Email letters, Aug. 28, 2012

Holding GOP convention in Tampa during hurricane season shows poor judgment

Is it any wonder that a lot of us old people who remember the glory days of the Grand Old Party have lost faith in its current leadership?

Don’t decisions such as scheduling the Republican National Convention in Tampa during the height of the hurricane season give reason to be concerned? Simply using good judgment is not rocket science.

Let’s hope that the weather doesn’t interfere beyond wiping out the first day, so that “we built it!” can prevail.

RICHARD DORAN
Parachute

President accomplishes little in more than three years

President Obama and his handpicked people took over two of the major auto manufacturers with taxpayer funds. This takeover resulted in the unions now owning a large portion of GM and Chrysler. The taxpayer funds were used to bail out the union pension funds. (How is your pension doing?)

The bondholders (you and I), who should have been the first in line of creditors in any bankruptcy, except when government controlled, were told to go kick sand and received nothing for our investment. The stockholders were wiped out. Delphi was forced into bankruptcy with thousands of jobs lost and employee pensions eliminated because it was not union.

Obama was elected to office on the promise of “hope and change.” I am still trying to understand why he stated, “I will take the greatest nation in the history of the world and fundamentally change it.” This he definitely has.

Obama was elected with a 6.8 percent unemployment rate that immediately went to 7.3 percent after the election to 10 percent during his first year in office. Anticipation of change?

Obama took office with a Democrat-controlled Senate and House and could not pass a budget, but did manage to get Obamacare (Nancy Pelosi actually wrote the bill) by hook and crook. No Republicans had input, as they were locked out of the discussions by Nancy Pelosi (you must pass it to learn what is in it) and her cohorts.

Obamacare is slowly being enacted with all of its 27 new taxes in place. (Check this for yourself).

Obama pushed through the payroll tax withholding reduction as a tax cut for working people. The untold story of this is that by reducing the amount paid into Social Security, your benefits also will be reduced by an equivalent amount when you are ready to receive them.

Obama was elected with the national debt of $7 trillion. Now in just 3 1/2 years, he has pushed the debt to nearly $16 trillion, and it is still growing. This is more than double what was accumulated in 225 years and under 43 presidents of both parties. Obama is well on his way to change and no hope. With all this spending, the unemployment rate is still growing (people quit looking for work), and more than 50 million citizens and others receive assistance of some type.

All this time, Obama has had Harry Reid, Michael Bennett, Mark Udall and the Democrat-controlled Senate refuse to do a budget (required by the U.S. Constitution) and refuse to bring to the Senate floor any budget bill submitted by the House of Representatives (required by the Constitution).

Right or wrong, the House bills should be brought to the Senate floor for discussion and up or down votes. But, no, Reid refuses to do his mandated job. The Democrat Senate has voted down Obama’s own budgets by votes of 90+ against every year.

Obama has made several appointments that are unconstitutional, but the Senate, which by law is supposed to approve or disapprove, has chosen to ignore these activities. In doing so, it has put its stamp of approval upon the illegal activity.

These are just a few of the things that Obama has done for the nation, and unless Congress finds some daylight before Jan. 1, 2013, Obama will raise taxes on the average Colorado family by approximately $2,700 a year. I agree. Time for a change.

D. L. SMITH
Grand Junction

Bennet’s bipartisan record a clear contrast in increasingly dysfunctional capital

I read with astonishment Josh Penry’s Aug. 2 column about Sen. Michael Bennet’s bipartisan work.

I can’t think of anyone who’s done more to bring bipartisanship on important issues such as deficit reduction and entitlement reform to Washington then Bennet. His work with Republicans on issues large and small is well documented.

As Martelle Daniels cited in a recent letter to the editor, Bennet teamed up with Sen. Mike Johanns, R.-Neb., to lead a bipartisan letter with 64 senators—32 Democrats and 32 Republicans – urging the president to negotiate a comprehensive plan to reduce the debt. They called for a plan that included entitlement reforms, spending cuts and serious tax reform.

