Email letters, Sept. 18, 2012

State opinions soon on proposed Village at Wolf Creek

Friends of Wolf Creek, Alberta Park needs your help before Sept. 30. Do you think Red McCombs’ Village at Wolf Creek sounds like a disaster for Alberta Park and the Rio Grande River Basin?

As you may know, we only have a few more days before the official Rio Grande National Forest - Draft Environmental Impact Statement comment period ends.

There are too many issues and not enough room to write about them in this letter. However, at you will find an examination of the many flaws and oversights within the VWC Land Exchange Proposal #35945 - Draft Environmental Impact Statement and links to the official comment page.

Please, if you are a Friend of Wolf Creek, get informed now, before it is too late. Ask the U.S. Forest Service why it isn’t trying to convince McComb to protect that important watershed.

These next few days are the only time your voice carries legal weight. RGNF officials need to hear thoughtful objections and alternatives. They’ll never hear you if you don’t tell them!


After four years of economic woes, voter must choose next president well

As the presidential election draws ever closer, I am sure that we are all growing weary from the endless political ads and phone calls.

As I look back to four years ago, I can understand the enthusiasm for President Obama. My confusion lies with the current situation. It appears that many of these same people are still enthusiastic about the president and I am not really sure why. I hear the president say how he will save the middle class, create jobs, reduce the debt and on and on.

My question is why hasn’t he done these things already. He did not know he would have another four years to complete his so-called agenda. Why hasn’t he been doing all of these things over the past four years?

People gave him a chance, and he has not followed through. If people truly looked objectively at their own lives and the lives of those around them, they would see that we are definitely not better off than we were four years ago. Gas prices have doubled, as has the unemployment rate. The debt, which was outrageously high before, has doubled. Can we even comprehend a number such as 16 trillion? Regulations have increased that have stifled private sector job growth. Don’t just listen to the president. Look at what he has done.

Can we really risk another four years of this? No! We need to take some responsibility for what is happening in our country. We need to actively find the truth and not just accept what someone else tells us. We need to have the courage to face the facts even if they go against our chosen candidate.

Each of the candidates has philosophies and trends that will clearly tell us what he or she wants for us. Stand strong. Choose well.

Grand Junction

Stats do not show much economic success during Obama’s first term

A central theme of the Obama campaign is that a Romney victory will be a return to the “failed policies of the past.”

Unlike most other campaign rhetoric, this is one claim that can be objectively evaluated.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics:

Jobs Created (first four years):
President Reagan 5 million
President Obama minus 1 million

Unemployment Rate (end of term)
President Reagan 5.3 percent
President Bush 7.3 percent
President Obama 8.3 percent

Poverty Rate (end of term)
President Reagan 13.5 percent
President Bush 14.3 percent
President Obama 15.7 percent

Added to the public debt (first four years)
President Reagan $0.7 trillion
President Bush $2.1 trillion
President Obama $4.1 trillion

Your share of the public debt (end of term)
President Reagan $11,600
President Bush $40,200
President Obama $51,200

Middle Class Annual Income adjusted for inflation (end of term)
President Reagan $50,000
President Bush $53,000
President Obama $50,000

According to the World Economic Forum, the U.S. global competiveness rank during the Obama term has declined from first to seventh.

These facts do not bear out President Obama’s claim. In fact, they clearly show the opposite is true. Our economy cannot withstand another four years of the policies of the Obama administration.


Voters on autopilot for GOP candidates

I have put off for some time writing this letter. I have lived in Grand Junction for more than 45 years and continue to see people get elected time and time again because they are Republicans, not because they are the most qualified candidates. A good example of this is the defeat of Claudette Konola who was the more qualified candidate.

I have been asked at times to run for public office, but I have declined because I wouldn’t have an “R” by my name, even though I may have been the most qualified. Why the people of Mesa County keep electing those who have poor qualifications, namely Laura Bradford, and now possibly Jared Wright, is beyond comprehension.

