Email letters, Sept. 20, 2011

Remember to say thank you

Thank you, Dr. Grant Geske. Often times we forget to acknowledge people with a simple thank you for the service they provide.

Dr. Geske was my eye doctor and I trusted him with my eyes completely. I told him once that I only have one set of eyes and I need to take care of them. He smiled and said that he knows that and he will do anything to take good care of them for me.

Dr. Geske has since given up his practice and moved to a different state. I wished I had thanked him for his excellent service while he was still in town.

I know that his patients, myself included, miss him, his gentleness and his knowledge and caring.
I hope I speak for the rest of his patients when I tell him now, belated: Thank you for everything. You are missed. And God’s speed be with you!

ERIKA FAIL
Grand Junction

It’s time to eliminate tax breaks

When not taking taxpayer-funded junkets or attending lobbyist sponsored cocktail parties, government’s favorite pastime these days seems to be crunching budget numbers.

To the horror of everyone, the numbers are indicating that simply cutting the overall federal budget isn’t nearly enough to tame the deficit, and that current tax breaks granted to millions of families at all income levels dwarf the corporate giveaways.

According to the Washington Post, “Over the past two years, largely because of these popular benefits in the federal income tax code, the government has reached a rare milestone in tax collection — it has given away nearly as much as it takes in ... these tax breaks weave an invisible web of government benefits that now costs nearly as much as the Pentagon and all other federal agencies combined.”

All told, federal taxpayers last year received $1.08 trillion in credits, deductions and other perks while paying $1.09 trillion in income taxes, according to government estimates.

The obvious solution is to cap or eliminate all tax breaks for individuals, small businesses and corporations (as well as beginning to tax churches). If we don’t, the numbers simply don’t work.

E. MICHAEL ERVIN
Grand Junction

Why hasn’t there been more jobs created already?

If the corporations and the ultra-wealthy deserve huge tax cuts because they are the ones who create jobs, then show me the jobs. President George W. Bush gave the ultra-rich their infamous tax cuts and only 1,080,000 jobs were created in his eight years in office. In 2010, 1.1 million jobs were created. 

Neither number compares to the 23 million jobs created while Bill Clinton was in office. He raised taxes on the notoriously wealthy class and left a budget surplus for Mr. Bush. I ask again, if corporations who pay little or no taxes and billionaires who get tax breaks are the job creators, then where are the jobs?

I also wonder if those awaiting God’s will for their lives regarding running for president have ever contemplated the notion that maybe it is God’s will that Barack Obama became president of the United States. 

HOLLY VON HELMS
Montrose

Take ‘Doonesberry’ off the comics page

I think that the time has come for The Daily Sentinel to remove “Doonesberry” from the comics section of your newspaper or preferably dump it entirely. Take a lead from the Chicago Tribune.

I believe that as of now only far-left newspapers will allow this strip to continue. Moderate newspapers would allow it to remain on the opinions sections only.

The tipping point is the latest tirade from the far-left wonk Trudeau in an unopposed edition of bilge regarding Sara Palin. I hope that this correction takes place soon and certainly prior to the next presidential election cycle.

MIKE MCINANEY
Grand Junction

Hunters aren’t the problem

In a recent Daily Sentinel story about ATVs (“Love ‘em or loath ‘em, ATVs are here to stay,” Sept. 13), an official from the Western Slope ATV Association hypocritically blamed hunters for most of the damage being done to public lands by ATVs, saying: “If hunters think they can get away with it, they do it.”

Well, that’s the pot calling the kettle black. Being a hunter and ATV user, I can say that the most egregious damage to public lands I’ve encountered (and read about) was perpetrated by nonhunters, which only make sense. Why?

First, the number of hunters (unfortunately) is decreasing. For example, the number of people hunting in Colorado decreased 24 percent from 1991 to 2006. That’s more than the 10 percent decrease nationwide.

In contrast, there were 5 million off-road vehicles (ORVs) in use in the United States 30 years ago. Today, there are over 36 million ORVs in use — a 700 percent increase. In 1991, there were 11,700 registered off-road vehicles in Colorado. By 2005, it was 100,785, and as of June 2009, it had reached 132,166.

We always hear “it’s a small minority of people that do this damage.” However, according to a survey performed for a coalition of ORV advocacy groups, over two-thirds of Colorado’s adult ORV users ride off-trail at least occasionally, while from 15 to 20 percent frequently ride off-trail illegally.

In order to hunt safely, comfortably, with dignity and success, we don’t need an $8,000 ATV perched on a $3,000 trailer pulled by a $40,000 SUV. Although it may be convenient for those leading pro-ORV groups to point fingers at hunters when making excuses for the unsustainable and widespread damage they’re doing to our public lands, they’d be wise to look in the mirror while they’re doing it.

DAVID LIEN
Co-chair, Colorado Backcountry Hunters & Anglers
Colorado Springs

Tipton hearing was more like a campaign event

Scott Tipton was chairman of a hearing concerned with how federal regulations are hurting the oil and gas industry. The top five oil and gas companies made over $67 billion in profits the first half of this year. Are regulations really hampering their industry? 

There was a lot of talk about how oil and gas exploration could create thousands of jobs, but can’t because of all these federal regulations. How about taking some of this profit and hiring people?

There were comments about the BLM reducing and hindering the permitting of natural gas wells with speculations that some permits take years to complete. The permitting system has to be the cause of the industry’s woes. However, the BLM recently testified, in committee, that the oil and gas industry has about 7,000 undeveloped permits where industry has a green light to drill. 

Could the reduction in the price of natural gas from around $8, in the summer of 2008, to around $4 now have anything to do with fewer permits being submitted? Is this reduction in price caused by regulations? The market is controlling their product and now industry is complaining. 

The number of car miles traveled in this country has been declining for the past four years and thus there is a glut of gasoline in this country, again the demand for their product is declining.Is this caused by unfair federal regulations? It seems to me regulations are just a scapegoat for the oil and gas industries predicament. 

Was Mr. Tipton holding a hearing or a campaign event? 

ERIC RECHEL
Grand Junction



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