Printed letters, July 12, 2011

The Grand Junction Airport Authority claims the TSA is requiring a new security fence at the airport that will severely impact business at the airport. How is that possible, when the same is not required at other airports, such as Montrose?

Federal agencies with regulatory and enforcement authority, such as the TSA, specify minimum requirements for security plans.

The regulated entity, such as the Airport Authority, writes the security plan. The regulator reviews the proposed security plan and, if the minimum requirements are met, the plan is approved.

The regulator views the approved plan as a contract, and it does not care if the plan exceeds requirements. The regulator requires adherence to the plan, and may impose fines for non-compliance. This is why the rules can vary so much.

I spoke with a TSA official in Grand Junction and this is the case with the security plan at our airport.

A wise, regulated entity writes the security plan to just meet the regulator’s requirements. Why? To minimize the impact on productivity and/or business, and for latitude in addressing unforeseen situations.

Why would a security plan exceed requirements? Many reasons. Here are a few: To impress the regulator, address a perceived inadequacy in the requirements, address local concerns or an alternate agenda.

The regulated entity sometimes hides behind the regulator by blaming its own burdensome regulations, rules or actions on the regulator. This is a deception and, at some level, a case can be made that it is technically not a lie, but it is not the whole truth.

The truth is that the TSA is requiring adherence to the security plan that the Airport Authority itself wrote. The deception is that the TSA specified all the rules that we are required to obey, including the new fence.



Republicans raised debt without cutting spending

As an independent voter, I am outraged at the debates over the deficit. Both parties have contributed to it, but the biggest contributor has been the Republican Party and it amazes me that the voters have forgotten how we got here.

My disappointment with the Democratic Party is its unwillingness to make some cuts to entitlement programs. We really do need Medicare, health care reform and Social Security. But they always go a bit too far. There are some cuts that can be made, like cuts on spending for people who are not citizens.

My biggest gripe is with the Republican Party. When President Jimmy Carter left office, we had a federal debt of $998 billion (an increase of $299 billion during his four years). When President Reagan left, it was $2.86 trillion. For President George H.W. Bush it was $4.4 trillion; for President Clinton, $5.8 trillion; for President George W. Bush, $11.9 trillion.

Do the math. The Democratic presidents raised the debt $1.7 trillion, the Republicans, $9.5 trillion. They implemented tax cuts that benefited corporations and the rich, then did not cut back on spending.

Then, with their deregulation, they allowed banks to gamble with our money, causing the economic crisis. That is what created the high unemployment.

Now they want to allow these “entitlements” to continue for the richest Americans by not removing loopholes, while they suggest cutting things like Medicare that older and financially strapped Americans like my parents depend on.

Closing these loopholes will not cost jobs. Allowing the government to default will, and not just a measly 1 or 2 percent.

President Obama is doing a very good job trying to compromise. He inherited this mess and the tax cuts that are still piling on the debt.

Come on, Republicans, quit being such hypocrites and let’s work together.


Grand Junction

Column misrepresents immigration problem

I took great offense to Rueben Navarrette’s July 10 column. In his own words, the GOP’s simplistic and mean-spirited approach to the immigration issue leads one to believe that the issue is strictly a Republican issue. Not so, it is an American issue.

No American could cross the border into Mexico and demand Mexico pay the bills for doctors, hospitals, schools and jobs. They won’t say, “You do not have to speak Spanish, you can speak English if you want, but you will have to hire an interpreter and have the people of Mexico foot the bill.”

I find much fault with the United States for allowing this to happen. If employers did not hire them, landlords did not rent to them and you did not have to “press 1 for English,” maybe we would not be in the shape we are in.

I have nothing against them coming to my country if they do it legally as our forefathers did. I ran part of a factory and we had many Mexicans working for us and they were all legal, and very hard workers. We would have hated to lose any of them.

I have recently seen an American woman buy a mobile home and move people in who could not speak a word of English. I also saw a Mexican man who got deported four times and was back on his job inside a few days.

A lot of Americans are saying, “Enough is enough” and starting to demand our government do something about it. If Republicans will do something about it, I say vote Republican.




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