Email letters, Sept. 11, 2012

Wright could benefit from more education in money management

Making this comment short and not rehashing Jared Wright’s somewhat tarnished work-related and personal financial responsibilities history, conveniently blamed on the “American Dream,” I personally have not dreamed of irresponsible spending to buy frivolous items (referred to by some comedians as stuff) well beyond my ability to simply purchase outright or having to mortgage my family beyond our ability to repay.

This young man wants to be part of planning the future of this state?  Responsible money management is paramount to successfully represent the people, and this candidate has not proved this; in fact, he has proven the exact opposite.

Maybe he can take the next couple years to educate and prove himself, then make another bid for a public office, because the state cannot simply take the bankruptcy option of avoiding repayment to debtors. Apparently his degree from Mesa State College in political science does not include any economics sessions? Or possibly he missed those?

A position as important as a Colorado House representative is not the place to learn “Financial Economics 1.”

There is only one thought that comes to mind, fellow voters: Deceive me once—shame on you; deceive me twice—shame on me!

BOB WEIFFENBACH
Grand Junction

Romney cherry picks on health care reform

Given Mitt Romney’s latest flip-flop on repealing the Affordable Care Act, rabid anti-“Obamacare” Republicans must be wondering what – if anything – Romney stands for.


Having first insisted that he would “repeal and replace” Obamacare, then assured Tea Partiers that he would “repeal, but not replace” it, Romney now contends that he would retain selected (and popular) features of President Obama’s health care reform while dismantling the overall structure that makes those benefits practicable.


Romney’s two-years belated, blatantly opportunistic and selective “cherry-picking” ignores two “grand bargains” that made comprehensive health care reform politically possible.


First, the pharmaceutical industry agreed not to oppose “Obamacare” – as it had “Hillary Care” – in exchange for Obama’s promise to close the Medicare Part D “donut hole” (meaning additional revenues for prescription drug companies). Part of the $716 billion savings obtained by eliminating subsidies for Medicare Advantage, etc., are now fulfilling that promise, but Romney would reopen the “donut hole” and restore the “cuts” (which the “Ryan Budget” uses to fund more tax cuts for the wealthy).


Second, the health insurance industry agreed to offer actuarially unsound coverage to uninsured people with pre-existing conditions in exchange for the promise of 30 million more customers – which requires an “individual mandate” to compel would-be “free riders” to purchase policies. Otherwise, many would not buy health insurance until they got sick.


Romney’s incoherent approach would return to skyrocketing premiums for those who did purchase health insurance, rendering affordable health care unobtainable for most.
Moreover, if Romney signed legislation requiring health insurers to provide coverage at a financial loss, the industry would likely sue on grounds that such compulsion amounted to a “regulatory taking” of private property—their stockholders’ investment.


Thus, eternal optimists can hope that Romney’s “cherry-picking” continues—until he has effectively embraced the entirety (as he did in Massachusetts).


BILL HUGENBERG
Grand Junction

Bridge player’s husband gets ‘ace’ service from Bozarth

Recently my wife got into her Chevrolet Malibu to drive where she was meeting a bridge group. As she prepared to back out of the garage, the rear view mirror came off in her hand as she tried to adjust it. Because of the problem, I drove her to the location where she met her friends.

I took the Malibu to Ed Bozarth Chevrolet and Buick, Inc. A young lady took me to a gentleman who checked to see if a new mirror was available.

He determined the part was in stock, and a fellow worker brought one to him. He had me take the new mirror and a parts invoice to the lady I first met, saying she would install the part at no cost. She quickly and expertly installed the mirror.

Because of my positive experience, I am writing to suggest others who need mechanical work consider Ed Bozarth Chevrolet and the highly professional people who work there.

DARIEL CLARK
Grand Junction

Someone ought to make a solid offer to Brady Trucking

I can’t believe that this issue over Brady Trucking is going to be a ballot issue, if the people that want that land so badly can’t come up with a good solid offer to Brady to buy his property and let him move his trucking firm to a better property.

I, for one, can’t see the city and county spending millions of taxpayer dollars to rebuild everything down by the river every year that the river floods it out.

The people that want this property so badly need to buy it outright from Brady Trucking and come up with their own money to fund the vision that they have, instead of using taxpayer dollars to do it.

I feel for Brady Trucking. And I feel for the taxpayers for such a waste of taxpayer dollars.

CURT CLAUSSEN
Grand Junction
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Just running in place on jobs front

It is months after the fact that economists tell us we are either in or out of a recession. We were in a recession in the spring of 2008, long before the financial crisis hit in September. TARP, the bailout for banks, was put into place under President Bush and it was TARP that averted a meltdown of our banking system. TARP funds were also used to bail out GM. If the banking system failed, we may have ended up in a depression. 

Along comes President Obama in January 2009 and his first order of business was to put into place an $800 billion plus stimulus package to keep us from falling into a depression.

The fact is by June of 2009 the economy was already recovering. This was before much of the stimulus could be distributed. It wasn’t needed to avoid a depression. It did prop up public-sector unions and subsidized green energy boondoggles. What it should have done is given the recovery a nice push. It didn’t, because it did little to help the private sector.

The proof is our 8.3 percent unemployment. The weak recovery has not been creating enough new jobs for us to get ahead. The truth is no jobs have been created if you look at the net number. Jobs are continually being lost and created.

We have been just running in place. What this economy needs is government that can be trusted to be more help than hindrance.
 
DAVE KEARSLEY
Mesa



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Dave Kearsley’s on-line letter – “Just running in place on jobs front” (September 11, 2012) – offers the latest theme in Republicans’ talking points:  nothing President Obama did mattered much.

Bush’s recession technically began in late 2007, prompting him to propose a $145 billion “stimulus” (tax rebates) in January 2008 – having already increased the national debt by almost $5 trillion during his term.

While TARP was initiated by President Bush and his Secretary of the Treasury Hank Paulsen, they disbursed only $250 billion.  President Obama and his Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner supervised the remaining $300 billion “that averted a meltdown of our banking system”.

True, President Bush used $17.4 billion in TARP funds to begin the bailout of General Motors, but President Obama added $62.9 billion and shepherded a comprehensive bail-out of both GM and Chrysler – thereby directly saving at least 1 million jobs.

True, “by June 2009, the economy was already recovering”.  While this was “before much of the stimulus could be distributed”, it was after—and because of – the payroll tax cuts and extension of unemployment benefits championed by President Obama.

Even if Kearsley is correct that the “stimulus wasn’t needed to avert a depression” – we’ll never know for sure.  The CBO has concluded that the stimulus created, sustained, and/or saved anywhere from 700,000 to 3.6 million jobs – even if only temporarily.

Moreover, even if the stimulus “did little to help the private sector”, that result was the outcome intended by Republican obstructionists – who forced a smaller-than-necessary initial stimulus and have refused to even vote on the American Jobs Act of 2011.

“The proof is in the [now 8.1%] employment rate”, which would be below 7% but for Republican efforts to thwart President Obama’s reelection.

“What this economy needs is” a Congress that “can be trusted” to put “country first”. 

                Bill Hugenberg

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