Email letters, February 19, 2013

Taxpayers sacrifice while feds continue spending spree

Many of us were raised on the old saying, “When your outgo exceeds your income, your upkeep becomes your downfall,”

We have been operating this country on a deficit of about 40 percent a year. This is equal to a household budget of $50,000.00 a year borrowing $20,000 a year to pay the bills when its real income is $30,000 a year. A responsible household manager would inform the family that it is time to cut spending.

Our manager is President Obama. His response to our need to cut spending so far has been to rail about the impossibility of doing so without dire consequences.

Let’s take a look at the actual numbers that are being railed about in the coming “sequester.” Our current annual budget is approximately $3.6 trillion. The cuts called for would be approximately $85 billion per year for the next 10 years.

Eighty-five billion divided by 3.6 trillion equals 2.4 percent. One-half of this amount would be applied to Defense Department cuts, and the rest would be applied to discretionary spending.

To put this into perspective, 2.4 percent of a $50,000 budget is $1,200 a year. The half that applies to discretionary spending is $600 a year or fewer than $12 dollars a week for a household budget of $50,000.

Ironically, payroll taxes just went up a similar number about a month ago. Some of us may have whined about it, but we pay it. The extra amount we pay will just about cover the amount the federal government is being asked to cut, leaving its income about the same and ours lower.

We are being asked to live by “If your outgo exceeds your income, then your upkeep will become your downfall” while the government wants to live by the old saying, “Have your cake and eat it all, too.”

Is something wrong here? 

JOHN COX
Palisade

Questions raised in regard to upholding Constitution

Angie Many’s letter of Feb. 17 praised sheriffs for promising to uphold the Constitution. I vowed to do this at the ceremony of my naturalization as a U.S. citizen, as does every elected government official, including the president.

The reaffirmation by the sheriffs is perhaps political grandstanding or just a puzzling part of the U.S. gun culture, which, I am told, is embedded in our history and therefore should not be changed. Nevertheless, it stimulated questions about what seem to me to be other oddities on this subject. Examples:

1. Logic suggests that as more firearms become available to the populace, related injuries and deaths will rise accordingly: if not, why is more control necessary?

2. If the purpose of a personal weapon is to deter attack, what sense does it make to conceal it?

3. What is “militia,” as written in the Second Amendment, and how is it “regulated”?

I trust readers will appreciate these questions are part of an attempt to make sense of the conflicting information promulgated by the many and various interest groups, most of which seem to have the improvement of public safety as one of their goals.

DAVID COOK

Grand Junction

Marty Chazen would bring fiscal prudence to council

As the upcoming City Council election nears, it is critical that the good citizens of Grand Junction become aware of the choices they have before them.

This year voters have one of the most qualified persons running for the seat in District D who has ever run for City Council. Marty Chazen, who calls himself “the Numbers Guy,” is truly that. He has spent his working career as an accountant working in Fortune 500 companies, making sure budgets balanced and monies were spent in a productive manner with no waste allowed.

This isn’t just a career-related habit of Chazen’s – it’s his own personal belief. Having served on an executive board with Chazen for two years, I can personally attest to his basic common-sense approach to financial matters.
 
Grand Junction taxpayers will be well served with him as the representative from District D. Vote for Martin Chazen!

RUTH EHLERS
Grand Junction

Energy development protesters should get off grid, pump no gas

What would you call someone who professes holding deep-rooted beliefs in a set of principles but does not practice those principles?

To all those who protest issues such as the Keystone pipeline; fracking, nuclear power and coal mining and use, I recommend the following in order to gain some credibility and to practice what you preach:

1. Disconnect your property from the power grid. Since nearly all of our electrical power comes from the sources you protest, you should stand behind your beliefs and boycott the electric company.

2. Go out to the gas meter and shut off all gas to your house. Fracking is bad, right?

3. Don’t put fuel into your car. That should be a no-brainer.

You are welcome to put as many wind turbines and solar panels on your property as you want. (That’s assuming your homeowners association will allow it.)

Hopefully, you will make enough power to maintain your home AND charge your electric car. By the way, don’t forget to leave room for growing some food. Those farmers use diesel fuel.

I suppose that those with this mindset won’t be happy until our country is bankrupt and anarchy rules. The sad part is that they won’t accept that they caused it.

GLENN MENARD
Grand Junction

Access to public land is among essential items feds are cutting

I couldn’t resist commenting on your article of Feb. 18 regarding spending cuts for the government. First of all, spending cuts and the government are an oxymoron, to say the least.

