E-mail letters, August 1, 2011
Seniors can help their grandchildren’s future
It’s time to get in front of seniors and challenge them to educate themselves politically and do what’s right for their grandchildren in the next election. America’s debt is crippling our kids and it’s time real Americans stand up and stop it.
That’s why the ad for selfishseniors.com went into The Daily Sentinel yesterday. Seniors are the largest voting base and will decide the next president. It’s time seniors face the truth.
Thanks to The Daily Sentinel for the article in the July 31 edition on page 5A listing the amounts that make up the federal debt. I suggest everyone find and read it if you missed it. Because of the constant talk about Social Security and Medicare, I would like to point out that of the $14.3 trillion in debt, the government owes $4.6 trillion to itself, “mostly borrowed from Social Security.”
Later it says that Medicare’s prescription drug plan cost $300 billion. Let me see, if the government through the years had cut spending and left that money in the trust fund, I believe those two programs would be secure today. Instead, we constantly hear about how many entitlement checks there are, how they have to raise the retirement age, etc.
According to about.com, the Congressional Research Service (2006 information) found 413 members of Congress were receiving pensions ranging from $35,952 to $60,972. They have to serve at least five years to receive any pension. Wow, five years. I have paid into Social Security about 45 years and I sure don’t get those amounts. I don’t know why our retirement checks are called “entitlement” while Congress receives “pensions.” Just another way to try to divert attention away from themselves.
I don’t have the answer on how to stop debt accumulation, but would like to see an honest debate instead of this bipartisan and re-election mindset that precludes any cooperation. I’d like to hear them talk about reinstating the 2001, 2003, and 2010 tax levels, closing loopholes, making sure companies who outsource jobs pay more taxes than companies in the United States, reducing foreign aid for military purposes and investigating waste in the many grants they authorize. I’d also wish the Supreme Court could reverse their stand on the obscene amount of money given to political campaigns. Even half of that money would do so much good for Americans and also relieve the voters of listening to constant ads that only irritate so many people.
Like many an outlander who chose to move from a major urban area to Mesa County, it took me some time to adjust to the local media fare.
Although I have often criticized The Daily Sentinel as being little more than a cheering section for the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce (a view I have since modified as new ownership has taken over), I have always had a generally healthy respect for the quality of the opinion/editorial page — until recently.
The Sentinel currently employs several local columnists who, in my opinion, are undermining the credibility of the opinion/editorial page with their trivial musings on generally meaningless subjects. When valuable space in what many consider to be the most important page of the Sentinel is squandered on such comments as, “I
Haven’t kept track of how many times I’ve watered my lawn this month. But I could count them all on one hand,” it’s time for a change.
Space on the Sentinel’s opinion/editorial page should be reserved for serious-minded people willing and able to write on matters of significance. We readers deserve no less.
E. MICHAEL ERVIN
Congress debates too much, acts too little
After the debacle of the last several weeks, I am willing to be that if you offered Congress free ice cream for Labor Day, they would debate for four weeks as to whether it was vanilla or chocolate and then settle on strawberry.
Parks are still safe despite homeless
I’m a mom, and Hawthorne Park remains one of my favorite places to go with my kids. A few homeless people hanging out in the shelters minding their own business is not going to change that.
The front-page article in the July 31 The Daily Sentinel about families worried about transients in our parks vastly overstates the problem. I frequently visit Hawthorne and Sherwood Parks with my kids and use the Riverfront Trail. None of these places are overrun by homeless people. They are safe, family-friendly places and will remain that way as long as families keep using them.
Criticism of one’s belief system is not a personal attack
Some of us have had our differences with Dennis Herzog in the past. It is also inevitable that we will do so in the future. However, a recent letter to this publication accusing him of personal attacks indicates that his critic does not understand what the word “personal” means.
Such individuals are not mature enough to distinguish between a criticism of their beliefs or belief system and “personal” which is an attack upon the person as a person. What such responses illustrate is but one thing. It is that they cannot stand anyone disagreeing with them, and about anything. For they, or so they believe, are infallible.
A university professor whose course I was once privileged to attend made the following statement: “In any area of human knowledge, there is no such thing as absolute certainty. That is found only in blind faith or in the realm of ignorance.” Some of us have found that to be all too true, not only in others but ever more importantly, in ourselves.
Mature people will take criticism of their ideas and beliefs as an opportunity to critically examine them and, if found to be in error, either change or modify them. But, that presupposes that one can entertain the possibility of being wrong. All too many cannot do so. As a consequence they will, and in a totally Pavlovian-type reaction, automatically launch into an emotional “How dare you disagree with me?” response.
In children, that is what is known as throwing a tantrum. Quite obviously, that type of reaction is not restricted to children alone as, judging by the contents of many opinions, even in those claiming to be adult.
ROBERT I. LAITRES
Where was AARP’s outrage over Obamacare?
