Email letters, Aug. 17, 2012

President’s effort to grow economy hindered by Republicans

Are economists using sensationalism to get our attention?  You would certainly think so. An economist named Vogel says that China’s economy will be 400 times greater than the U.S. economy.

You have to wonder, China has four times the number of people. The US competes with China at every level in its area or should. What assumptions does Vogel use to make his preposterous predictions? 

In today’s Daily Sentinel’s business page an article claims that the US economic recovery is the weakest since World War II and goes on to state all the maladies of the day. Are there any positives?  If economists are charged with analyzing the economy, shouldn’t they be looking at all sides?

For example, is it possible that since the economy is growing slowly that it will continue to grow longer?  Certainly, President Clinton showed that the business cycle could change with his nine years of good economic data. Certainly the Great Depression showed that it could also change negatively.

Are there no economists out there that are seers or futurists instead of being stuck in the mire and muddle of the day? I’ll try my own prognostication. If an economy is growing, it makes no sense to discourage growth with Romney/Ryan misadventures.

If anything, the economy should be encouraged to grow through selective, well-thought-out spending by the private economic sector as well as government. President Obama has tried in spite of the Republican “do-nothings” in office.


JOSE U. LUCERO
Grand Junction

Romney’s conflicted over Ryan’s budget

Before naming Paul Ryan as his running mate, Mitt Romney fully embraced the Ryan Budget as a model for his own still-undisclosed budget.


In Monday’s New York Times, Republican David Stockman—who resigned as President Reagan’s budget director in 1985 to protest his massive deficit spending rhetorically disguised as “fiscal conservatism” (i.e., “Voodoo Economics”)—derided Ryan’s “Fairy-Tale Budget” as being “devoid of credible math or hard policy choices” and an “empty sermon” – echoing Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman’s warning that the Ryan Budget should not be taken seriously because it’s “just a fantasy, not a serious policy proposal.”


Romney then immediately began distancing himself from Ryan’s Budget – claiming to have his own as-yet-unspecified alternative.


President Obama’s proposed budget applies a $716 billion dollar savings in Medicare costs (relative to those anticipated absent the Affordable Care Act -– achieved over the next 10 years by ending subsidies to insurance companies and direct payments to hospitals—to fund closing the “donut hole” in Medicare’s prescription drug benefit (Part D), providing preventive care (especially to women), and extending insurance coverage to some 30 million more Americans.


Ryan’s budget includes exactly the same $716 billion “saving,” which he uses to convert Medicare to a voucher program (another indirect subsidy to commercial health insurers) – thereby saddling seniors with an estimated $6,300 in increased annual health insurance premiums (when most seniors’ income is less than $25,000).


As a result, Republican congressmen – all of whom face re-election this year – are now distancing themselves from their previous infatuation with Ryan’s budget.


Romney claims that his yet-to-be disclosed budget repeals the ACA and restores the $716 billion “cut” to “strengthen Medicare” (which the ACA already does). Both Romney’s and Ryan’s plans would immediately impact seniors by reopening the “donut hole” and increasing their copayments under Medicare Advantage.


BILL HUGENBERG
Grand Junction

Give more coverage to sports programs at CHS, Fruit, Palisade

The Daily Sentinel bills itself as “your community news source.” However, I have long noted that even though Palisade, Central and Fruita High Schools are in the Grand Valley and have businesses that advertise in your paper, the Grand Junction High School sporting news is given preferential treatment.

In a recent issue Fruita Monument was the winner of the golf invitational, and Will Berg was the low scorer. There were two pictures of Grand Junction golfers and none from Fruita.

The winners of these events deserve recognition.
SYLVIA MORRISON
Grand Junction

President most likely will return to Chicago after leaving office

Not many things give me a warm fuzzy feeling these days, especially thoughts. But one does, and it does it every time. Not only the “warm and fuzzies,” but some times even goosebumps. That thought is this:

When the president is voted out of office this November and has finally left Washington for good, he’ll no longer be an elected “anything,” and won’t be able to wave his magic wand, spewing out reckless incompetence on us any more.

Almost as satisfying is knowing that he and his lovely family will probably move back and live in that toddling town, Chicago.

AL CARLEY

Grand Junction

Jared Wright unfairly blamed by police chief, Sentinel

Shame on the Sentinel and its staff for striving only to sell papers and not to tell the whole truth. Shame on you for spinning words and half-truths into the truth. You are no better than you claim Jared Wright to be.

That you would think it front page news to report that a drunk driver (Palmquist) is fighting a conviction, when she in fact refused a chemical test that could have (possibly) proved her innocence had she chosen to at the time. However, she refused the test that in itself says lots (if you want to assume the worst of people).

Maybe the city should change its laws to make a person take a test and not be allowed to refuse (to protect the city and the “innocent people” - especially so they do not go back out on the road and kill someone. (But the Sentinel would like that, as it sells papers, right?)

