this issue seriously, people of all ages. Trees can improve mental health and provide habitat for wildlife. It’s nature’s circle of life which we should not be disturbing. Perhaps a re-read of Joyce Kilmer’s “Trees”?

Virginia A. Gormley

Margate

Trump not a politician

President Trump is attacked again by the media, this time a New York Times claim that he paid no taxes for 10 years. I have no reason to assume this isn’t true, because he’s one of the few wealthy presidents elected not being a career politician.

First there’s a difference between wealth and income, a simplification is that wealth isn’t taxed, income is. The United States’ ability to tax income has been in place since since the 16th Amendment to the Constitution in 1913. Many changes have occurred since that act became law.

As with most super-wealthy people, I’m sure the Trump organization hires only the best lawyers and accountants that find every deduction allowed by the tax codes on income or loss, that all taxpayers look for.

Warren Buffett, who usually supports Democratic causes nationally and is rated as the 4th richest person, famously stated, “I pay less income tax than my secretary does.” Is this because he personally does his books knowing every amendment to the tax codes? No, he hires the best people for that and at 90 years old has accumulated massive wealth that is not taxed.

Another quote from Buffett I’ve always liked is “Predicting the rain doesn’t count, building the ark does.” That directly applies to President Trump’s efforts to build the border wall by any means, substantially rebuilding the military, authorizing terrorist eradication or reducing the pandemic in March 2020 by restricting air travel from China, garnering rebukes from Democratic leaders for being xenophobic. In March Rep. Judy Chu, D-Calif., and 219 House Democrats introduced the No Ban Act to strip the president of his ability to ban travel from any country regardless of a pandemic or not.

Trump is thinking about down the road so the “ark” can be ready. Trust him with your vote, our lives will get better.

Brett Metzer

Egg Harbor City

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