So AARP is now concerned because Obama and Congress are considering cutting billions of dollars from Social Security and Medicare to pay the nation’s bills, according to a recent letter to the editor from AARP council member, Terri Potente. Never mind the fact that no current proposal in Congress to revise Medicare or Social Security would affect anyone over the age of 55.
Where was AARP’s outrage when the Democrats and Obama shoved through Obamacare, which is to be funded in part by diverting 500 billion dollars in supposed “fraud savings” from the Medicare program to fund yet another Democrat Welfare-State entitlement program. Could it be that AARP is just another left-leaning, special-interest group which hopes to profit from Obamacare by receiving huge endorsement fees from selling insurance to U.S. citizens under the government mandate of Obamacare?
Why is one an illegal ‘alien’ and another an illegal ‘immigrant’
Please enlighten me: Why is it that an Uzbekistan national in this country without proper papers is an “illegal alien in possession of a firearm”, when a Mexican national in this country without proper papers, and in possession of a firearm would be an “illegal immigrant.” The difference escapes me.
The crisis is not about whether or not our legislators can agree to raise the debt ceiling, and the credit rating of the United States will not depend upon raising the debt ceiling (thus giving license for adding debt). The real crisis is the tremendous debt that has been accumulated by our government, and the potential difficulties in servicing and repaying these funds.
It is doubtful that the opinions of the credit rating agencies will have much lasting effect on our economy — keeping in mind that their opinion will be based not on whether the Dems and Reps can compromise on raising the debt ceiling — but on whether there comes a realistic and rational plan to reduce the debt load facing this country.
Our legislators should concentrate on reducing spending — drastically, temporarily, to avoid the necessity to borrow more. Suggested measures:
—Defund several departments: Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, Education, Energy, for example,
—Terminate 10 percent of all U.S. government employees, excepting those directly involved with defense and national security
—Reduce compensation and health and retirement contributions by 10 percent for all remaining U.S. government employees,
—Reduce all non-discretionary spending (Social Security, etc) 10 percent for a couple years,
Next, act to get our country back to work and the economy growing, keeping in mind that we are competing in a global economy. To achieve this:
—Eliminate income tax on all legitimate business, and expand the personal tax base,
—Establish free trade agreements universally, without pandering to special-interest groups,
—Eliminate or reduce anti-business regulations. Give back to our people the ability to develop our abundant natural resources,
—Curtail, or, better yet, eliminate the EPA.
If we are indeed in a crisis, let us seriously address it.
PERRY W. BILYEU
I think we all want to help homeless people who really need the help, and no one should go hungry, however some of these people are transients, who chose this lifestyle, come here from other places after the word gets out of all the free things GJ has to offer.
Panhandle without consequences, because the H.O.T. team will come to your rescue, give you a “high five” and a bottle of water. We tried handing out food, but some just wanted money, which we were not going to give them to buy tobacco products or alcoholic beverages.
My wife has had transients exposing themselves, urinating in public by the urgent care building. Where are our rights? The taxpayers who live here and help foot the bill. Where’s the H.O.T. team (all three of them) when we need them?
Just watch the different people getting off the buses with their back packs and take up residence in the parks and Urgent Care building. What are our elected officials doing about this invasion? And why are so many coming here?
It’s funny they don’t have this problem in Vail, or Aspen. Let’s find out how they handle their “homeless” problem. I’ll bet they are given a bus ticket to Grand Junction. Let’s help our local homeless, let’s not enable transients setting up camp here.
Name-calling turns one reader away from the Republicans
This is in response to Josh Penrys column on adults. I am a registered Republican and I’m leaning toward being an Independent. Why?
I am sick of the name calling and the finger pointing that passes as political debate. I thought Mr. Penry a hope for the Western Slope, but it appears that his time in Denver has turned him into a typical party hack. His insulting tone calling some one a jerk is what I would find in the school yard, not adult conversation. He and other columnist are part of the general problem of incivility when it comes to political speech these days.
Quoting one of the people who stole my party, “thanks a lot, jerk”.
Stubbornness of Hobbits is a tea-party trait
It was interesting this week when the Wall Street Journal in an editorial referred to the tea party caucus in the House as Hobbits. As many know, Hobbits are characters in Tolkien’s best selling children’s fantasy trilogy. Much of it was written during WWII.
Hobbits loved their community and eating and drinking together in their taverns. They represented the hard working simple folks of England who clearly understood right from wrong and did their duty to fight to protect their land from evil invaders.
I believe the WSJ was making fun of the tea party caucus for thinking that sticking to their principals was enough. For those of us who have read the books we know that the stubbornness of the Hobbits was an essential element in their success. We also know that they were just a few and it took the help of many others and the leadership of a wizard to defeat the evil they faced.
House Speaker Boehner is the wizard who sees the whole picture and is pulling his forces together. He knows you can’t win this war to save America with only one-half of one third of the needed power. Paul Ryan has pointed out that until President Obama is defeated, Republicans can only do their best to slow him down. Republicans need to stick together and win the support of independents in 2012. Let’s stop the backbiting.