Email letters, December 9, 2013

Reality of Obamacare about to sink in

It’s been fun to see local progressive experts argue the merits of Obamacare on your pages. It comes down to their experts being better qualified than you to make decisions about your health care.

The problem for them is Obamacare is no longer theory. You start to see the results in the new year. Is it less expensive? Are you able to get your care as quickly? Can you keep your doctor? It’s tough to find a doctor now if you are on Medicaid or Medicare. It will be worse as those on Medicaid double.
 
We in Colorado are one of only 15 states to provide our own government insurance exchange. Why so few states? One of the most significant ways we are helping the poor under this new system is through the expansion of Medicaid, which is already a major burden on our state’s budget. The federal government is covering this expansion for the first three years, but there is no guarantee that funding will be extended. The 35 states without exchanges are not on that hook. We in Colorado are.

My favorite expert is Dr. Charles Krauthammer. Progressives hate him. None have better credentials: Oxford, Harvard Medical and Massachusetts General Hospital. He is a Pulitzer Prize journalist, but is also a psychiatrist. He in essence says the medical system in our country is an extremely complex system and if you change even one element you can never tell what the result will be. Obamacare with its thousands of new regulations has to create an enormous mess. The psychiatrist says it is crazy. 

DAVE KEARSLEY
Mesa

Fortifying middle class vital for small businesses

The president spoke this week about economic inequality and addressed many concerns important to small-business owners. This included fortifying the middle class through key issues such as immigration reform, employment non-discrimination laws, tax reform and more.

Small business owners know firsthand that growing the middle class is vital to our economic recovery. Their primary customer base is made up of middle class individuals, and the vast majority of small employers are middle class, as well. Our recent polling found only 5 percent of small business owners reported earning more than $250,000 a year.

As we close the books on 2013, it’s important to look forward to new opportunities that can bolster our still-recovering economy. We need smart economic policies such as those mentioned above that will help grow the middle class, and small businesses need to be top-of-mind when crafting these policies.

Entrepreneurs are doing everything they can to pull the economy out of the doldrums, so it’s imperative Congress enact smart policies that support our nation’s biggest job creators.

TIM GAUDETTE

Colorado Outreach Manager
Small Business Majority
Denver

 
Where, how will green energy be produced?

I’m not up on how much renewable energy is produced in the United States, but their requirements of 20 to 25 percent by the year 2020 just doesn’t seem like it would be obtainable. There are wind farms and solar and also geothermal producing electricity, but how much green energy is available now and how much will be available by 2025?

I have drilled geothermal wells, and most of the power that is produced is already being used, as is the wind and
solar and hydroelectric. So, where will all the other green energy be produced to meet the governmental demand? Guess we’d better get busy.

Of course, all the projects will probably be government-funded, or maybe the environmental groups will ante up?

CURT CLAUSSEN
Grand Junction

Killing of eagles exemplifies president’s dictatorial attitude

The story on the front page of Saturday’s paper appalled me. The president of this country is condoning the killing of eagles and other birds by wind farm companies with guarantees of freedom from punishment.

He also keeps the number of kills secret so that we ignorant people in the hinterlands won’t be upset. (So much for transparency.) With no environmental review and no consultation with Congress, he dictates by administrative decree. I would like to know who died and made him God.

And where are the environmentalists? They have apoplexy if any animal is found dead within five miles of a drilling rig. Of course, that animal is extremely valuable. Apparently, Bald and Golden eagles (the symbol of our country) are not nearly so important to them if it advances their agenda. What hypocrisy!

At 74, I have lived through 13 presidencies, and this one is more despicable even than that of Richard Nixon. I have the utmost respect for the office of the president of the United States, but not one shred of respect for the man who currently occupies it. How can I have respect for a man who does not respect us?

By his own words, he believes that if we don’t like what he plans, it is because he just hasn’t explained it to us well enough. What an ego!

SHIRLEY HODGES
Clifton

It’s doubtful that Kochs will expedite Oxbow repairs

I’d like to comment on Larry M. Head’s Dec. 6 letter concerning the closing of the Oxbow mine. He blames the “bunny huggers and tree lovers.” I got a good laugh from that one.

In fact, the mine was closed by a fire that damaged equipment and infrastructure that’s not easily repaired or replaced. Since the Koch brothers own the mine, maybe Head could appeal to them to expedite the repairs in the name of civic responsibility.

Of course, they’re not going to help. They consider miners, and workers in general, to be a financial liability and nothing more. Their views concerning those who have the least in our society are even harsher. The Kochs firmly believe that the poor in our country have it too good.

Fox News also pushes this idea through John Stossell and other “news personalities.” They say the poor should just stop complaining and be thankful things aren’t worse. It’s dismaying that wealthy, right-wing elites actually believe this drivel.

On a brighter note, I’d like to thank the Sentinel for running the Dec. 3 cartoon showing Pope Francis standing in the way of the type of “bulldozer” capitalism practiced by the Kochs and cheered on by FOX. Also, the pope’s recent comments about the cruel hoax known as “trickle down economics” have been a welcome counterpoint to the hatefulness of the right-wingers.