Keep electing unqualified people who only have that “R” by their names, and wonder why you don’t get qualified Independents and Democrats to run.

The days of getting Democrats such as Bernie Buescher elected are gone.

Grand Junction


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Michele Thornton’s on-line letter – “After four years of economic woes, voter must choose next president well” – aptly expresses the legitimate concerns of “low information voters” who are only now tuning into the Presidential election contest.

Thornton’s confusion is entirely understandable – given the Romney-Ryan campaign’s refusal to provide any meaningful details about their intended policies (or his tax returns) or adequately explain the obvious inconsistencies in their statements, and their repeated resort to outright falsehoods – promulgated in television ads that objective fact-checkers categorize as lies.

Thornton plaintively asks why President Obama hasn’t already fixed all the problems he inherited from Republicans four years ago.  Apparently, she doesn’t know (or has already forgotten) both how bad things were – and/or were about to become – in early 2009, and what President Obama did to prevent economic catastrophe.

After first continuing the TARP program – thereby preventing collapse of the worldwide financial system, President Obama next “bailed out” GM and Chrysler—saving some one million jobs that Romney was willing to write off.  Simultaneously, President Obama implemented a “stimulus” package that has gotten us back to where we are now.

According to Michael Grunwald’s book, “The New New Deal,” the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act was responsible for saving and creating 2.5 million jobs, helped the economy grow by as much as 3.8 percent, and kept the unemployment rate from reaching 12 percent – all despite persistent Republican obstructionism.

During those four years, Republicans’ stated “primary objective” was to thwart President Obama’s re-election – not to responsibly address the serious problems he was confronting.  In fact, House Republicans refused to even vote on the American Jobs Act of 2011 –lest some Republicans support it and give President Obama credit for a bipartisan success.

So, I encourage Thornton to “actively find the truth”, courageously “face the facts”, and vote accordingly.
                Bill Hugenberg

Richard Udd’s on-line letter – “Stats do not show economic success during Obama’s first term” – applies a ridiculously bizarre version of “objective evaluation” to prove the truth of Mark Twain’s observation that:  “There are three kinds of lies:  lies, damn lies, and statistics”.

Udd employs fallacious reasoning – post hoc, ergo propter hoc – to argue that events during President Obama’s first term were caused by policies adopted during that period.

However, as the Christian Science Monitor reported this week, while net job creation during President Obama’s term is minus 261,00 (not “minus 1 million”), both statistics hide the fact that – during the past 30 months – the economy added 4.6 million private sector jobs while shedding some 600,00 public sector jobs (teachers, police, etc.).  This impressive record is nonetheless insufficient to overcome the loss of over 4 million jobs as the direct result of the financial crisis and resulting economic collapse in early 2009, circumstances that no President – including Ronald Reagan – ever confronted before.  Likewise, no President has ever encountered the kind if in-going obstructionism demonstrated by Republicans—who refused to even vote in the American Jobs Act of 2011.

Nevertheless, according to Michael Grunwald’s book, “The New New Deal,” President Obama’s “stimulus” created or saved 2.5 million jobs, kept the unemployment rate from reaching 12 percent and helped the economy grow by as much as 3.8 percent.

Moreover, while the national debt increased by “only” some “$0.7 trillion” during Reagan’s first term, that was a near doubling of our debt – which became a tripling by the end of his second term, and a quadrupling by the end of Bush I’s presidency.  Similarly, during Bush II’s first term, the national debt increased by 40% and nearly doubled again before President Obama was inaugurated.

Moreover, the $4.1 trillion increase under President Obama is entirely attributable to the unfunded “structural deficits” he inherited from Bush – $400 billion in annual interest on the $10.7 trillion Republican debt, TARP, two wars, and the Medicare Part D benefit.

Thus, the facts do not bear out Udd’s claim.  “In fact, they clearly show the opposite is true.”  Our economy cannot withstand a return to the “failed [Republican] policies of the past”.

                Bill Hugenberg

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