Email Letters: October 5, 2016

Schwartz is the clear choice for 3rd District

In the upcoming election we will be choosing a Congressional representative for the 3rd District, our district. The race is between Scott Tipton (incumbent) and Gail Schwartz. This is a race between an obstructionist who, as a member of his party, has made sure that nothing was done in Congress during his term and a progressive who, during her tenure in the Statehouse, was the primary sponsor and originator of more than 11 major pieces of legislation. Schwartz wrote and passed legislation covering education, economic development of renewable resources and development of health care professionals in southern Colorado. She wrote and passed bills that allowed our universities to expand and our public schools to build, even with Tabor in place. She even wrote a bill that allowed dentists who were licensed in other states and were in good standing to be able to volunteer their services in Colorado, addressing a need in the southeastern part of our state.

What has our incumbent done for us? With the exception of signing a pledge to oppose any bill that would fight global warming and a pledge to be obedient to Grover Norquist (Google this guy, seriously) he has collected wages and done nothing. As far as I can see, Tipton has not even done his constitutional job (as a member of the Republican-controlled Congress) to submit a budget. (See section 7, article 1 of the U.S. Constitution). Oh yes, he did have his Super PAC, “Colorado Future Fund” (funded by major Texas oil and gas driller SG Interests of Houston) registered at the address of his then campaign attorney and run by a law clerk of his campaign attorney’s
law firm in Denver. (From the Durango Herald 10/29/12) This is in violation of federal election law, which states that a PAC cannot coordinate its activities with a candidate’s campaign.

There you have it, an incumbent who is a solid member of the “do nothing” Congress, beholden to Texas oil and gas interests or Gail Schwartz, an equally solid member of a set of people who want to see improvement in Colorado and our country and who are willing to put themselves out there to accomplish the job. This election is not about what party a candidate belongs to but rather what have the candidates done for Colorado. Clearly the choice is Gail Schwartz. Please vote for Gail Schwartz, Democrat for Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District.


EPA and BLM have shared responsibility to limit damaging air pollutants

In response to Dennis Webb’s article “Air Impacts from Utah Projects Hit BLM Radar Screen,” I hope it’s hitting the radar screens of the citizens of Mesa County.

Air quality in the Grand Valley is greatly impacted already without the prospects of another “oil shale” project or the impact of 9,000 new wells in the coming decades just across the border. I’m appreciative of the EPA for taking notice and demanding a more thorough assessment. The BLM has taken positive steps recently with the new methane rules and it’s time they were implemented without interference.

The EPA and the BLM have a shared responsibility to limit damaging air pollutants that have already surpassed dangerous levels and consider carefully a future where “energy development” is not solely defined by fossil fuels.

Grand Junction

Keep the authority to petition with the citizens of Colorado

There will be an anti-democratic provision on the Colorado ballot this coming November that is critical to oppose. Amendment 71 will change our ballot initiative process, making it more difficult for citizens to organize for change.

Ballot initiatives exist for a reason. They give citizens the opportunity to alter the constitution or strike down laws. Citizens have a right to come together to campaign for an issue they are passionate about, get it on the ballot, and then let the voters decide the outcome.

This is particularly important when it comes to issues regarding animal cruelty. Protecting animals is not always a priority in the legislature, so voters have had to resort to ballot initiatives to achieve reform, such as a constitutional amendment to stop the use of barbaric and indiscriminate steel-jawed leghold traps and other body-gripping traps that was approved by voters.

Vote “no” on Amendment 71 come Election Day and keep the authority to petition squarely with the citizens of Colorado.


When was America ever ‘not great?’

A question that keeps creeping into my mind is: when did America become not great? If, as Trump says, he can “make America great again” when did we become not great?

One has to assume he and his followers must agree that America is not great and must be made great again or that slogan would not be used to define his campaign.

I realize using the words “not great” is poor grammar, but I just can’t find any other way to think about this.



Hillary Clinton is ‘right on time’ with profit-sharing idea

Wednesday’s letter from Clifton’s Robert D. Brown (“Hillary Clinton is too late with her ideas”) begins with an apt qualification: “If I understand Hillary Clinton correctly…” The remainder of his letter demonstrates, first, that Brown doesn’t understand her profit-sharing proposal, and, second, that he apparently made no effort to do so.

Simply put, Clinton would reward businesses adopting qualified plans that direct a share of pre-tax profits to lower-earning employees with a two-year tax credit of 15 percent of the total amount distributed. Since profit-sharing distributions are already a business expense deduction from net taxable profits, Clinton’s modest but innovative proposal would seek to marginally incentivize even more employers to adopt such plans.

Contrary to Brown’s distorted understanding of economics, profit-sharing plans are essentially a capitalist response to Marx’s/Engels’ socialism and Lenin’s communism. Indeed, the first such plan in the U.S. was initiated in 1916 (before Lenin’s “reality”), and was intended to motivate employees by sharing profits with the workers producing them. See:

Thus, in 2015, Delta Air Lines employees received profit-sharing distributions equal to almost 21 percent of their base pay, Ford’s 53,000 unionized workers received an average of $9300 apiece, and General Motors paid out an average of $11,000 to its hourly workers. I doubt that any of those recipients rejected their checks as being contaminated by “communism.”

Brown’s dubious partisan motives are betrayed by his spurious reliance on outdated and thoroughly discredited internet memes. Thus, first, there is no credible evidence that any of the miniscule number of e-mails containing questionably “classified” information that found their way onto Clinton’s private server actually “endangered our national security,” while there is every reason to conclude that Donald Trump’s anti-Muslim rhetoric and business ties to Russia have been doing just that; and, second, multiple exhaustive investigations determined that Hillary Clinton did NOT “cause the death of four operatives by not responding in a timely matter” in Benghazi.

Rather, there is every reason to conclude that those tragic deaths were actually caused by a combination of a bigoted Evangelical’s virulent anti-Muslim video and irresponsible Republican-driven cuts to the State Department’s diplomatic security budget.

Grand Junction

Vice presidential debate on Tuesday was a fiasco

Just one more month of politics. I will have withdrawals! That debate Tuesday night was a joke. Bozo the clown (Kain) was nauseating, obnoxious and impolite. He just took certain words out of context from Trump’s quotes and refused to allow Pence to respond. Put a red rubber nose on him (Kain) and he reminds you of Red Skelton’s classic character and that’s being a slam against a great entertainer. The moderator lost control and allowed the fiasco to happen.


No additional wealth is created by minimum wage increases

A recent letter encouraging minimum wage legislation takes the position that “people naturally [will] have more money to spend.” The essential argument is that minimum wage increases result in more money created and spent, everybody benefits, and we all live happily ever after.

No, it doesn’t work that way. There is no magic money. Minimum wage increases are involuntary (not market determined) transfers from the employer to certain employees. The employer now has less money to cover remaining business costs, and that difference exactly equals the forced wage
increases plus payroll taxes and other mandated outlays. No additional wealth is created, and the amount of money in the economy remains unchanged.

The employer, however, is now pressed to raise prices and risk losing market share in already-competitive markets and/or seek new cost-saving measures. These often involve mechanization and computerization, which replace the exact low skilled jobs falsely claimed to be benefitted.

Grand Junction


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