E-mail letters, March 7, 2011

There’s no need for writer
to demonize the homeless

I’ve been waiting for Rick Wagner to run out things to scare us with. Every week it’s the illegal aliens are after us, then its the Muslims, then the liberals, the death panels, the atheists, the unions. But right when I think he’ll have to go to reruns, he hits us with the

He has “detected” an increase in their numbers. They have actually heard about our valley on the Homeless Underground Telegraph and are quitting their jobs and traveling here to beg on our corners and sleep under our bridges.

Wagner should know there are people in our society who have almost nothing. They live hand to mouth, one day at a time. They don’t mean to offend him with their very presence but they have nowhere to go.

If he doesn’t wish to help them out, then he shouldn’t. He doesn’t need to demonize them.

Rick Matthew
Grand Junction

Cutting federal budget
shouldn’t be ideological

I recently received a response from Rep. Scott Tipton addressing my concerns for the proposed elimination of funding for public broadcasting. In it, he said he believes public broadcasting “is capable of funding itself through private resources.” Although I respect the difficult task we face in getting the federal budget under control, I find the rationale he gives for the elimination of funding for public broadcasting to be indicative of what seems to be a blindingly narrow partisan perspective toward the current budget debate.

To assert that the disproportionate proposed funding cuts to education, health, environmental protection and, as in this case, public broadcasting, are being done from a sense of fiscal responsibility is rich in hypocrisy.

Rep. Tipton in fact recently voted against considering a motion to amend H.J. Res. 44 that would have cut the substantial tax subsidies for major oil companies and potentially added over $45 billion to the federal budget over the next decade. Such a notion has recently been supported by the likes of Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., former Shell Oil CEO John Hoffmeister, and at one time even by former President George W. Bush, all asserting that in times of high oil prices, subsidies provide little, if any, additional incentive for exploration and development.

Tipton’s rationale that a sector does not need public support when it is capable of sustaining itself through private resources very well should be directed at entities other than those seemingly contrary to his ideological views.

These issues seem to be indicative of a reactionary and perhaps even retributive approach to governing seen in the current political arena. It is with respect that I hope that any discontentment surrounding current budget politics can be directed to press Tipton to be more inclusive and prudent in his public service.
Peter Pierson


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