Have you all noticed the items we can count on being reduced or cut are the items we need the most? Firefighters, national parks and oil and gas leases seem to top the list of what the taxpayer must give up when the budget is cut. Funding for practices such as holding up the pipelines, closing more public lands to access and, of course, taking extravagant holidays at Aspen seem likely to stay intact.

Oh, yeah, then there is the announcement that 670 of our public recreation sites will have to be closed. I really find this one amazing. Not only are we talking about this just before summer vacation, but also we are talking about “closing” more public lands.

Before our blessed government decided to “manage” our public lands, they were open to all. Now that we might not be able to fund their “management,” they must be closed. Why don’t we return them to their natural state?

If you can’t fund the management of the land, then get off it and let it go back to the people. How about this for an idea; let’s give the land to the state in which it resides to manage. Take your big government ideas back to the East Coast or West Coast and leave us alone. We can manage our own land.

JAMES O’MALLEY
Grand Junction

Gun laws belong on a ballot

The Democrats in Denver have shown their hypocrisy once again in the gun debate.

All they want to do is prevent one death. They had the opportunity to do that by passing Jessica’s Law and The Fetal Homicide bills last week and rejected them.

Now they are violating the Constitution of the United States and Colorado, violating their own oaths to uphold those documents, by passing draconian anti-gun laws, which will not save one life.

Does anyone really think a criminal will be prevented from committing any crime by any of these bills? Will it prevent one murder? No. All they do is punish law-abiding citizens.

Do criminals register their weapons? Do they apply for permits? Do they buy them at gun shops or shows? No, no and no.

The Daily Sentinel devoted a full editorial to the county commissioners’ “grandstanding” gun resolution, yet when the real grandstanding is going on in Denver, we get silence.

If the Democrats are so certain of the righteousness of their stance, put these gun laws on the ballot for the voters to decide.

Fifty-nine Democrats do not have the right to alter the Colorado Constitution. It is up to the voters. Put these gun laws on the ballot where they belong.

KEVIN MCCARNEY
Clifton

Restricting number of shells ineffective on a large scale

Now that members of the anti-gun and “makes me feel good” crowd have determined that it is the gun and not the human that has caused so much mayhem, they have solved the problem by restricting the number of shells in a magazine to 15 and other measures.

With this kind of logic, requiring all guns to be a single shot could save another 14 lives.
 
BOB STRONG
Montrose

Biden oversteps boundaries by commenting on Colorado matters

I would not contact members of the Delaware state house. Delaware, like Colorado, is a sovereign state. My opinion there would be as misplaced as Joe Biden’s is here in Colorado.

To be blunt, he no say in the doings of Colorado state government. Article II, section 2. of the Colorado Constitution states in part, “That the people of this State have the sole and exclusive right of governing themselves, as a free, sovereign and independent State.”

By his actions he calls into question the validity of this vote. He holds the second highest office in the land! His direct interference with Colorado’s governing body cannot be ignored. If I must vie with the vice president of the United States so that my voice be heard within my own state House, then I am a man without representation.

With an office as mighty as his comes a mighty responsibility. In this matter I feel Biden has misused the first and failed in the second.

RICHARD D. GOODY

Fruita

Colorado senators should shun fear, represent constituents’ interests

I’ve always told my kids that it’s OK to be afraid. Just do not let fear control you. Colorado Democratic senators, on behalf of your constituents, please don’t fear your party. Vote the way we want you to vote, not the way the people thousands of miles away want you to vote.

It’s no secret that several gun control bills have recently passed the House on mainly party lines. Some Democrats dissented to “no” votes, but mainly issues went the way the two parties wanted them to go. You, senators, are the last line this legislation must cross. Please don’t let us down and cave to your party.

Voters are not dumb. We know that for some time now, the two main parties decide how the votes go. We understand that being a senator or congressperson in this day equates to one lifelong re-election campaign.

Therefore, each party allows a certain number of dissenting votes to be cast by those reps who occupy the most centrist districts. Those dissenting votes, however, get allotted in specific numbers so that the legislation will still go the way the party in charge wants.

It’s a show. We’ve been on to you for quite a while.

Talk to your neighbors and people in your own community instead of the pollsters. Your secret is out. This arrogant conduct by both parties is deeply offensive. We grit our teeth and tolerate it because most of us are simply too busy making a living and raising a family to devote much more time to serious change than the occasional letter, call or email to you takes.