Bennet and Johanns are also part of a group of eight senators that includes Republicans Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, Saxby Chambliss of Georgia and Mike Crapo of Idaho. This group has been working to craft a bipartisan proposal that includes entitlement reform and changes to the tax code. It has called on leadership in both parties to bring up votes on a comprehensive plan.

Bennet has supported the bipartisan Simpson-Bowles deficit reduction plan from the start. He even wrote in support of it in this very newspaper. In a letter to the editor in February, Bennet praised The Daily Sentinel for commending former Sen. Alan Simpson, R.-Wyo., and his deficit commission co-chair Erskine Bowles on their efforts to rein in the nation’s debt.

In his short time in the Senate, Bennet has been rated by the National Journal as one of the most moderate senators based on its analysis of votes.

Bennet’s record is clear. It’s one of common sense and bipartisanship in an increasingly dysfunctional Washington.

RICK BAER
Grand Junction

Revise state constitution to clamp down on unfunded governmental spending

I hope your readers will debate whether the following wording should be adopted by our state legislature and perhaps even be included in our state constitution:


“Unfunded spending mandates by state or local governments may not be imposed unless first approved by a vote of the affected publics or their elected representatives.”

STEVE HAGERMAN
Grand Junction

State offers plenty of ways to play … though not always in most environmentally friendly way

I see in The Daily Sentinel that Mark Udall is pleading with senators and congress people to pass a tax to save jobs in the wind power sector. Well, nobody pleaded for the thousands of jobs lost in the energy field when Colorado adopted new regulations and nobody’s pleading for the jobs lost when energy companies are shut down by environmental groups.

Everybody’s happy, however, to have the outdoor recreational enthusiasts, bike riders, skiers, boaters, campers and hunters. But working pays for all these hobbies, and if there’s no work, there’s no play. So, I guess Coloradans need to figure out what we want to do: feast or famine. You can’t have one without the other like a lot of people think.

And a lot of the hobbies people do in Colorado aren’t as environmentally friendly as they’d like to think.

CURT CLAUSSEN
Grand Junction

As man of integrity, Menger will work for people, not a party

According to Kathy Hall quoted in Sunday’s Daily Sentinel, voters are looking for someone with “personal responsibility and integrity” for House District 54. Tim Menger, running as a Libertarian, is that person.

Here’s a man who has lived a life devoted to personal responsibility and integrity. Let’s look beyond the two-party system and recognize that there is another choice besides Jared Wright.

Menger is the one man who really will work for the people and not a political party.

BETSY MARTIN
Grand Junction

Film on Obama smears him without providing alternatives to country’s problems

I wonder who really produced the smear, “Obama’s America 2016.”Certainly the film wasn’t really all the work of the East Indian narrator who made Obama’s background informative, yet so off base, in its premise and conclusion.

This film misses the point of world history, namely the trend in the rights of men.— and women and children. Instead, we are led to believe the world’s resources can sustain and expand industry forever.

True, our children’s inheritance is disappearing through the national debt. Ignored is that today children in third-world countries make life in first-world countries possible. Aside from this being slavery, this consumption is not sustainable. It will ruin everyone.

The worst part of the movie is that it does not give alternatives. It just smears Obama.

In that spirit, the Statue of Liberty is a lesser icon. In place of cradling a founding book and holding a torch, she would be cradling nuclear missiles and holding a wand. Inscribed on the base in place of Emma Lazarus’ words would be something lesser, as well.

FRED STEWART
Grand Junction

Nation’s economic woes a much bigger election issue than abortion

I do not understand the whole mindset that would make abortion a deciding factor in our presidential election. We are $16 trillion in debt and adding over $1 trillion a year. The government hasn’t passed a budget for going on four years (though one party had control of both the executive and legislative branches for two of those years).

Our businesses are stagnant at least in part due to uncertainty surrounding taxes and health care costs. The real unemployment/underemployment rate is around 25 percent. College graduates are moving back home because they cannot find suitable employment.

