Email letters, Oct. 11, 2012

Taxpayer dollars helped Utah vacationers spend money, have grand time in Grand Valley

My family and I enjoyed a mini-vacation in Grand Junction last month. We had a good time (and spent a goodly amount of money) in your stunningly beautiful area.

As we entered town, I noticed a billboard with a serious-looking Barack Obama and the infamous “You didn’t build that” quote. I kept thinking about that anti-Obama billboard as we patronized Grand Junction businesses staffed by competent employees (educated in public schools), drove to those businesses over highways (funded by state and federal taxes), enjoyed locally produced food and wine (made possible in part through government-subsidized irrigation and other farm supports) and hiked around the impressive Colorado National Monument (access to which was built and maintained by—you guessed it—the government).

By now everyone knows the president was referring to those kinds of things when he said, “You didn’t build that.” As the co-owner of a small business myself, I recognize that many government investments in infrastructure and education help make my LLC profitable. And I recognize those investments made possible our nice vacation in Grand Junction.

JOAN O’BRIEN
Salt Lake City

US can give UN more aid in addressing key issues

October 24 is United Nations Day. I would like to call attention to the essential role that such an institution plays in our world community. Besides all of the humanitarian efforts of the United Nations, today’s world is ever in need of collaborative discussion and negotiation. Even though it took several efforts to get the UN established (consider the League of Nations), such a worldwide collaborative body was necessary and inevitable.

As we realize our commonality as citizens of planet Earth, we need to negotiate common concerns of world peace, human rights and environmental stewardship. We are no longer isolated communities or even isolated nations. We are a world community, and what each local group of people does affects our entire globe in one way or other. Our current effects of climate change are just beginning to awaken our whole globe to its seriousness.

We as a country can pay our proportionate dues, give more serious consideration to such UN documents as the UN Declaration of Human Rights and the Agenda 21 document for environmental sustainability, and appoint notable representatives such as former President Jimmy Carter. We need to show the world our collaborative seriousness by upgrading our own participation.

WAYNE QUADE

Montrose

$716 billion estimate mythical, $16 trillion debt all too real

Poor old Bill Grant would like you to believe that Sal Pace’s position on health care is similar to Mitt Romney’s. This is an easy statement to debunk by asking Pace if he will vote to repeal Owebamacare. Clearly, someone who favors a single payer, government-controlled system as Pace does will side with Nancy Pelosi and the rest of the liberal politicians back in Washington, D.C.

This $716 billion that poor old Bill rants about is a mythical number in the first place. It is the amount of money saved that the Congressional Budget Office said in a letter sent to John Boehner detailing the budget impact of repealing Owebamacare. According to the CBO, if Congress overturned the law, “spending on Medicare would increase by an estimated $716 billion over the 2013-2022 period.”

How this number is arrived at involves cutting back on reimbursement rates to hospitals and insurance companies among other things to which the law of unknown consequences will apply. The important point here is that the $716 billion is a projected number and has not occurred.

Here are some facts, however. The United States is more than $16 trillion in debt. Medicare, as we have it now, is headed for insolvency by 2024 by most estimates. Would not this $716 billion be put to better use within Medicare to make it more solvent rather than paying for a new entitlement most people did not want at the expense of the obligations that have been made to our seniors?

Finally, poor old Bill resorts to calling Scott Tipton and Mitt Romney liars. How many people would like to know the truth about what happened to our ambassador to Libya and the cover-up that followed?

MICHAEL HIGGINS

Grand Junction



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