Email letters, October 8, 2013
Editorial on shutdown panders to local sentiments
Tuesday’s editorial was interesting. Talk about provincial, self-serving attitudes! Every community in the country has a complaint of some kind about local discomfort caused by the current government closure and how its situation is exceptional and it should not be a victim of the closure.
Keep in mind who caused the possible illegal closure and why: Republicans cannot achieve their objectives through normal legislative action, so they have chosen extortion to get their way. We have elections and regular legislative routine and Republicans lost.
The author of the editorial commits a cardinal journalistic offense of taking one anecdotal comment in a notorious reactionary Washington paper as proof that Obama is trying to inflict as much pain as possible on citizens. Once again, who caused the closure?
There is a budget on the table from the Senate that Obama will sign. House Republicans refuse to allow a vote unless they can have a majority without any Democratic votes. They don’t have the votes so, like three-year-olds, they try to blame Obama and Democrats for their own inability get their way with a program voters rejected twice by electing Obama and the legislature passed with the Affordable Care Act.
The final sentence of the editorial tells all. The author suggests that the whole mess will hurt Democrats. That suggests that the editorial is either trying to please local sentiments or is hoping to help in spreading distrust in those who are standing up to a completely unconstitutional, outrageous plan of extortion to inflict on voters something contrary to what those voters have convincingly rejected over the last five years.
Republicans should grow up, as is also true of the editorial writer. The Sentinel is diminished by such a thoughtless, partisan effort to spread misinformation and mistrust. Why encourage the Republican information bubble?
New York road rage incident troubles responsible motorcyclist
As a responsible motorcyclist and a concerned citizen, I am writing about the incident that occurred in New York City on Sept. 29, involving an SUV driver and some motorcyclists.
I am troubled by the serious injuries caused by the SUV driver and by the actions of some motorcyclists who apparently decided to take the law into their own hands. Some in the media have reported the facts, but others are sensationalizing the story. I urge you to report this incident factually and objectively.
I ride responsibly and do my best to represent motorcycling in a positive light. Those of us who ride support rider education and often raise funds for charitable causes in our community. The safety of all road users, especially motorcyclists, is of the utmost concern to me, and I do not support actions by any road users that violate the law.
Each year, the American Motorcyclist Association sanctions hundreds of well-organized recreational events. At these events law-abiding motorcyclists gather to enjoy camaraderie and spend their tourist dollars in host cities and surrounding communities.
One unfortunate event of this kind, reported frequently by national and local media, can create a false image of all motorcyclists by the general public.
Motorcycling has become an enjoyable mainstream activity, and almost everyone today has a family member or friend who rides. The actions of the motorcyclists portrayed in the video of the encounter in New York City do not represent me, my friends or the vast majority of the 27 million motorcyclists in America.
Deterioration in our national budget situation is attributable to four factors
Having apparently exhausted legitimate criticisms of the Affordable Care Act, gullible local Limbaugh lemmings are now claiming that “President Obama has had 5 ½ years to fix things, and all he’s done is triple the national debt and put his supporters on Food Stamps”!
First, this revisionist history charges Obama with the policy decisions of 2008, when he was not inaugurated until January 2009 – inheriting Bush’s budget for that year, two off-budget wars, and the ballooning expenses of Medicare Part D (all financed with deficit spending). Thus, Obama has had fewer than four years to “fix things” – during all of which Republicans have cynically opposed whatever he proposes.
Second, “conservative” Republican President Reagan’s “VooDoo Economics” did indeed “triple the national debt,” and “compassionate conservative” Republican President George Bush doubled it again (while concealing his profligate deficit spending “off-budget”). While the national debt has increased by 50 percent during Obama’s tenure, he also instituted accounting reforms that resulted in a $2.7 trillion increase in reported debt.
Third, a New York Times study found that – since 2001 — the deterioration in our national budget situation is attributable to four factors: the Bush Recession (inherited in 2009 by Obama) = 37 percent; policies enacted by Bush (including “the Bush Tax Cuts”) = 33 percent; policies enacted by Bush and extended by Obama (including TARP, two unfunded wars and Medicare Part D) = 20 percent; and policies initiated by Obama (including the stimulus, the auto “bailout” and the ACA) = 10 percent.
Finally, Food Stamp eligibility criteria were expanded to current levels in 2003 (renewed in 2008) under Bush. The cost of the program has doubled since 2008 – because 800,000 Americans per month were losing their jobs when Obama was inaugurated. He has “fixed” that – and more.
AMA member hopes law will catch up to responsible parties
I am an American Motorcyclist Association member, and I hope that the incident in New York is an isolated one. I hope that the law can get the responsible parties and make an example of them.
Sending homeless away would invite needless litigation
An answer to Double D Lewis: I don’t think sending homeless folks somewhere with a one-way ticket will help the problem; however, having sue-happy lawyers get involved is just going to make matters worse.
President has equal responsibility with Congress to negotiate
Given most press coverage, you would think the first and last government shutdown was 17 years ago. It was the last, but they are nothing new. There were several during the Reagan administration. Sen. Obama himself advocated a shutdown in 2006. It’s not really a shutdown. More that 83 percent of all employees are still at work. All employees will get their full pay when this is over.
A Continuing Resolution, or “CR”, is needed to continue the government’s business while the regular individual appropriations bills are passed. We haven’t had a government doing its business as it should since 1997, the last time individual appropriations bills were relied on. I have to laugh when the president says he will now veto bills passed individually when that is how it should be done.
The next pressure point is the increasing of the debt ceiling. This is directly connected to Congress and the president being unable to create a budget and needing a CR. It follows that if you can’t budget you are likely to spend more than you should and you run up your debts. Once you hit that ceiling you need to prioritize what bills you pay until your “credit card” balance is increased. The president will have more than enough tax revenue coming in to pay Treasury obligations. Why is he talking about default?
Simply put, the president has responsibility equal to Congress to negotiate and get the job done.
DAVID A. KEARSLEY