E-mail letters, July 5, 2011

Tax and spend philosophy
won’t fix the economy

Regarding the recent writer accusing others of twisting meaning of words July 1, 2011: A person doesn’t have to twist the meaning of the words of writer Arn McConnell.

I am always amazed at how Democrats try to use demagoguery to further their views. If a person believes that the government should not raise taxes then those on the left say you want to make the elderly eat cat food and you want to take the children’s health insurance or let the infrastructure fall apart.

They only know how to use scare tactics. There is no substance to their ideas and it has been proved if you
want the economy to improve, cut taxes don’t raise them.

I have seen what raising taxes does to the economy as well as what tax cuts do to the economy. I am old enough to have voted against Carter and for Reagan. I believe each person in this country should have a right to say if their taxes go up or not. I agree it takes money to run our government but higher education is not a right it is a privilege.

I worked my way through college. No one paid for it. No government grants; just loans that I am paying back. I do not hate the government nor do I believe other conservatives do either. We are tired of the tax and spend politicians raising our taxes and not living within their means.

The left seems to think their means is how ever much they want it to be. Just raise taxes some more. Tax and spend is not the answer to our economy. Cut taxes and tighten the budget. If the common everyday person has to live within their budget those who run our government should have to also. This should be at the state level as well as the national level.
Darryl D. Divinny
Grand Junction


Ale House patio absent
from recent article

I read the article about patios by Tess Furey in the July 1 Out & About. It had no mention of the Ale House patio. How can you talk about Grand Junction’s great patios without The Best Of The West patio? Was this
an ad or an article?
Brian Oliver
Grand Junction


Columnist was off base
with attack on Fannie Mae

George Will is supposedly one of the more adult political pundits. His column July 3,”Former Fannie Mae chief was an instigator of Great Recession,” is a testament refuting that supposition. He uses a recent book on Fannie Mae, the federally backed mortgage institution, as a stepping stone to the usual tortured proposition that Fannie Mae, the government, liberals and, incidentally, the man running Fannie Mae were to blame for the Big Bust in the housing and mortgage market, a view that the books authors also held.
Fannie Mae was created toward the end of the Great Depression as a fully governmental operation to ease availability for home ownership in a period of near-unavailability of mortgage money. In 1968, due to complaints from conservatives, it was turned into a government/private hybrid. The government would back mortgages and private stockholders would gain the profits generated but the government would have to shoulder losses. Stockholders loved it because it was always profitable until the Big Bust.
Will’s contention is that the government, beginning with Fannie Mae and culminating in 1977 with the Community Reinvestment Act, the CRA, was involved in the mortgage market when, in effect, they had no business being there.

The CRA was meant to advocate somewhat riskier mortgages in what were know as Red Lined areas, meaning lower income areas. The resulting mortgages have proven to be very little higher in delinquencies and foreclosures than the mortgage market in general. Fannie Mae was a big participant in CRA loans. When the Big Bust was inflating, Fannie Mae, which indeed held about 50 percent of the mortgages in the country, was reluctant to get involved in the sub-prime market. That didn’t sit well with its stockholders, though, and Fannie was losing market share, so they jumped in, albeit late to the party.
Remember, Fannie Mae is a for-profit enterprise just like all of the other participants in the feeding frenzy. The Big Bust was clearly the result of our financial system run amok and not the result of the government forcing anybody to take risky loans. On the other hand, the CEO of Fannie Mae was responsible for malfeasance, at a minimum, just as the CEO’s of most concerns involved were to some degree as well.
Will is way off base in his attempt to place blame on anybody but those most responsible, and it wasn’t the federal government endeavoring to assist the needy. That was going along fine until the sub-prime feeding frenzy introduced by private mortgage interests was introduced.

Today Fannie Mae is still at it. There would hardly be any mortgage market at all currently if they weren’t there. They were organized to broaden the market, which they did very successfully until their private interests overwhelmed any sense of backing away from the sub-prime fiasco. It’s interesting that virtually all presidents since FDR have endorsed the idea of wider home ownership leading to a more stable society at one time or another, some more actively than others. Does George W’s Ownership Society ring any bells?
John Borgen
Grand Junction


Nothing would stop politicians
from dipping into rainy day fund

John Borgen, in Letters on July 3, proposes a federal government “rainy day fund that could only be touched under severely restricted circumstances to stop fiscal requirements that harm, not help.” My, what a novel idea. I wonder how many billions or trillions of dollars Borgen sees as a safe amount in such a fund.  Further, from whence to these billions or trillions of dollars come? What are those “fiscal requirements that harm?”

