Printed letters, December 7, 2012
In regard to Amy Hamilton’s “to do list” article in Monday’s paper, what part of TABOR do she and the city council not understand? It was passed so that when the government over-taxes, money is returned to those who overpaid.
To say that nine of the top 10 taxpayers are out-of-area is irrelevant. What about all the small-business owners in this community who have also been over-taxed? Should they not get their hard-earned dollars back?
Toward the end of her article, Hamilton points out the mindset of our tax-and-spend government. If we pay off the Riverside Parkway Project early, the council is worried it would have to give the excess taxes back.
I would plead with the voters of Grand Junction to think of the not-too-distant past, when we were told we had to pass a tax increase to upgrade our library and police station. Both have been done without passage of another tax.
Cut military spending to reduce federal debt
We must use both reduced spending and enhanced governmental revenues to reach our goals of fiscal solvency and a steadily recovering productive economy for the future. Let us turn the slippery slopes of debt into a series of safe steps to a healthy economy by:
✓ Encouraging all politicians to vote to take pay and benefits cuts as an inspirational example to the nation.
✓ Leveling the playing field. We can save more than $6 billion each election if we publicly finance and fairly run elections in which each candidate receives exactly the same amount of resources such as money, media time, advertising, public discussion and debates.
Even if you buy the argument that money spent on a campaign enables free speech, is it really fair that the wealthy get more speech?
✓ Motivating the wealthy to accept their fair share of their patriotic duty to end all loopholes and allow all favored tax breaks to expire. This was the central question answered by Obama’s re-election.
✓ Cutting all bloated military expenditures.
Currently the U.S. is spending about $800 billion annually on the military. That’s about five times as much as second-place China and 10 times as much as third-place Russia. The U.S. military spending equals the totals of China, Russia and the next 15 countries combined, without even including the trillions of dollars of war costs each for Iraq and Afghanistan.
Currently, we monopolize almost 70 percent of the global arms trade. We maintain a massive military global presence, deploying more than 300,000 troops abroad, occupying over 560 bases in more than half of the 193 countries in the world.
Since Vietnam, perpetual war has become central to American character, but now Obama is getting us out.
Admiral Mike Mullen, past chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, says, “The biggest threat we have to our national security is our debt.” Less money for war translates into more social investment to rebuild the health and infrastructure of our nation, so once again we can lead our world toward peace and prosperity.
U.S. must investigate potential of commercial oil shale
I read with interest the stories recently about a bill being advanced by Congressman Ralph Hall, R-Texas, to fund research for oil shale.
Considering the recent press involving oil shale, this bill makes a lot of sense.
Much has been said about how certain groups are uneasy with oil shale commercialization, despite the tremendous amount of energy that could be tapped, because they feel there has not been enough research done yet.
If that is the case, it is incumbent upon the federal government, which owns most of the land above this enormous oil reserve, to invest in that research and answer the questions that may still exist.
If we, as a nation, are truly committed to an all-of-the-above energy plan, then we need to research all the energy sources at our disposal. America’s oil shale resources are larger by far than any other oil field in the world, including the Middle East. It only makes sense that we would do our best as a nation to find out how best to produce this resource and wean ourselves off foreign sources of it.
We have a president who has repeatedly indicated that he is willing to spend taxpayers’ money on investments in “green” energy, such as wind and solar. Since he won the election, we have no reason to believe that he will not do just that.
But if those investments in solar and wind are going to be made, then similar investments need to be made in other forms of energy, as well, especially ones that are more likely to actually provide usable energy and a return on investment, such as oil shale.