Printed letters, October 9, 2012

I listened to President Barack Obama in his own words on his jobs performance and plan. The president said his administration has created 5 million jobs in the past 3 1/2 years and that his plan will create another 1 million jobs.

So, the president’s goal and his plan for the country are to grow fewer jobs in a second administration than in the past one. Is his ambition for the future that meager?

Does he realize that more than 8 percent unemployment is not a good thing? Or is he just so disconnected from his own words as not to realize that this is not growth?

After watching his performance, I’m not at all sure he comprehends the words on his teleprompter.

KENNETH BROWNLEE

Grand Junction

Unrestrained health insurers 
responsible for rising costs

A little known and seldom discussed fact among our political leaders is the deliberate lack of control of the health insurance industry. All business in the U.S. falls under regulations governed by the antitrust legislation passed in 1945. All, that is, except the health insurance industry.

Many Americans have experienced the arbitrary increase of premiums. I, as an individual and a previous business owner, had to change insurance companies because the company to which I had been paying premiums for years decided not to operate in Colorado any longer. Both of these situations occur because insurance companies are only accountable at the state level and simply pull out of a state that threatens their obscene profit machine.

The lack of antitrust regulation for health insurance gives it more “free rein” than any other industry. It is simply not held to the same standards and practices as the rest of the business community.

Before we condemn the current health care programs that are gradually going into effect, we should understand that the huge health insurance lobby has been controlling policymakers for almost 70 years. The current health reform bill had a section that required the health insurance industry be held accountable under the same antitrust regulations as every other business in America. Somehow, when the bill went to the Senate, this section had vanished.

I for one, wonder if the “tail is wagging the dog” from the state level up to the White House.

JOHN KUFAHL

Grand Junction

 

Gallegos’ skills make him 
strong choice for CU regent

I highly support Glen Gallegos for the University of Colorado Board of Regents. His enormous experience in the field of education spans more than 26 years.

Just one example is his commitment to keep CU affordable and accessible for Colorado students by incorporating partnerships with various business organizations and creative entrepreneurs to assist with offering real work experiences and scholarships.

Providing CU with a vision of global competitiveness in the free marketplace with programs that will give each student a more than adequate education to compete globally and contribute to the economy of this great nation is one more example of Gallegos’ rich educational background.

Furthermore, when Gallegos was on the Colorado Mesa University trustee board, he was instrumental in establishing an engineering program through a partnership with CU.

I will be voting for Glen Gallegos for CU regent. He has repeatedly demonstrated the skill set and experience necessary to collaboratively improve the educational system, which is very complex when one adds in CU’s medical component.

Just anyone will not do. A statesman such as Gallegos will triumph where others have failed. CU needs a tough leader with a vision of academic excellence for all students, someone who will set higher standards for all faculty and students.

We do not need another Ward Churchill incident. We need a leader that will give students an economic edge to help them make a difference in the world. That man is Glen Gallegos. There is no other.

DR. BARBARA ANN SMITH

Grand Junction

 

Time will eventually be up 
to pay up Chinese bankers

The article in the Tuesday Sentinel, “Taxes will jump if U.S. shoved off ‘fiscal cliff,’” is revealing and a premonition of things to come.

These taxes are the indebtedness that the government and we as its beneficiaries owe for services rendered. 

While the debt principal and interest continue to grow, we are objecting to payment.

The bill we are running up mostly with the Chinese bankers will have to be paid sometime, by either us or our kids. When that time comes, and the note is called, it is not going to be pretty.

ROBERT A. TALLARICO

Grand Junction



COMMENTS

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Kenneth Brownlee’s letter – “Obama’s job comments detached from reality (October 9, 2012) – reveals that it is really he who is “detached from reality”.

While the President was less than clear about his job creation plans (and was trumped by Romney’s lie-a-minute snake-oil-salesmanship), the record shows that – as a result of the economic recovery initiated by his “stimulus” proposals – the economy has created 5+ million jobs in the past 3 ½ years.

Michael Grunwald’s book, “The New New Deal,” demonstrates that President Obama’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act saved and/or created at least 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 Republican obstructionism.  In addition, another 1+ million jobs were saved by his “auto bailout” (which Romney publicly opposed).

President Obama’s plan to “create another 1 million jobs” is the American Jobs Act of 2011, which would have funded the rehiring of some 300,000 teachers, firemen, and police and created 1+ million new infrastructure construction jobs, but which the Tea Party House never even voted on – lest some Republicans support it and thereby give the economy a boost that would have enhanced President Obama’s chances of reelection.

According to Moody’s Analytics in August, the ongoing economic recovery sparked by President Obama’s stimulus efforts will generate nearly 12 million new jobs over the next four years, regardless of who is President.  Thus, it is completely ridiculous and willfully ignorant to suggest that “the president’s goal and his plan for the country are to grow fewer jobs in a second administration than in the past one”.

Rather, because Romney promises only to generate that same “12 million jobs” (without saying how), Brownlee should be asking “Is his ambition for the future that meager?”

Of course, President Obama realizes that 8+ % unemployment “is not a good thing”, but Republicans now hysterically insist that neither is 7.8%.  (See Daily Sentinel, October 6, 2012, “Theorists claim jobless rate drop is number crunch”).  Had the American Jobs Act of 2011 been enacted, that rate would now be below 7%—certainly “a good thing”.

After reading Brownlee’s letter, I’m not sure he comprehends the words on his paper.

                Bill Hugenberg

Robert A. Tallarico’s letter – “Time is coming for us to pay up Chinese bankers” (October 9, 2012) – aptly suggests that our growing national debt is both a fiscal/financial and national security concern, and perhaps “a premonition of things to come”.

Unless Congress acts responsibly before December 31, 2012 (or shortly thereafter), the Bush tax cuts will expire and most Americans will almost immediately begin paying more in federal income taxes on income earned during 2013.

President Obama would extend Bush’s tax cuts (originally financed with borrowing from China) for joint income up to $250,000.  Romney wants to extend the Bush tax cuts for all income—thereby incurring an additional $1 trillion in borrowing from China, and also proposes another $5 trillion tax cut (a 20% reduction in all marginal tax brackets) – if (but only if?) Congress entirely pays for it by closing as-yet-unspecified “loopholes” and/or by limiting/eliminating as-yet-unspecified deductions for the top 3%.

Romney also wants to increase defense spending by $2 trillion over ten years, while most objective analysts conclude that we could reduce defense spending by $1 trillion without compromising our national security.  In sum, Romney’s proposals could add to “the indebtedness that the government and we as its beneficiaries owe for services rendered” by from $3 to $8+ trillion (also borrowed from China).

“While the debt principal”—$16 trillion – and annual interest—almost$400 billion – “continue to grow”, Tea Party Republicans exacerbated the problem by threatening to declare “bankruptcy” and by obstructing and/or rejecting every bipartisan effort to responsibly address the debt (e.g., the Simpson-Bowles Commission).

Nevertheless, these problems are not insurmountable – if we do not return to the failed Republican policies that dug this hole in the first place (tax cuts and wars).

Readers interested in better understanding these complex issues should try the “Federal Budget Challenge” exercise at http://federal.budgetchallenge.org/respondents/summary#.

                Bill Hugenberg

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