E-mail letters, March 27, 2010

We are the government
and it is all of us

I am writing in reference to Rick Wagner’s editorial of March 25, 2010:

I am a 56-year-old man whose friends routinely chide him about his liberal political leanings. It is in good fun, and there is generally more humor than rancor in our conversations. Thank goodness!

What is hard to explain to those who give me a bad time is the silliness of this “get government out of my life” mantra. Everyone on the sliding scale of liberal to conservative feeds at the public trough in their own fashion. We all partake, whether it is in the form of tax break or service. We Americans are addicted to entitlements (eg., Social Security, Medicare, welfare) just as we are to sugary soda, so we need to figure out how to ingest what we want without killing our corpulent selves. As the great cartoonist Walt Kelly said, “We have met the enemy, and he is us.”

I agree with Rick about the pomp surrounding the passage of health care reform, and the signing of that legislation. It is unseemly, and rivals the end zone dance of some overpaid professional athlete who should just quietly be doing his job.

But, the Democrats have some reason to rejoice. They moved forward with a much-needed piece of legislation. Great legislation? Probably not. Too many concessions to powerful players that created the problem.

The power of this piece remains to be seen, but Wagner himself can’t deny the need for this reform. This is where the Grand Old Party has dealt itself a huge blow. Where Rick says the Democrats will have to live with the fallout of this legislation becoming law, he is right. The Democratic Party will, in history’s eyes, be forever seen as the forward-thinking party of the people.

The Republicans squandered all their political energy, not to further better legislation, but to stymie incomplete law that needed their input. This was a huge disservice to a good people, and a tremendous failure of our system of representative government.

Get one thing straight, folks, as you rail against Barack Obama or George Bush: Government was, is and always will be. It is you! It is on your streets, in your pocket, and coddles you from birth to death. So the fix isn’t to nail the figurehead to a cross, it is to jump deeper into that morass and attempt improvement.

The fix for America is so much more than political; it is moral and deeply ethical, and it involves personal responsibility and participation, not obstruction and intransigence. And, oh yeah, maybe just a small dose of humor at the end of the day.
David Hoffman                                                            
Grand Junction

Immigration will be
Obama’s next push

With President Obama getting the highly controversial health care package passed, I believe his next big legislation package will be immigration reform.
Based on what we have just seen of his strong-arm, behind-closed-door, persuasion tactics to get his health care bill passed, I believe we can see similar tactics used for immigration reform to declare citizenship for 8 million to 12 million illegal immigrants. This appears to be in line for his next big landmark legislation.

The vote of these grateful people would almost guarantee his re-election. I seem to remember President George H.W. Bush granting amnesty and citizenship to 3 million illegal immigrants. Now we have at least three times that number of illegal immigrans awaiting another free pass to citizenship. One can only wonder how many million more illegal aliens will be here waiting for citizenship next time, if amnesty is granted to this group.
Neal A. Ward

Toyota problems show
it’s time to support U.S.

The massive recalls and lawsuits prove that Toyota is a company that is not so interested in your safety and quality first. Toyota has become greedy.

While they were climbing to the top, the vehicles had to be good, but once they got there, they may have thought they were invincible.

Was Toyota concerned about you? I think it was the money.

The Big Three did this in the 70s and it cost them. The problem they had was competing with foreign companies who paid their workers less money and benefits. The Big Three could not compete.

One part of the problem we have now is many people have the perception that anything made in America is junk and they won’t buy it. If this is supporting the country you live in, and our fathers and grandfathers fought and died for, move to Japan so you can share in their good fortune.

The American car companies are making wonderful automobiles now that compete with anyone. They learned a lesson. Some foreign makers may have plants in the U.S., but where do the profits go? Where do you want your money to go?
David Orient

Thanks due to Salazar
for support of health bill

Thank you, Rep. John Salazar, for voting in favor of health reform.

Thank you for understanding the need to transform a medical system in a society that has already has decided to care for all its citizens … through the emergency room.

Thank you for standing up to for-profit insurance companies that prioritize profits over patients and shareholders over policy holders.

Thank you for recognizing that we can’t realistically cover pre-existing conditions and encourage portability of insurance without an individual mandate.  You listened to the 208 Commission, the Colorado Medical Society, and Club 20 — who all share this policy recommendation.

Thank you for insisting on more cost containment mechanisms in the health reform bill — many more than Mitt Romney requested in his Massachusetts health reform bill.

Thank you for inviting President Obama to Grand Junction to highlight how our local community and privately run health system saves millions of dollars in taxpayer dollars each year. And then, thanks for helping include some of these ideas in the reform bill.

Thank you for realizing that more uninsured Americans lead to much higher insurance rates for those remaining on insurance.

Thank you for recognizing that countries that provide universal health insurance have significantly lower abortion rates. Women have better access to preventive medicine.
And thank you for true leadership in starting to address the most difficult domestic issue of our time. It will be a work in progress.

Yes indeed, thank you Rep. John Salazar for your historic vote on health reform
Michael J. Pramenko, M.D.
Grand Junction

Emergency room treatment
doesn’t justify health bill

This is regarding the article, “Local supporters cheer health vote,” The Daily Sentinel March 22:

“We already decided health care is a right by the way we treat ERs,” Michael Pramenko told the Sentinel.

Who decided? Not “we”, but Congress, when it passed a law forcing emergency rooms to treat everyone, regardless of ability to pay. By what right? None.

Each person has a right to liberty, as the Declaration of Independence asserts. Any law forcing anyone to provide a good or service violates our liberty.

It is wrong for anyone to take one’s earnings, achieved through one’s own efforts to spend by one’s own judgment. It is wrong to force anyone to serve others. That is why America abolished slavery
. Forced emergency room treatment does not justify national healthcare. Rather, we should restore liberty. For more on this, please visit WeStandFIRM.org.
Richard Watts

Wagner ignores GOP
role in political mess

On behalf of all of the Obama supporters across the Western Slope, I must say it has been such a pleasure to read Rick Wagner during our historic new leader’s first term in office. Every new article gets meaner and more twisted than the last.
Mr. Wagner has always been quick to defend a party that, for eight blundering years, turned a budget surplus into a recession and trillions of dollars in debt. Now that the mess, which includes two wars, has been so graciously handed over to the Democratic Party, Mr. Wagner continues to not only misrepresent to the public about big government and spending, but to himself about what his party has done to our great nation.

The “right” wing has never been so wrong.

In his whiny article titled “Obama’s Pyrrhic Victory,” Wagner states that the new health bill is our nation’s “first ever requirement that citizens pay a fee as a condition of their citizenship.”

Earth to Rick: Ever heard of Medicare, Social Security, or taxes in general for that matter? He also pokes fun at how long it has taken the president to pass the bill, all the while declaring that Obama used “parlor tricks” and “terrified” members in his own party to get the bill through. The simple fact that it took so long as Wagner well knows, is because of right-wing filibusters and traditional Republican do-nothing politics.

I’d be willing to bet one of the main reasons why none of the right wingers got involved in the health care bill is because they needed the left brains to figure out a solution.

Just as it has been said by our great president, so what if the heath care bill hurts some Democrats in the up-coming elections. At least we now have a first step towards a greatly needed bill.

Three cheers, Mr. President. Thank you for continuing to clean up the mess you were handed in 2008, and for shaking up all of the pathological liars in the “wrong” wing of politics.
Kevin Mahoney
Grand Junction


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