Email letters, Oct. 4, 2012

Keep ‘true leader’ in office, vote out legislative lemmings

Someone had to respond to the idiotic, mindless letters to the editor that were published Oct. 3 regarding our current president. The fact that this may get published will be astonishing in itself since the Sentinel has a VERY long record of following the right-wing nut jobs out there and gladly expressing their views for all the rest of us to laugh at.

The writer from Grand Junction stating that “he can’t believe anyone would vote for President Obama” and the writer from Montrose who says Obama’s first term was a mess need to stop listening to the folks at Fox News, as well as the idiots Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh, to get their minimal information about the course of our nation and the record of our president.

They also need to realize that more than 50 percent of people in our state do not agree with their foolish ideas (thank goodness) and perhaps, just perhaps, they will say in November, “I can’t believe that anyone would re-elect President Obama.”

We can only hope for those results – otherwise, the fools at Fox News and their lemming listeners will have accomplished their main goal in getting rid of an intelligent, well-spoken man and replacing him with a puppet of the corporations that are ruining this country.

We have a “true leader” now, people. Keep him in office and get rid of all the Republican legislative lemmings who blindly follow the wishes of their misinformed party leaders and their very own TV “news” network.

JOHN PANEK

Cedaredge

Votes bought with half-pints of hooch,  food stamps, free cell phones

In the 1980s I lived in a “dry county” (no liquor sold legally) in rural Kentucky. In many dry counties the sheriff retired rich from bootlegger payoffs. At my first election there, the sheriff and other key positions were up for grabs.

A neighbor showed me the ropes at the polling booth. You stood in the parking lot as if uncertain, and someone would slip you a half-pint of “store-bought” whiskey to vote for his or her candidate. I could not believe that such corruption existed in the U.S. My neighbor scored eight half-pints! There were no cops in sight until the polls closed, when they rounded up the drunks.

I was recently reminded of that corruption. A news clip of a Cleveland woman showed her yelling that we have to re-elect President Obama because he’s giving out free food (food stamps) and free phones. (Since 1997, the federal government has given “free” local phone service to low-income people; now it has become free cell phones. We pay for this with the “fed universal service charge” on our phone bills.) Two years ago, TV showed a Chicago woman who received heating assistance payments stating, “Obama’s paying my heating bill with money from his stash!”

These programs were in effect when Bill Clinton and George Bush were presidents, but no one was shouting, “Bush/Clinton is giving out free food and free phones and paying my heating bill!”

Buying votes with “freebies” is corruption. Failure (possibly deliberate failure) to correct misinformation about freebies is just as bad. If Obama had any sense of morality, he would make a televised statement that “anything the government gives you was provided by taxpayers, not me.” But he won’t.

Please, vote out this type of corruption.

BRUCE MANY
Eckert

Unrestrained health insurers responsible for rising costs

A little known and seldom discussed fact among our political leaders is the deliberate lack of control of the health insurance industry. All business in the U.S. falls under regulations governed by the antitrust legislation passed in 1945. All, that is, except the health insurance industry.

Many Americans have experienced the arbitrary increase of premiums. I, as an individual and a previous business owner, had to change insurance companies because the company to which I had been paying premiums for years decided not to operate in Colorado any longer. Both of these situations occur because insurance companies are only accountable at the state level and simply pull out of a state that threatens their obscene profit machine.

The lack of antitrust regulation for health insurance gives it more “free rein” than any other industry. It is simply not held to the same standards and practices as the rest of the business community.

Before we condemn the current health care programs that are gradually going into effect, we should understand that the huge health insurance lobby has been controlling policymakers for almost 70 years. The current health reform bill had a section that required the health insurance industry be held accountable under the same antitrust regulations as every other business in America. Somehow, when the bill went to the Senate, this section had vanished.

I for one, wonder if the “tail is wagging the dog” from the state level up to the White House.

JOHN KUFAHL

Grand Junction

Obama’s first term a good ‘hint’ at expectations for four more years

Dick Todd claimed in his letter printed Oct. 3 in The Daily Sentinel that President Obama’s “first term in office should give us a hint of what is coming is he is re-elected.” True enough.

To date: The $814 billion stimulus (which congressional Republicans have called failed) has actually been very effective, saving countless jobs. The overhaul of financial regulations (also derided by CRs) will benefit all but the money-hungry players on Wall Street. The education bill (another item at which the CRs scowl and gnash their teeth) will accomplish many needed changes.

The $700 billion bailout program (started by President Bush and carried on by Obama, to the chagrin of the CRs) has been very effective. Helping to complete the rescue of automakers General Motors and Chrysler has saved both companies, which means millions of jobs.

And what has been dubbed Obamacare (by the CRs who hate it) is far from perfect, but is certainly better than what we had before. The controversial Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell law was eliminated, and an even more discussed bill, the omnibus finance measure that secured the Bush Tax cut for two more years, got a 13-month extension for folks still on unemployment. On the subject of foreign policy and action, Obama hugely increased the number of drone attacks on terrorists and, oh, by the way, killed Osama bin Laden.

Yes, the Obama administration has accomplished all that and more, despite the well-established fact that the CRs have done everything in their power to shoot down each attempt at progress that they have made.

And, yes, Todd’s excellent idea can hopefully give the current administration another four years to try to pull this country out of the monstrous financial and ethical hole into which the totally incompetent Bush administration drove us.

DAVID COOPER
Clifton



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While the headline of Dick Todd’s letter – “Obama’s first term hints at what to expect in second one” – has it right, Todd’s factual premises are false, so he reaches predictably preposterous conclusions.

