E-mail letters, Sept. 14, 2010

Ballot measures will cause
Colorado to go bankrupt

With the economic decline of the past 18 months in Colorado, the last thing our beautiful state needs is to go bankrupt. That is exactly where we will find ourselves within the next 18 months if Amendments 60 and 61 and Proposition 101 pass on the November ballot.
Our state’s Constitution requires a balanced budget. These measures would eliminate one quarter of the income tax, half of the public school tax, and nearly all of the vehicle license plate funds for roads and bridges.

If Amendment 60 were to pass, public school funding, which was voted on by Colorado
citizens, would consume 99 percent of Colorado’s general fund budget because the state is required to backfill funding for schools where local sources don’t.

Right now, Mesa County voters have a right to say “yes” or “no” to borrowing money to build roads, schools, jails, etc. If Amendment 61 were to pass, Mesa County, Mesa State College, the city of Grand Junction or District 51 would have to pay cash for $15 million buildings and our right to vote on those decisions would be eliminated. I don’t believe that any of those entities have that kind of money sitting around after the double-
digit percentage cuts over the last 18 months.

Proposition 101 would reduce vehicle licensing fees, state income tax and telephone fees to levels not seen since the early 1900s and, the last time I checked, businesses move to areas that have attractive infrastructure, effective transportation systems which include roads and highways, and most importantly, schools that offer productive opportunities for learning.

Amendments 60 and 61 and Proposition 101 will place Colorado in a permanent recession and cause another 73,000 people to go to unemployment offices.

Jim Smyth, President
Mesa Valley Education Association
Grand Junction


If Democrats stay home,
GOP victory is ensured

As reported by the Associated Press, Senate Republicans will fight efforts to renew “Bush administration tax cuts if upper income taxpayers are excluded from the reductions.”

On Sept. 12, while being interviewed by CBS’s Bob Schieffer of “Face the Nation,” House Republican Minority Leader John Boehner said he” would support renewing tax cuts for the middle class but not the wealthy if that was his only choice.”

In less than 24 hours, again reported by Associated Press, Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell, the Senate minority leader, stated “a bill extending the tax cuts for only low- and middle-income earners cannot pass the Senate” and that “every Senate Republican has pledged to oppose President Barack Obama’s tax-cutting plan.”
It appears that Republican senators and Republican representatives call into question their solidarity to weaken the deteriorating middle and lower economic classes. But what passes the House has been constipated repeatedly in the Senate.

In plain English, if you make $250,000 or less the Republicans don’t want to continue middle and lower income family tax breaks unless those who make more than $250,000 are also included. What will happen is the House will pass a bill to preserve tax cuts for
middle and lower income families and the Senate Republicans will filibuster or politically delay that bill till after the November elections.

As everyone knows, the Democrats of this country are not going to support their Democratic candidates at any level of government or if they are already in office.
Since most Democrats are from middle to lower-income earning groups, Latinos, blacks, gay and lesbians, working women, labor and Union members, then stay home Democrats! Do not vote on Nov. 2nd and make the Republican wish of House and Senae takeover, come true.
Benita Phillips
Palisade


Community support made
accessible home exhibit a success

The recent Assistive Technology Partners – Accessible Home Exhibit, held at the Mesa County Fairgrounds, would not have been possible without the support of the community. This unique 1,200 square foot exhibit featured a kitchen, bedroom, living room, bathroom, office and recreation room filled with devices to assist individuals with disabilities. 

A special thanks to all those businesses and organizations that made the event possible..
Denice Roberts
Assistive Technology Specialist
University of Colorado

Jeremy Kuebler
ARCH of Mesa County
Resource Specialist


Bill Gates admits
death panels are needed

Some time ago I wrote about the Czar for health care having praised the UK’s “scientific” method developed for making health care decisions. Which, to me, actually means rationing and some sort of “death panel.” Prior to that, in the health care debate, the loony left emphatically denied there was any such thing and attacked those who brought it up.

Now we have one of their own, Bill Gates, who is probably a nice guy, saying: “That’s a tradeoff society is making because of very, very high medical costs and a lack of willingness to say, you know, is spending a million dollars on that last three months of life for that patient, would it be better not to lay off those ten teachers and to make that tradeoff in medical costs. But that’s called a death panel and you’re not supposed to have that discussion.”

