Printed letters, April 13, 2011

I completely agree with The Daily Sentinel editorial that soldiers’ pay should never be held hostage to congressional inability to pass a budget.

The editorial suggested one solution: to exempt the salaries for soldiers for any reason related to budget issues.

Even better, how about a constitutional amendment as follows? “If a final budget is not passed each year by October 1, the salaries and benefits of members of the House and Senate will cease at midnight that date. When a budget is finally passed salaries begin again, but are not retroactive.”

If the average person does not do the job he or she was hired to do, there are penalties. Why not do the same for members of Congress, who seem to think it is not something they need to be bothered with?

I doubt this will come to pass. However I think if the idea were put to a vote of the people, it would pass with 350 million in favor and 535 against.

JOHN M. LEANE Grand Junction

Logic absent in attack on Planned Parenthood

The Republicans in both the state and federal legislatures are fiendishly slashing every possible social program they can lay hands on — Medicaid, child nutrition, schools. The list is aggressive and endless. Slash it all.

You would think in all this that the concept of slowing population growth would be a central theme to the Republican platforms, but population, except as it relates to illegal aliens, is a pariah word in the Republican vocabulary.

Not even the facts that the population of this nation has increased by 82 million people since Ronald Reagan took office in 1980, that we have one of the highest growth rates in the industrialized world and that the United States has the third largest population on the planet are being discussed openly in any realistic way.

No, just the opposite. Last week, the Republicans in the House of Representatives nearly shut down the government of this nation over funding for Planned Parenthood, one of the few organizations working to reasonably slow the growth of the population.

The Republicans staunchly refuse to contemplate that their position on abortion is mandating the birth of poor, indigent populations within this nation, totally in need of the very social programs they are slashing.

That these growing impoverished populations, without any other provision, would turn to illicit means to survive, does not detour the fanatical resolve of the Republican right.

The Republicans, after all, have the NRA at their side, and the consciousness that these folks, no matter how sanctified they were in birth, are now fair game to gun down the second they enter your home.

Where is the logic?


Grand Junction

Renewable energy won’t do what is claimed

When will we learn that any time it takes a government mandate or tax subsidy to promote an industry it is an economic loser.

The Senate Udalls claim that a national renewable-energy code will “create jobs, reduce energy bills, revitalize rural America, slow global warming, and strengthen our energy security.”

It will do none of these things. This is nothing but political grandstanding for expansion of government power through political favors at the expense of taxpayers and consumers.

The jobs it will create are at the expense of other, more productive jobs. It will increase energy costs paid by either the consumers directly through higher rates or through higher taxes to pay the subsidies. It will do nothing for global temperature, but it will produce eyesores over vast areas of land, plus the hidden resources it will take to produce “renewable energy” equipment.

It will not strengthen energy security, but will reduce it by hindering development in real energy sources.

What this proposed bill is really about is government favoritism to certain companies and constituencies at the expense of others. It has nothing whatever to do with energy supply or security or the environment.



Writer lacks compassion when it comes to children

Charles Krauthammer is ambivalent, just like you and me. Sometimes I agree with his positions, sometimes I don’t. It’s about political differences. Friendly enemies, you could say.

In his column April 10, he said child poverty had declined more than 2.5 million, with not one word about the other millions of children still mired in poverty. He treated it like numbers on a computer, not the tragedy it is.

One child living in poverty is one too many, but Krauthammer obviously doesn’t see it that way. As a political writer, he sees them as fiscal liabilities, not as flesh-and-blood children. His lack of compassion is not something that can be politically rationalized. It only reveals his true cold- blooded self.



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