Printed letters, January 29, 2014

Raising the minimum wage should be a no-brainer, but we will have to convince Rep. Scott Tipton and his Republican colleagues.

The proposed $9 per hour minimum (up from the current $7.25) doesn’t even get workers to where they were in 1967 (it would have to be $10.56 an hour to have kept up with inflation), yet Republicans offer the same flawed arguments. Here are the facts:

✓ It won’t ship jobs overseas. Minimum wage jobs are highly concentrated in the service industry: cleaners, store clerks, food workers, etc. — jobs that cannot be shipped overseas because they serve the people here.

✓ It won’t hurt workers. Virtually all minimum wage earners support raising it. That wouldn’t be true if it were going to hurt them.

✓ It won’t hurt business. Businesses will pass the costs on to consumers. Believe it or not, consumers overwhelmingly say they will pay the extra dime on their coffee or few cents on their purchases to support the working poor.

✓ It will give more than 15 million people money to meet everyday needs — money that will immediately be poured back into the economy, boosting overall growth.

✓ It will reduce the number of people on food stamps and other government aid. (Republicans should support the proposal for this reason alone.)

✓ It will be representative of the American people, more than 70 percent of whom support the minimum wage raise.

Here is a challenge to Tipton and other Republicans: Do better than the Democrats. Propose legislation that increases minimum wage to more than $9 an hour.

PETER WESTCOTT

Carbondale

Gaming effort will proceed 
in De Beque despite editorial

I was disappointed to read The Daily Sentinel’s summary dismissal of the gaming initiative in De Beque. We will trudge forward without your support.

You touted all the standard downsides of gambling, most of which don’t prove out by statistics from existing Colorado gaming towns. But they make good TV. 

I invite you to visit any of the grassroots committee members or me. We can advise you of the substantial constitutional financial benefits for Mesa County, while keeping social pressure away from the Grand Valley, your specific area of concern.

WAYNE KLAHN, Mayor

De Beque

 

Cost of firefighting fleet 
would ‘eat this state alive’

Gov. John Hickenlooper should be skeptical of Sen. Steve King’s idea for Colorado to have its own fleet of slurry bomber aircraft to fight wildfires.

King has said California has its own fleet of firefighting aircraft. Need I remind the senator that California is nearly bankrupt? I submit that its fleet of aircraft certainly contributed to its current financial status.

The senator has further stated that the aircraft are free. Believe me, after having worked 50 years in commercial aviation, I know nothing about airplanes is free.

To plan on using Lockheed C-130 aircraft from the Davis Monthan AFB storage facility is not cost-effective at all. Before these aircraft could be put into service, a Heavy D maintenance check would no doubt be required. Such a check on an aircraft put into storage at the expiration of its service life would entail a considerable amount of public funds.

Then there is the risk of flying an aged aircraft under dangerous conditions in rough air — recall the wing falling off one a few years back — and we have the conditions for disaster and liability for this state on a grand scale.

King has obviously done some research on this. However, he has come to the wrong conclusion. While a fleet of transport category aircraft to fight fires might sound neat when visiting in the Legislature, the fleet’s operating costs will eat this state alive, and the bean counters will rue the day that the plan was implemented.

JERRY A. HUNSINGER

Grand Junction

 

More people unafraid to speak 
about the truth of abortion

This is in response to both The Daily Sentinel editorial on Jan. 24 and Bill Grant’s comments on Jan. 22. Yes, the Personhood Amendment will be presented for the third time. Yes, it is another attempt to ban abortion.

And why should it not be tried again? It is such an important subject.

Over the past 41 years, some 56 million abortions have occurred in the United States alone. Americans are beginning to see through the clever and deceptive words such as “the right to choose, pro-choice, freedom to choose.” These are convenient words to ease one’s conscience to justify the killing of one’s own unborn child just because it is inconvenient or a burden to one’s lifestyle.

Whose rights are “reproductive rights”? Definitely not the defenseless child’s rights. “Termination of pregnancy”? Why not just state the truth and use words such as murder or killing?

Just because previous attempts to pass the Personhood Amendment did not succeed does not mean that it should not be passed. This is the third attempt to prevent what is wrong.

Right now, the majority of Americans are waking up to the truth of all those deceptive euphemisms. It took a while, but the truth about abortion is coming out, and the majority of us are disgusted and no longer afraid to speak up.

MONICA SWIM

Loma



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