JERRY HALPIN
Grand Junction

Wright, Tipton, other leaders must focus on local problems

Is Jared Wright really going to audit the Colorado Insurance Exchange? Hmmm … His area over here, especially Fruita, had the worst sales tax revenues collected this year. Wright should put the focus on the dire economic numbers here. He has an emergency situation here.

Last week one of the politicians over here has now pushed the economic recovery to 2015. Well, last year it was said 2014 would be our recovery and that we are typically behind the Front Range a year. Well, they are recovered?

Wright, Scott Tipton, the county commissioners and members of the city council and chamber need to hold emergency meetings immediately on this economy and come up with
solutions.

Commissioners and chamber members run to Utah for meetings, but they don’t learn anything from them.

You, our leaders, come up with some solutions instead of every year saying, “Oops, we didn’t recover this year but maybe next!”

Wright should stop trying to run state business, and Tipton, federal, until they have turned around their county and district.

The next thing I would like to see in the paper would be Wright’s good ideas to turn this area around. Then I guess I would have more confidence in your ideas for the
state and country.

Get to work, all of you. That’s your job.

DOROTHY COGBURN
Fruita

Pugliese, Justman remain true to campaign promises

In answer to Jennifer Bowden’s letter to the editor, I disagree with her. There were 45,471 people who voted for Rose Pugliese and 40,471 who voted for John Justman.

Both of these candidates held numerous town halls and meet-and-greets, and they listened to the people. They were very upfront about their conservative fiscal values and are remaining true to their campaign promises. Did Bowden attend any of the events?

She also stated that they are only representing the Tea Party. What is that? It’s an informal group of people who believe in fiscal responsibility; after all, the “Tea” in Tea Party stands for Taxed Enough Already! Many Republicans who believe in fiscal responsibility and limited government were also involved in their campaign.

The solution to not enough tax revenues to fund absolutely everything is to open up our economy. Not by giving out more handouts, as Bowden seems to suggest, but by opening up energy restrictions that have stifled our economic growth.

The government should not be the entire answer to our problems. If Great Outdoors Colorado were self-sufficient, it would not need a government handout (subsidy).

Please have some regard for the hard-working people of this county who are also struggling to keep their heads above water and must limit themselves, just as our county government must do.

LINDA GREGORY
Grand Junction


Apathy is driving nation into a permanent decline

For decades this country has been moving left, bringing with it a noticeable loss of personal freedom. Each generation has inherited apathy and passes it along. What remains is a nation so apathetic that it no longer cares about right or wrong and will do whatever the government says. We’ve become so dependent that we hardly notice how close we are to complete enslavement.

President James Garfield once said, “Now more than ever before, the people are responsible for the character of their Congress. If that body be ignorant, reckless and corrupt, it is because the people tolerate ignorance, recklessness and corruption…”

Look around. Today we tolerate impoliteness, rude behavior, laziness, abortion and same sex marriage; profanity, sex in advertising, pornography, welfare fraud and gay leaders in the Boy Scouts. Righting all the things that are screwed up seems as hopeless as bailing water out of a sinking boat with a teacup.

We’ve descended so low as to allow government to regulate nearly
everything. It tells farmers how and what to grow and determines what we should or shouldn’t eat and which light bulbs to buy.

We tolerate a few folks passing laws we don’t like for millions of us to live by, and we’re obviously too apathetic to care. Now we’re led by a man who not only flaunts the Constitution but also violates his own laws while a spineless Congress looks the other way.

So, like all great former empires, I suppose ours must eventually vanish, too. I fear it will happen sooner rather than later, and I’m sad for those who inherit this current mess.

ALAN B. CARLEY
Grand Junction

Defense spent more than $1 billion for Russian helicopters for Afghans

If you have read the Sunday Sentinel, you now know that two (yes, two) years ago the Department of Defense signed a secret no-bid (aka single source) contract for more than $1 billion for dozens of Russian helicopters to give to the Afghans. Jobs created here?  None, nada, zip, zero, unless you count the procurement people and the staff to concoct the lies concerning why we did this.
Arguments are made that the Afghans are familiar with this Russian MI-17 helicopter. Because they long ago captured them?  And then flew them?  So what?  They can also learn to fly some American-built Chinook choppers. Then, at least, something tcould be called a benefit for our country:  jobs.
I am amazed. Surely some Pentagon officials did not do this on their own hook. With all that has gone on the Obama administration, I truly feel the White House knew of this and sanctioned it. If not, then when do the heads roll for this bargain purchase?  These should be both civilian and military heads.
J. CREIGHTON BRICKER
Grand Junction


Wright performing well, but Obama continues to tell lies

A recent comment in “You Said It” referred to Rep. Jared “Less than Forth” Wright. I thought that was quite clever, as opposed to the “Welcome To Fruita” stickers that are about as clever, thoughtful and original as the deep thoughts written on a million public bathroom stalls across the country.

