Printed letters, April 13, 2010

Story on county plan was ‘Pollyannish puff’

I would like to thank Denny Herzog for his timely column explaining the process by which The Daily Sentinel edits its news stories. Now I understand how the story, “County to spend $17 million on capital projects” was transformed into a Pollyannish puff piece about how an undefined “lease-lease back” financing is going to provide Mesa County with $17.5 million to $19 million in cash for much- needed capital projects.

Unfortunately, two significant newsworthy items were left out of the story.

First, Mesa County will no longer own the Justice Center outright. The commissioners will buy back the Justice Center by making payments over the next 21 years. A previous board of commissioners built the Justice Center in 1998-1999 and paid for it entirely in cash.

Second, this transaction represents the first long-term debt entered into by a Mesa County Board of Commissioners since the implementation of the TABOR Amendment in 1993 (the 1995, 1998 and 2004 refinancing of existing debt were allowable under TABOR).

TABOR, in very clear language, required voter approval in advance for any multiyear fiscal obligation. This financing will proceed without voter approval. When the commissioners, in the recent public hearing, asked Dee Weiser (bond counsel out of Denver) for his legal opinion, his response was, “Everybody else is doing it.”


Grand Junction

Tea parties not directed by Dems or the GOP

Recently, a whole host of individuals and groups have been stepping forward, claiming to speak for the tea party. Many of them, admittedly, have never attended or sponsored a tea party. They are accompanied by an entourage of recently born-again conservative political candidates.

In the confusion, it is difficult to tell the real from the surreal. Perhaps that is their purpose. Here are a couple of facts for the public to consider:

Roughly 12 percent of tea partiers are Democrats, 46 percent are independent voters and 42 percent are Republicans. Those numbers apply locally.

The tea parties don’t oppose Democrats; they oppose a progressive or socialist, nanny-state agenda.

It is a mistake to believe that the tea parties are controlled by the Republican Party, although there is an ongoing attempt by some factions of that party to co-opt the local tea party.

We believe in a constitutional government of the people, by the people and for the people.

We believe in smaller government, smaller taxes and we believe the solution to our nation’s problems is to be found in the will of the people, not in the will of political parties.

We support a voice for the people through choice at the voting polls. Our goal is not to speak for the people but rather to empower the people to speak for themselves.

Who are we?

We are, organizer and sponsor of the first Grand Junction tea party. We are strong, we are many and our voices will be heard.



Grand Junction

Tax system teaches youngsters wrong lesson

I read the recent front-page article by the Associated Press and was shocked to learn that 47 percent of the U.S. population pays no income tax whatsoever, due to receiving tax credits and deductions.

This apparently has been going on since 2007, so we can’t blame Obama.

What are we teaching the younger generation when their responsibility to assist in the operation of this country is forgiven? Worse, some people actually receive additional money over and above what was withheld. Apparently, when welfare reforms were instituted in the 1990s, the government found other ways to give out free money to people.

When I was a young person starting out, I paid the regular rate of income tax, less my exemption and the standard deduction. I paid taxes on my income the entire 37 years I worked full-time and continue to pay income taxes in retirement.

What are we teaching the younger generation by not allowing them to participate in the operation of our government?

I understand from the article that the remaining 53 percent of the population is paying for these tax credits, national defense and entitlement programs so that the other 47 percent pay nothing each year in income tax. Just because some people have children or are single parents does not mean they should not participate in funding our country. Granted, the amount should be less, but not zero.

I had no idea the system was this bad. I am hoping that the article was simply misleading, and some facts were left out. If it proves to be correct in what was stated, I think we need to ask our legislators to develop some new laws quickly to avoid the bankruptcy of our nation.


Battlement Mesa


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