But there we are, having that discussion. And, Bill Gates is “very much against” the laying off of teachers. Oh boy, this makes me all warm and fuzzy to know Gates is so very adamant about not losing teachers through making “bad” health decisions in the last few months of my life.
Creighton Bricker
Grand Junction


Don’t reward candidates
who use negative ads

I find the negative political ads abominable, shameful, and unworthy of any elected official. This is true whether the campaign is directly responsible for the ads, or some third-party group is responsible. I hold the candidate accountable.

I am completely fed up with the nastiness of political campaigns. When candidates vilify opponents with half-truths, out-of-context statements, or downright lies, they are merely attempting to deceive us.

They do not deserve to be elected. Often both sides in a political race partake in the same spurious practice, and there is no one decent to vote for.

It occurs to me that when we vote for the “lesser of two evils,” we are usually telling the winner that we approve of him or her and the tactics used during the campaign. If candidates have been involved in mudslinging and misdirection, lies or other unethical conduct, and we send them to office anyway, do we really expect them to behave differently once they have won the prize? Do we not then truly deserve the government we have chosen?

I pledge to send a public and official statement of my displeasure by refusing to vote for such candidates.

If there is no one left worth voting for, I will enter a write-in vote for: SNAFU NoneOfTheAbove. I realize someone will win the election anyway, but someone would win even if I closed my eyes and voted against my sensibilities.

I will stand up and be counted.
Karen Cline
Eckert


Bear Ranch folks think
land swap is a done deal

After reading Justin Hall’s letter to the editor of Sept. 7, I have to put his “facts” into the same category as the comments made in the Sentinel by the gentleman about a year ago who professed to know that there are no wood ducks in Colorado. Both are all wet.
Hall paraphrased an article from a “recent Gunnison County Times editorial” stating that if you hunt the narrow strip along the trail into the Gunnison National Forest “you are road hunting.” I went with a friend who hunts there on a regular basis to check it out. He showed me his two favorite places. The first, as measured by a range finder, was 150 yards to his favorite spot overlooking a small valley and the only shooting lanes faced directly away from the unimproved trail used to get to the valley.
The second spot was about 450 yards from the end of a trail (257 yards from my vehicle to the top of the ridge and another 200 yards beyond that). Again the shooting lanes were not toward any close roads.  If that is road hunting, 90 percent of Colorado hunters are guilty of doing it. As for the rest, numerous people use the old Forest Service trail to get to Williams Creek and Tomahawk Reservoirs or to Ragged Mountain. The only other access to these places involves a drive of approximately 35 miles and a long hike.
My interest in the area arose because the owner of the Bear Ranch is willing to give John Salazar $30,000, plus other considerations, to sponsor a bill giving him the 1,800 acres adjoining the ranch and the rancher is certainly getting more land than he is giving. It seems to me the ranch owner is spending a lot of dollars to give the public “a good deal.” 
I might add that my friend pointed out a new gate that has been placed on public lands. That wasn’t there last fall.

While driving a road adjacent to the ranch, one of the ranch employees got out of his black pickup, looked at us, spread his legs like the pictures you see of the small town sheriff, pulled down is dark glasses and glared at us. I can only guess it was an attempt at intimidation. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to retrieve my camera quickly enough to take his picture.

That and the two employees who “cruised” us on their ATVS lead me to believe those people already consider the public land to be theirs and that the land swap as a done deal.
William A. Smith
Grand Junction


There are better ways
to collect federal taxes

The argument of taxation never seems to get old to the politicians. And, why should it? It’s their primary tool for staying in power. The left and the right both use the tax issue to create class envy and pit the rich against the poor.
The IRS is one of the most bloated bureaucracies in Washington. Isn’t it about time to put this issue to rest once and for all? There are better ways for this country to collect taxes for government programs than our current system.

The two that come to mind are the Flat Tax or The Fair Tax, (H.R.25). Either would be superior to the current gotcha system we have now. There is nothing “fair” about the way our government collects taxes. Why should anyone pay a higher percentage of their income just because they earn more money for whatever the reason? Life is not fair. Get over it.

I prefer the Fair Tax over the Flat Tax because it is a consumption tax. The more you purchase, the more taxes you pay; which should be perfect for those who think the rich should pay more. They obviously will since they will buy more. What could be more “fair” than that?

In addition, everybody who buys products in the USA will pay taxes. That would include vacationers from other countries, even illegal vacationers from Mexico who forget how to go home. It would also include drug dealers, prostitutes and other underground activities we don’t collect taxes on now.

Corporations that have moved their companies offshore because of the tax drain would come back to the United States. This is such an obvious no brainer I’m sure it will never pass with the power-hungry lifetime politicians we currently have in Washington.
Neil Riddle
Whitewater



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