In the spirit of full disclosure, I am neither a fan of the Republican Party, which actively ignores our Constitution, nor of the Democratic Party, which actively ignores and despises our Constitution.
In regard to “Less than Forth” Wright, I know The Daily Sentinel (in general) doesn’t approve of Rep. Wright, and neither did I. But I read in Proverbs 18:17 that there is often more to the story. I don’t know if he was or wasn’t less than forthright, but judging from his performance since his election, I’d vote for him.

Millions of Americans know that President Barack “I could never disown Reverend Wright — well, OK, throw him under the bus” Obama is about as far from being forthright as anyone could possibly be. Yet, in spite of his performance since his election, many continue to support him.

Less than forthright? Every time I hear our president pitch his signature health care plan (which he would never inflict on his own children), the old song, “Tell Me Lies, Tell Me Sweet Little Lies” gets stuck in my head. The lies are pretty sweet. But I’m afraid the truth is going to be ugly.

GARY YEAGER
Grand Junction

GOP chose not to use nuclear option

As local liberals spew about my letter to the editor about Harry Reid using the nuclear option, I just want to inject a little truth for them.

They can quote Hannity and Limbaugh all they want, but the fact is when Republicans had the opportunity to use the nuclear option against Democrats, we didn’t. Why? We knew it would sacrifice the integrity of America’s political system by allowing a one-party rule.

As we all watch Democrats trample on the Constitution in an effort to stay in power, it is obvious character and integrity have been removed from their dictionary!

MIKE BAMBINO
Grand Junction


All those in CMU’s concert deserve gratitude for magic

Thank you, CMU, for once again providing us with a magical Sunday afternoon full of great tunes during the annual holiday concert. Kudos to all the vocalists, musicians, directors and behind-the-scenes folks for your hard work.

My favorite pieces this year were the Vocal Chords’ rendition of “Let it Snow” and the concert choir’s “Shepherd’s Pipe Carol,” along with the always beautiful Austrian carol, “Still, Still Still.” It is “still” playing in my head as I write this note. Very nice!

LYN CRONK-WEBER
Grand Junction

 

 



COMMENTS

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Wow. To quote a movie, this is what one would call a target rich environment. Freedom of speech. Isn’t it great? As usual democraps blame republicans and visa versa. My hope for the New Year is that a TEAM effort emerges. If we do NOT start working together….By the by. regardless of party affiliation just what shape would we be in if EVERYONE elected was in the SAME party? Now ask what it would be like if all were AMERICAN first as opposed to money and party first? Hmmm.

Mike has constitutional law mixed with senate operating rules. The senate gets to decide the internal procedures by which it will operate. Some wag in the press or parties coins a catch phrase of “nuclear option” and poisons the debate. The filibuster is a tool to delay and obstruct, as is the system of “blue slips”. These types of rules of operation may be set aside by the senate as they wish. The Constitution has specific vote numbers (2/3) for prescribed actions when the Senate must do such votes as impeachment, ratification of treaty, override of Presidential veto or constitutional change.

As typical of Dave Kearsley’s periodic offerings, Dave’s misguided opinions (“Reality of Obamacare about to sink in”) are based on ill-informed premises.

Thus, first, contrary to Kearsley’s assertion, the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) has little to do with “experts being better qualified than you to make decisions about your health care”, but lots with whether profit-driven insurers should be permitted to deny millions of Americans any such
“decisions” and/or affordable access to any such health care.

Apparently, Kearsley prefers the “pre-existing conditions” of double-digit annual health care cost and insurance premium increases, along with arbitrary denials of coverage by insurers’ cost-cutting “death panels” and/or annual/lifetime coverage limits.  Because those cost increases would eventually bankrupt both Medicare and Medicaid, Kearsley is apparently motivated by his ideological opposition to both.

Second, for the same jaundiced ideological reasons, 25 Republican-controlled states have rejected Medicaid expansion.  However, contrary to Kearsley’s intimation, the Kaiser Family Foundation reports that there is no legitimate budgetary justification for states to reject that expansion—because the federal government covers 100% of its costs through 2016, phasing down to 90% in 2020 and thereafter; and, because the ACA is fully funded (and therefore could not be “de-funded”), states face only a 0.3% incremental increase.

Kearsley’s regard for Charles Krauthammer is particularly revealing.  Both Kearsely and Krauthammer predicted that the auto bailout would fail – but G.M.’s cost taxpayers $10 billion and in only two years returned $40 billion in unemployment benefits avoided and increased tax revenues (a Return on Investment that Republicans should appreciate).

Sentinel readers who follow Krauthammer’s recent foreign policy rants recognize that – as an apologist for “Neo-Cons” and the “Israeli Lobby” – he is becoming increasingly unhinged by the prospect of “peace” with Iran (see “Krauthammer’s Ukraine Tantrum”).

So, maybe it’s time for Dave and his favorite psychiatrist to have their heads examined?

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