E-mail letters, April 8, 2010

It’s Toyota’s turn
for problems now

The massive recalls and lawsuits show that Toyota is not the White Knight for the auto-buying public. What is even more concerning is how long it took them to admit that they had safety problems that needed fixing.

Doing what they did demonstrates that Toyota was more concerned with the bottom
line than quality and safety. The Big Three went this route in the 1980s and it cost them.

The problem this created for the Big Three was that many Americans switched to foreign cars. Now these people are teaching their children what to buy by example. I know this because I followed by buying the brand my father drove.

A lot of foreign automobile manufacturers assemble their vehicles in this country, and use Americans in their TV commercials to insinuate this is an American product. But do the profits from the money you give them stay in this county?
We may not have won World War II if it were not for our American auto companies. We need the American automobile companies.

I urge anyone looking for a new vehicle to at least give the American car manufactures a look. You might be surprised. They are making some great, cutting-edge-technology vehicles. By buying American, you are supporting this country and our future.
David Orient

Tea parties not directed
with either political party

Recently, a whole host of individuals and groups have been stepping forward, claiming to speak for the tea party. Many of them, admittedly, have never attended or sponsored a tea party. They are accompanied by an entourage of recently born-again conservative political candidates.

In the confusion, it is difficult to tell the real from the surreal. Perhaps that is their purpose. Here are a couple of facts for the public to consider:

Roughly 12 percent of tea partiers are Democrats, 46 percent are independent voters and 42 percent are Republicans. Those numbers apply locally.

The tea parties don’t oppose Democrats; they oppose a progressive or socialist, nanny-state agenda.

It is a mistake to believe that the tea parties are controlled by the Republican Party, although there is an ongoing attempt by some factions of that party to co-opt the local tea party.

We believe in a constitutional government of the people, by the people and for the people.

We believe in smaller government, smaller taxes and we believe the solution to our nation’s problems is to be found in the will of the people, not in the will of political parties.

We support a voice for the people through choice at the voting polls. Our goal is not to speak for the people but rather to empower the people to speak for themselves.

Who are we?

We are gjresult.com, organizer and sponsor of the first Grand Junction tea party. We are strong, we are many and our voices will be heard.
Chuck Beacham
Director, gjresult.com
Grand Junction

Added state jobs required
to meet Colorado’s needs

Services Mesa County families depend on have been strained by the Great Recession and ensuing state budget cuts. It is mistaken to suggest that “virtually every part of state government plans to expand the number of jobs next year” as The Daily Sentinel did in an April 5 story, “Colorado plans to add 500 new workers.”

The story gave the faulty impression that government growth is out-of-control because more people will collect paychecks from the state. The reality is not that simple. Consider this:

—The ratio of state workers to state residents has remained largely unchanged since 2004 at about 1 worker for every 100 Coloradans. Those workers will now go two years without raises.

—The number of Coloradans receiving health care through Medicaid is projected to grow 11 percent, to more than 550,000, but the state will spend less per recipient.

—The number of families receiving cash assistance and food stamps rose 42 percent and 26 percent respectively last year. But state funding for counties to administer those programs will drop 7 percent.

—The Colorado Department of Education will have 12 fewer workers, not to mention the untold number of positions that school districts throughout the state will cut because state funding will fall $260 million.

Most of the new workers coming onto the state’s payroll will be hired on college campuses. But unless you pay tuition, you won’t support the cost of the new staff. Next year the state will provide the same amount of financial support for public colleges and universities as it did five years earlier, even though the number of students will have grown 16 percent.

It’s hard to portray state government as growing at a time when we aren’t doing enough to keep up with the needs of our fellow Coloradans, who depend on vital services in the midst of this tough economy.
Terry Scanlon
Fiscal Policy Analyst
Colorado Fiscal Policy Institute


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