Printed letters, Feb. 20, 2011

Education reform can’t

involve more budget cuts

Superintendent Steve Schultz’ comments in the Feb. 13 edition of The Daily Sentinel tell us nothing we don’t know already. What he didn’t cover is the fact that the scare tactics of the far right will result in more deep cuts to the very foundation of out country, education as well as support for the poor, which will cause even more economic failure.

The sad fact is that the public is too busy trying to survive to understand the repercussions of more deep cuts to education. They don’t have the time or will to sort out what is truth and what is hype, meant to stir up the ignorant.

Remember when former-Gov. Bill Ritter tried to cancel some of the subsidies enjoyed by the gas and oil industries and put those funds into higher education? The Republicans screamed “tax increase” and the gas dudes drowned the airways with ads misleading the public into believing this would cause job loss. The truth was, no tax increase, just taking real funds and putting them elsewhere.

The result was ignorant people voted against themselves and their children and voted to keep giving the industry the money in spite of that industry’s obscene profits.

Schultz noted, “Public education is the foundation of democracy in the United States. Given the challenges of the future, it is more critical than ever that we invest in our children.”

In light of last week’s announcement of even deeper cuts — in kindergarten through college — just how will we meet the future with generations of poorly educated individuals who will have become followers, not thinkers.

Nowhere do I see politicians cutting benefits to big corporations. Nowhere do I see Wall Street bigwigs going without huge bonuses, even though they caused our recession. Nowhere do I see tax loopholes closed for those who do not need them.

Look how the Republicans screamed to keep the tax cuts Bush gave the very rich, who lived well before those gifts and will live well without them. Now these cuts cost the government billions.

Part of the solution boils down to the need for the integrity of our forefathers, the courage to make big campaign contributors and others pay their fair share, and parents to really become parents again.

VERA MULDER

Fruita

Mill lawsuit is typical of environmentalists

Recently, the environmentalist group Sheep Mountain Alliance filed another lawsuit to stop the proposed Piñon Ridge Uranium Mill west of Naturita.

Sheep Mountain Alliance is a well-funded radical environmentalist group from Telluride, over 70-miles away from the proposed mill. The locals in the West End of Montrose County, where the mill will actually be built, overwhelmingly support this project.

Earlier this month, a Montrose judge dismissed Sheep Mountain Alliance’s laughable lawsuit against Montrose County. Now, the group is off to Denver to find another judge.

This is how the modern “environmental” movement works. Often they can’t win on the facts or the science or at the ballot box. Their lobbyists can’t even convince liberal lawmakers to support their cause. So, they’ve hired high-powered lawyers to continue their fight in court.

It doesn’t matter if they win or not. They simply want to make companies spend more money and cause more delays. They hope they can starve companies of resources and discourage future companies from trying to build new projects that don’t conform to their radical, anti-community agendas.

We all know their lawsuit is meritless. Unfortunately, the system is rigged in their favor. They know they can pay their mercenary lawyers a few hundred thousand dollars to push their agenda in court. In exchange, their tactics will obstruct hundreds of millions of dollars of private investment. They don’t care that the hundreds of millions will create jobs, tax revenues and energy.

This is the real tragedy of the modern environmental movement. They want to foist their radical agenda on the rest of us any way they can.  The only way they can do it is in the courtroom. Let’s hope good judges dismiss their lawsuits quickly — again.

JACQUE STAFFORD

Grand Junction

Latest budget numbers are simply laughable

Is it laughable or is it insulting that President Obama and Congress are talking about a $3.73 trillion dollar budget request for the 2012 Budget Year?

Our federal government just wasted $125 billion in fisca year 2010 (according to the GAO)! For this type of government spending and waste to continue, it is insulting and downright wrong during these rough economic times.

The Republicans think that they are all smug and righteous promoting spending levels contained in the 2006 budget. That is still way too much.  Also, don’t buy the savings spin.

Oh, I forgot. The president, Congress and our Wall Street economists believe we are no longer in a recession. Maybe in their world it’s that way, but it is not that way on Main Street, America, where small businesses are struggling and the unemployed are giving up on the job hunt.

Our elected government officials continue to ignore the GAO audits every year. Last October, I wrote about how our federal government wasted $72 billion in fiscal year 2008 and wasted $98 billion in 2009. The GAO issued a press release in December about the wasted $125 billion. The Department of Defense, Homeland Security and the Labor Department were the worst offenders.

Why are we paying taxes so our government can just throw it all away? Let’s get that balanced budget amendment passed in Congress in a hurry. Perhaps, a tax revolt would be appropriate if they don’t pass it.

RANDY FRICKE

New Castle



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