Since the Democrats seem to never cut discretionary spending, it seems like an insurmountable task. But wait. Let’s assume they find enough cuts and huge tax increases on the super rich to build such a fund. What constitutes a “fair” percentage for these super rich, and what is the amount of taxable income that constitutes “super rich?” Certainly not just $1 million or $2 million. That hits a ton of small businesses.

Now that we’ve done that, what are the “severely restricted circumstances” that control it’s use? I seem to recall that Social Security was once, long ago, to have an account into which all those monies taxed for that would be used to fund payments forever. But Congress, in its wisdom, dipped into those monies for years and replaced the dollars with IOUs.

Politicians do not know of, nor can they ever conceive of, any such “severely restricted circumstance” that would stop them from dipping into a “rainy day fund.” But of course, as Borgen apparently believes, those IOUs would be golden, just as those in the Social Security bank account.
Creighton Bricker
Grand Junction


Geo Metro demonstrated
high mileage, low cost possible

President Obama is proposing that the auto industry strive to obtain 56 mpg vehicles by 2025. My question is:
Why wait so long?

The industry acknowledges (finally) that it has the technology to do so now but is “afraid” the consumer will not pay the price. That’s a bunch of hooey. The vehicles do not need to be expensive. That is just a gimmick so they can charge more and increase the bonuses to the higher-ups. 

I owned three vehicles in the 1990s that had already met these proposed standards.I owned a ‘92 Geo Metro four-door, five speed on floor that averaged 55 mpg. I had a wreck and replaced it with a ‘94 Geo Metro four-door with five-on-the-floor, again averaging 55 mpg. I wore it out commuting (60 to 300 miles a day) and replaced it with a ‘97 Metro four-door, but it only averaged 40 mpg. That must have been because it was only a 4 speed automatic. I wore in out commuting.

My uncle has a ‘94 Metro — the same model as my ‘94 — and he is getting 60 mpg but he does not drive it as hard as I drove mine All four of these vehicles cost less that $10,000 each. They all had AM-FM radios and air conditioning. They all would run the speed limits without any trouble and accelerate as needed. All used 85 octane fuel and I did not have to plug them in a night.

These vehicle were assembled in Canada from various foreignparts, but sold as “American” through General Motors. GM took the name “Geo” off and put “Chevy” on them, and quality and performance went down, price went up, then they discontinued to sell them. Guess the Geo was just too good of a car. They were built as a throw-away commuter vehicle, but they ended up as very low maintenance and going 250,000-plus miles.

The gist of this is that the whole auto industry’s “sad” tales are a bunch of hooey. The auto companies cite studies that meeting the stiffer regulation will add thousand of dollars to the cost of a new vehicle. I would bet these “studies” were conducted by the auto companies themselves and tweaked to suit their own wants.

The National Auto Dealers Association maintains that to meet the proposed standard, more that 50 percent of the fleet must be hybrid or electric.  That goes into another area that takes volumes of pro-con discussions.  Just very briefly, why do we have to be dependent on “foreign” oil or on electricity from non-coal sources?
Larry M. Head
Hotchkiss


TABOR is not problem
in state budget crisis

Arn McConnell’s letter against Kelly Sloan and Americans For Prosperity is a typical left-wing response to the problems facing America today.

McConnell needs a refresher on the government. The Constitution reads, “We the People,” not “We the Government. TABOR is the will of the people. If the left and McConnell have a truly compelling case to raise taxes, bring it to a vote of the people.

The problem is there is no compelling evidence that TABOR is affecting the education system in Colorado. Let us take a look on our results in educational spending. Even with higher levels of spending than ever before,
50 percent of students entering Mesa State (Colorado Mesa University) require remedial courses before they can begin their collegiate education. More spending will not solve the education problems in Colorado or elsewhere.

Here is the reality of McConnell’s complaint. All of the budget shortfalls and lack of funding in Colorado can be tied to one change in the state rules, and it is not TABOR. Our current fiscal crisis can be tied to the change of the drilling rules implemented by the Ritter Administration. The resultant loss of thousands of jobs, the crash of the construction and real estate markets and the 12 percent unemployment rate are the real contributors to this crisis. Over a $1 billion in revenue lost is the result; Just the amount of the hole in our budget.

If McConnell wants to point the finger of blame, it should be at his own party’s short-sighted decision on the energy industry, not TABOR.
Kevin McCarney
Clifton


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