President Ronald Reagan started this country “down a road to become a Third World power” by disguising massive deficit spending as “Voodoo Economics” and doubling the national debt while preaching “fiscal conservatism”.

President George H. W. Bush proved the wisdom of involving the United Nations in our foreign policy by orchestrating a broad coalition to oust Saddam Hussein from Iraq.

President Bill Clinton proved that higher taxes and fiscal responsibility could generate a budgetary surplus and 20+ million jobs – thereby rebuilding the Middle Class.

President George Bush squandered the surplus and moved toward a “Third World” class structure by cutting taxes for the wealthy and precipitating an unfunded “cowboy” War in Iraq that further ballooned the national debt.

President Obama “is trying to repeat history by attracting the young” and well-informed to reinstate the sound economic policies and consultative diplomacy which proved indisputably successful in the past.

Thus, President Obama’s “first term in office should give us a” clear view “of what is coming if he is reelected”.  The “shameful” unemployment precipitated by the Bush recession will continue to improve, the national debt that “skyrocketed” as the direct result of Reagan/Bush economic and foreign policies will be responsibly addressed, and our unrelenting war against terrorists will continue unabated.

Only purported “christians” – not President Obama—are “attacking Christians” (namely, President Obama) “and most other religious faiths” (including Mormonism and Islam). 

As every objective fact-checker concludes, Romney-Ryan have neither a credible “record to stand on” or a serious “plan”, so their “campaign ads are negative misinformation” and – like Todd’s letter – replete with provable falsehoods aimed at the gullible (like Todd).

                Bill Hugenberg

Richard Blosser’s Wednesday letter (“It’s time for America to have a true leader”) rings hollow – because we already have one.

Defined objectively, our foreign policy was “a shambles” when President Obama took office.  Our international standing and moral leadership were at their nadir because of Bush’s false-pretensed invasion of Iraq and “cowboy” incompetence of his “Neo-Con” advisers.  President Obama concluded that war, is ending another, and delivered “red, white, and blue” justice to Bin Laden.

Defined objectively, our economy was already a “mess” when candidate Obama first appeared in Grand Junction on September 15, 2008 – the day Lehman Brothers collapsed.  After a meeting with President Bush, John McCain, and their advisers the next week, “insiders” concluded that McCain “didn’t have a clue” as to how to address the impending collapse of our economy – but Senator Obama did.

After his inauguration, President Obama completed Bush’s TARP to prevent financial meltdown and saved the auto industry (ignoring Romney’s dubious “experience”), reversed and began offsetting the massive job losses precipitated by the Bush recession, and thereby induced stock markets to restore much of the lost value of IRAs and other invested pension plans.  Meanwhile, the housing market continues to slowly recover.

Consequently, ossified “conservatives” like Blosser now resort to trivia to satisfy their anti-Obama obsession – begrudging him for soliciting campaign funds from the “1%”. 

In fact, President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton have already “engaged with other foreign leaders” more often than Bush, Powell, and Rice did in eight years, and do so even while “flying around on spiffy 747s”. 

As in his historic appearance here on August 15, 2009, President Obama also courageoulsy “led from the front” on the biggest albatross dragging down our economic competitiveness – the exorbitant cost of our inadequate health care “system”. 

Therefore, President Obama has earned re-election.

                Bill Hugenberg

The Sentinel’s reporting of the AP’s fact-checking of Wednesday’s presidential debate (“Factual missteps included health insurance, jobless”) omitted several falsehoods chronicled in the AP’s on-line version (“Fact Check:  Presidential debate missteps”).

In fact, as reported by Nation of Change, Romney told 27 “myths” (i.e., falsehoods, lies, and/or unverifiable “facts”) in 38 minutes – thus, one lie every 90 seconds!

Most, curiously, the Sentinel (presumably deliberately) omitted the AP’s analysis of Romney’s campaign-touted tax plan.

Logically, the net effect of tax code changes is calculated by subtracting total revenue-increasing offsets from total revenue-decreasing tax cuts (i.e., arithmetic).

Romney’s published plan calls for 20% across-the-board cuts in tax rates – and thus a 20% reduction in federal income tax revenues ($5 trillion over ten years).

Romney would also extend the expiring Bush tax cuts for all brackets – costing another $1 trillion, and would increase defense spending by $2 trillion – a total of $8 trillion.

Romney claimed that his tax cuts would always be “revenue neutral”—because revenue reductions created by his plan would be filled by limiting as-yet-unspecified deductions for the “top 3%” (to be “negotiated” with Congress), thus admitting that there might be no tax cuts whatsoever – prompting President Obama to caustically retort “never mind”.
As President Obama stated – and as the widely-regarded non-partisan Tax Policy Center concluded—there is simply not enough revenue available from those deductions to close a $5 trillion gap, so either deficits would explode or the middle 50% of taxpayers (97% minus the bottom 47% who pay none) would average $2300 in annual tax increases.

Romney dismissed that inconvenient fact by disingenuously referencing “other studies”—produced by conservative “think tanks”—which close Romney’s (and Ryan’s) revenue shortfalls by arbitrarily assuming that their tax cuts (if any) would stimulate sufficiently robust economic growth to generate the necessary additional tax revenues.  Magic!

That is the core “shell game” (and discredited premise) of “Voodoo Economics” and, as the AP noted, “Congress doesn’t use those kinds of projections when it estimates the effect of tax legislation”.

                Bill Hugenberg

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