Secondly, maybe you should point the finger at the City of Fruita Police Department Chief for filing a memo on a personnel issue that is causing the county thousands of dollars to re-look at cases.  And warn all of the officers, by the way, who have taken home pens and paper, etc. from the department to be careful or they will be charged by the chief with theft (after all, this technically is theft of city property right?), and memos will be issued on them.

Third, I am sorry, but I consider my home and vehicles investments (as do many other people). Not once did I see where Jared Wright specified what investments he had that were bad.

But if I purchase items with the intention of paying for them, and then sometime down the line cannot make those payments because of cars breaking down and having to be repaired, houses having major repairs and issues, medical bills, etc. these are just things that happen in life, and you have to make some tough decisions to keep going, up to and including bankruptcy, during which your attorney will advise you to include everything you have.

I would love to do a credit/background check on everyone of your staff to see if at any time they have been less than perfect.

And by the way, watch your use of words such as “chronically late.” If that means four to five documented times in five years, then many people are in trouble for being late once a year (perspective).

Oh, and make sure if I happen to call one of you on the phone and ask specifically what you were doing on a certain date over a week ago, you can immediately give me the details up to the minute.

Find some news that you can correctly report on, please.

BRENDA DEWEY
Clifton

Ryan an Ayn Rand aficionado

Perhaps hearkening back to President Ronald Reagan (whose daily schedule was often influenced by Nancy’s astrologers), Republican Vice-Presidential candidate Paul Ryan – prior to March 2012 – was a self-proclaimed devote’ of fringe philosopher Ayn Rand.

Congressman Ryan was so taken with Rand’s novels that he required his staffers to read Rand’s writings and told The Atlas Society in 2005 that “There is no better place to find the moral case for capitalism and individualism.”

Ayn Rand experienced communism first-hand, so her philosophy incorporates a false dichotomy between extreme collectivism and extreme individualism – manifested by pursuing objective self-interest in the jungle of “unshackled” laissez faire capitalism. Thus, anything that tends toward collectivism is morally repugnant; anything that promotes individualism is morally desirable. Not unexpectedly, many Libertarians also ascribe to Rand’s view.

Ayn Rand was also well-known to be an atheist who rejected all forms of religion and superstition, and who inisisted that all moral values must be derived through reason. Rand vigorously criticized Reagan because he denied women’s moral right to opt for an abortion. Ryan would criminalize all abortions (without exception) and supports both forced ultrasounds (a woman’s capacityy to reason notwithstanding) and “personhood.”

In March 2012, Ryan (a Catholic) received a letter from a Catholic cleric asking Ryan why he gave more regard to the teachings of an atheistic novelist than to those of Jesus Christ and the Church. Since then, Ryan – apparently forgetting the miracle of videotape – has insisted that he has always rejected Rand’s philosophy (while obviously retaining his public policy commitment to individualistic capitalism, but not reason).

Presciently applying Rand’s notion of objective self interest while rejecting her false dichotomoy, our Founding Fathers staked out a middle ground – in which the common good is promoted by multiple layers of collective government, while individual rights are constitutionally protected from intrusion thereby.

BILL HUGENBERG
Grand Junction

Obama the epitome of what a good president should be

I’ve heard enough drivel about President Obama’s broken promises and lies. Does anyone really believe that he knew what lay ahead for him when elected president?  In his wildest imagination he could never have guessed that he would inherit such financial devastation. His campaign promises were based on the economy and the status of the country before the big fall.

If you naysayers and non-believers would ever check the facts and listen to media that was truly balanced, you would know that he has accomplished a great deal toward returning our country to economic stability. To say the stimulus didn’t work is hogwash. It saved millions of jobs and provided funds for infrastructure improvements; hundreds of ‘shovel ready’ projects were completed, thanks to stimulus funds. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act paid for improvements on 550 a year ago.

The fact that Congress has stonewalled every jobs bill President Obama proposed, either by blatantly voting it down or filibustering it to death, is not something that the right wing is cognizant of or willing to accept. The man has TRIED to work in a bipartisan fashion. He has tried to encourage compromise and cooperation, but the GOP, following instructions from its leadership, has chosen to throw up roadblocks every step of the way. Their mantra is “make sure Obama is a one term president”.  It has been revealed that this is truly a conspiracy to eliminate him from the office in 2012.

This man is the epitome of what a president should be. He’s intelligent, honest, down-to-earth, knowledgeable about the world situation and steady and calm during stressful situations. He continually keeps abreast of the country’s issues and is an amazing father and husband. He’s the man I want to answer the red phone at 2 a.m.

HOLLY VON HELMS
Montrose

Bennet exhibits leadership

Sen. Bennet has drafted a proposed bill for public comment regarding the future protection from oil and gas exploration on public lands within the Thompson Divide Area. This unique and pristine area is part of over 220,000 acres, which represents the largest roadless area in the State. It includes headwater streams, healthy forests, abundant wildlife and grazing leases for local ranchers.

Over the last several years Sen. Bennet has met with a wide and diverse group of stakeholders and interested parties including ranchers, business owners, recreationalists, industry representatives, citizens and elected officials. All have been encouraging the senator to find a middle ground solution to protect these public lands for future generations.

