Printed letters, April 11, 2010

Services Mesa County families depend on have been strained by the recession and ensuing state budget cuts. It is a mistakew to suggest that “virtually every part of state government plans to expand the number of jobs next year,” as The Daily Sentinel did in its April 5 story, “Colorado plans to add 500 new workers.”

The story gave the faulty impression that government growth is out-of-control because more people will collect paychecks from the state. The reality is not that simple. Consider this:

✓ The ratio of state workers to residents has remained largely unchanged since 2004 at about 1 worker for every 100 Coloradans. Those workers will now go two years without raises.

✓ The number of Coloradans receiving health care through Medicaid is projected to grow 11 percent, but the state will spend less per recipient.

✓ The number of families receiving cash assistance and food stamps rose 42 percent and 26 percent last year. But state funding for counties to administer those programs will drop 7 percent.

✓ The Colorado Department of Education will have 12 fewer workers, not to mention the untold number of positions that school districts throughout the state will cut because state funding will fall $260 million.

Most of the new workers coming onto the state’s payroll will be hired on college campuses. But unless you pay tuition, you won’t support the cost of the new staff. Next year the state will provide the same amount of financial support for public colleges and universities as it did five years earlier, even though the number of students will have grown 16 percent.

It’s hard to portray state government as growing at a time when we aren’t doing enough to keep up with the needs of Coloradans, who depend on vital services in this tough economy.

TERRY SCANLON

Fiscal Policy Analyst

Colorado Fiscal Policy Institute

Denver

County piles on debt without voter approval

The decision by Mesa County to put taxpayers further in debt without an election is another example of the arrogance displayed by most elected officials. It makes no difference if they are Democrat or Republican. Once in office, they believe they obtain the wisdom to make decisions that citizens clearly have reserved for themselves.

The commissioners are two-faced. In the abstract, they say how much they support the TABOR Amendment. But when they have a chance to show support for what TABOR says, they let high-priced lawyers from Denver figure a way to wiggle out of an election.

The local press is almost as big a problem as the all-knowing elected officials. Few people know or understand the issue. Yet millions and millions of public debt, not approved by a vote of the people, have been heaped on our children in recent years. And the concept is snowballing. The Daily Sentinel and others have unfortunately chosen to treat this as a non-issue.

DENNIS SIMPSON

Grand Junction

It’s Toyota’s turn for problems now

Massive recalls and lawsuits show that Toyota is not the white knight for the auto-buying public. What is even more concerning is how long it took the company to admit that it had safety problems that needed fixing.

Doing what they did demonstrates that Toyota officials were more concerned with the bottom line than quality and safety. The Big Three went this route in the 1980s and it cost them.

The problem for the Big Three was that many Americans switched to foreign cars. Now these people are teaching their children what to buy by example. I know this because I bought the brand my father drove.

A lot of foreign car manufacturers assemble their vehicles in this country, and use Americans in their commercials to insinuate theirs is an American product. But do their profits stay in this country?

We might not have won World War II if it were not for our auto companies. We need the American automobile companies. I urge anyone looking for a new vehicle to give American car manufactures a look. You might be surprised. They are making some great, cutting-edge-technology vehicles. By buying American, you are supporting this country and our future.

DAVID ORIENT

Palisade

Added state jobs needed for Colorado



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