Do you think that the average middle class family of four, whose parents both worked and lived a comfortable lifestyle and now, with one parent unemployed and struggling to keep their house, is more concerned about abortion than with the direction that our country is going? Do you think that the college graduate who had to move back home and is working a low-paying or part-time job to pay back his/her student loans is more concerned about abortion than the underemployment rate?

Do you think that the “empty nesters” who have been working hard to provide themselves with a comfortable retirement and now have their son or daughter living back home are more worried about abortion than the economy?

As even any marginally educated person knows, no one person in America can change a law, not even the president. When our country is economically stable, businesses are growing and unemployment is under control, then maybe we can have a presidential election based on abortion issues. Right now we have bigger fish to fry.

GLENN MENARD
Grand Junction



COMMENTS

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D.L. Smith’s on-line letter is replete with false facts. 

Obama did not “take over” GM and Chrysler, but added $60 billion to the $17.4 billion in emergency loans initiated by Bush.

“The unions” never owned “a large portion” of either.  CBS News states:
A trust owned by the United Auto Workers - but not directly managed by the union - received a 17.5 percent ownership stake in GM in return for taking over the health care costs of blue-collar retirees.
Smith’s is a “distorted account of complex arrangements by which the companies, unions, government and courts fashioned a plan to lighten staggering health care and pension costs at the heart of the automakers’ decline”.
When Obama appeared in Grand Junction on September 15, 2008, Lehman Brothers collapsed and the unemployment rate was 6.1%.  By Election Day, it was 6.8%; by Inauguration Day, it had reached 7.8%—because the Bush economy was hemorrhaging 750,000 jobs monthly.
Unemployment reached 10% in October 2009, but has fallen since the “stimulus”  – to 8.3% in July.
“Obamacare” incorporated provisions initially proposed by Republicans, implemented concepts advocated by the Heritage Foundation, and mirrored “RomneyCare” in most material respects.
Smith’s claim that “the payroll tax withholding reduction” will cause “your benefits to be reduced” is false.  The IRS states: “As before, the lower rate will have no effect on workers’ future Social Security benefits.  The reduction in revenues to the Social Security Trust Fund will be made up by transfers from the General Fund”.
Smith’s assertion that “Obama was elected with the national debt of $7 trillion” is false.  The U.S Treasury reports that it was $10.5 trillion in October 2008, and $10.6 trillion in January 2009.
The national debt has risen to $16 trillion under President Obama – but that is not “more than double what was accumulated in 225 years and under 43 presidents of both parties”.  But, the national debt (as a percentage of GDP) did double under Reagan and Bush I, and rose by another 50% under Bush II.  Under Obama, it has increased only by another 10%

Moreover, the $5.4 trillion increase under President Obama includes $400 billion in annual interest on “Republican debt”, $300 billion for TARP and $800 billion “stimulus” to counteract the economic collapse caused by failed Republican policies, and $2 trillion for unfunded “Supplemental Appropriations” for the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars.  The “Bush Tax Cuts” cut revenues by $1+ trillion.  That leaves Obama at “a net wash”. 

Therefore, even though virtually every one of his factual assertions is false, Smith and his ilk – by applying his logic to the actual facts—ought to be supporting President Obama!

                Bill Hugenberg

D.L. Smith, you should know that statistics can be twisted in many different ways. For example, unemployment during Mr. Bush’s last year in office increased from 5.5% to 7.8% in January 2009, for an increase of 41%. Unemployment hit its high in October 2009 at 10.1% and decreased to the current rate of 8.3%, an 18% drop. Unemployment is a lagging economic indicator. The US economy as measured by GDP started growing in April 2009 and has grown continously ever since. However, unemployment did not peak until October 2009. The stock market did recover dramatically. The S&P 500 Index hit its low in March 2009 at 666.79. Today it is around 1415, for an increase of about 112%. The wealthy who own stock should be estatic! Bondholders of GM did receive stock in the new GM, and although it did not make them whole it is more than “nothing.” Mr. Hugenberg does an excellent job of giving a different perspective.

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