The primary industries in this portion of the state include tourism, recreation and wildlife pursuits. In addition, long-time ranchers with grazing permits on these lands are providing local beef we can count on.

Contrary to the boom and bust cycle that the Western Slope has experienced with the oil and gas industry, which has raised havoc with our local economies, protecting these limited public lands from future oil and gas exploration will enhance and promote a sustainable economy.

The broad support for Sen. Bennet’s efforts reaches far beyond environmental groups and includes Gunnison County commissioners, Garfield County commissioners, Pitkin County commissioners and other elected officials throughout the Roaring Fork Valley.

The future of the Western Slope’s economy lies not in speculative drilling in an area that has seen very little activity, but in a diverse economy representing all sectors of industry. No one’s property rights will be violated as this draft bill only speaks to future permits on public lands.

From the orchards and vineyards of Palisade to oil and gas development in Western Garfield County to recreation, ranching and tourism in the Roaring Fork Valley, Sen. Bennet’s draft legislation is visionary in recognizing the diversity of the Western Slope and ensuring it remains vibrant and economically viable.

GEORGE NEWMAN

Pitkin County Commissioner
Basalt

Sierra Club should give Lepore a chance

Here’s the Sierra Club spouting its criticism on the new director of the COGCC before he ever set foot in his office, spouting about ground water contamination which has so far not been proven. However, what about Denver’s air quality and what has the Sierra Club done lately about this, being as how it is based in Denver.

To my understanding the COGCC has done a very good job with working with both sides of a very delicate situation with trying to promote the oil and gas companies and protect Colorado’s Environment. This letter from Joshua Ruschhaupt just shows the heavy-handed tactics that environmentalists use to try to achieve their goals.

I wish Mathew Lepore all the best in his new position and dealing with environmentalist groups.

CURT CLAUSSEN
Grand Junction

Radical environmentalists fail to understand need to wisely harvest natural resources

Once again, our area is filled with hazy wildfire smoke, probably from those burning in Washington, Oregon, California, and Nevada. Can you imagine what their air must be like?

This year may set new records for acres burned. Wildfires cannot always be prevented, but their impacts can often be minimized..

We have let rabid environists (environmentalists without the ‘mental’!) create hazardous conditions in our forests. They say that they want to ‘save’ wildlife habitat – but what they’ve really done by stopping most logging is to set conditions that fill our forests with so much tinder that catastrophic fires are inevitable. Logging alters habitat for a few years; hot fires destroy habitat for a few decades.

Grasslands have also been under their attack. When cattle are kicked off those lands, grasses grow higher, setting conditions for massive fires.

We have allowed environists to reduce and to vilify logging, ranching, mining, drilling, hunting, and trapping. Too many reasonable, intelligent people have been silent while radicals successfully pressured our government to foolishly restrict the use of our natural resources.

We are supposed to be in control of our government, but that works only if we participate. Stop being silent and start participating! Vote for candidates who understand that the first step back to a healthy economy is to wisely harvest our natural resources.
BRUCE MANY
Cedaredge

Much of increase in national debt attributable to Rush, Ryan


“There you go again,” President Ronald Reagan might have chided Josh Penry for rejoining the team of pathological Republican liars (Romney-Ryan) to sprinkle “fairy dust” on gullible local “conservatives” (“Ryan willing to grab ‘third rail’ of entitlement reform”, Aug. 17).


Apparently, Penry missed Monday’s Republican “talking point”:  because of Ryan’s proliferating prevarications, the term “entitlement reform” is now discouraged in favor of the deliberately misleading, disingenuous, and oxymoronic “saving” or “preserving” those programs (particularly Medicare).


Moreover, to glibly characterize President Obama as a “fiscal miscreant” willfully and dishonestly ignores 30 years of empirical evidence to the contrary.


Republican icon Reagan and Bush I doubled the national debt (as percent of GDP) by using massive deficit spending to “stimulate” the economy while attributing economic growth to tax cuts (“voodoo economics’), prompting Reagan’s own budget director,  David Stockman, to resign in protest.


Bush II increased the national debt by another 50 percent by using “off-the-books” deficit spending to fund two more tax cuts (hoping to magically “stimulate” the economy), two wars, and Medicare Part D – all of which “fiscal conservative” Paul Ryan voted for.


Since Obama took office, the national debt has increased by another 33 percent—much of which is attributable to Bush and Ryan. As Stockman wrote in the New York Times on Monday, Obama inherited a debacle caused by “thirty years of Republican apostasy” that “crippled the engines of capitalism and buried us in debt.


When Obama responsibly proposed similar fiscal stimuli as employed by Republicans, Ryan voted “no” – opining that they would be ineffectual. Ryan then aggressively sought stimulus funds for his district, because they would “create jobs”—but lied to his constituents and the press about doing so, all the while preaching that Obama’s stimulus was “a failure.”


Welcome back to the liars’ club, Josh.


BILL HUGENBERG
Grand Junction



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