We know that these Colorado gun-control laws have generated unprecedented amounts of constituent communication against the measures. We also know that you’re getting unprecedented amounts of pressure from the Democratic Party for the measures. We want to offer some simple advice:  Be strong.

You were elected to represent Coloradans. You live among us, not the party mucky-mucks in D.C. That surreal 51st state between Virginia and Maryland is not your home.

When you’re home in Colorado, do you stare at pictures and revisit memories of concrete jungles that contain stuffy offices filled with backroom deals?  I’m guessing it’s quite the opposite. I’m guessing that when you’re stuck in D.C. you pine away for the mountains, the plains and the unique mix of people, places and memories that made you love this state enough to want to serve it in the first place.

Even though most of the noise comes from the far right or far left, there is a vast majority of Coloradans firmly planted in the middle. I’m one of them. On most social issues and conservation of natural resources, we’re with you.

The far edge of the other side continues to espouse rhetoric that sounds like speeches from 1955. On the other hand, with fiscal and constitutional policies, the president’s party could stand to take a couple lessons from the other guys. But none of this is insurmountable; that’s why the American experiment is truly great.

We’ll be here for you this year, next year and beyond. Colorado has a history of moderates from either party doing well when they vote with an eye to common sense and the desires of their constituents.

But this one time, we want you to side with liberty. Coloradans want very good reasons for making laws that tell us we cannot do something. The reasons for limiting our liberty just aren’t there this time. I’m sure you’ve seen them flooding into your office, so I won’t re-beat that drum now. My main point is probably a bit different from most of your mail.

This time, please stand up for the people for whom you swore you would. Go with your gut. Do it even if the party browbeats you. You’ll be better for it. You’ll look back and be glad you did. And that feeling, ladies and gentlemen, is a treat that gets rarer and rarer as politics get nastier and nastier every year.

My kids have learned not to let fear control them. Can you say the same?

DAVID HARTMANN
Grand Junction

State Democrats give sheriffs short shrift during gun hearings

Colorado sheriffs are garbage!  Yup, the Democrats at our state capitol treated them just like garbage last week during the hearings on gun legislation.

Right at the beginning of the day’s hearings, the Police Chief’s Association and some chiefs were given extra time to talk in favor of gun legislation. It is important to understand that the chiefs get their marching orders from mayors or city councils to say what they are told or get a new job.

Sheriffs are different; they are elected officials and can speak freely. Finally, at the end of the long day a couple were permitted to speak against gun legislation and only for a couple of minutes, and no others were permitted to do so. This behavior by the House Democrats is repugnant.

Sheriffs and their operation are not just law officers like police; they do more, such as search and rescue, and operate much like the sheriffs of old, covering large geographic areas with more problems than the police. Sheriffs even have to run jails.

A sheriff is also more legally powerful than a chief of police (no offense against our chief, who I think does a great job). The Colorado House Democrats, however, treated these law officers like trash, just like they are doing to gun owners in our state.

JIM SHULTS
Grand Junction

Gun control/gun safety fracas is actually a cultural power struggle

The “gun control/gun safety” fracas is just the latest battle in the culture war between people who believe in self-reliance and those who desire and encourage dependence.

Elites—financial, intellectual and political—want people to be dependent.  The rich like to have servants, but they can afford to pay for them. The intellectual elites, academics and “journalists” ape the rich and want servants, too, but they can’t afford to pay for them.

That’s where we taxpayers come in; we need to pay for the servants they desire to support their egos.  And everyone knows that the “political” class is nothing if not important and the way humans have always shown importance is by having a cadre of servants.

Tuesday’s letter to the Sentinel, laden with “cutesie” phrases such as “gun toting,” etc., ends with the telling argument. Well, if you win, then you’ll have to take responsibility. In other words, don’t try this at home; you need “professionals” to make decisions for you. And there we have it, an intellectual elite pitch for dependency.

Read all of the gun-control letters, arguments and speeches you can find. Start looking for the twin themes of “I’m smarter than you are” and “only professionals.” Experts tell us, “That’s the professionals’ thing. Gun owners have sexual problems.” For the elite, it’s the “I’m better than you” thing. So-called “news” stories do the same thing. 

Self-reliance vs. dependence. It’s not about guns; it’s about power.

GENE H. DREHER
Grand Junction



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