Printed letters, July 5, 2011

Federal debt ceiling may be unconstitutional

The Republican/libertarian/tea party strategy of furthering their economic and political agenda by holding the federal debt ceiling “hostage” may be on the verge of collapse, now that a number of scholars are indicating the debt ceiling itself is unconstitutional.

To bolster their contention, these scholars cite specific language from Section 4 of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. It states:

“The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned.”

The experts are saying this language clearly indicates the United States is obligated to pay its public debt without restriction or limit, regardless of how that debt was incurred. Their position is reinforced by a U.S. Supreme Court case decided in 1935 (Perry v. United States, 294 U.S. 330).

Wouldn’t it be ironic if a key element of the right wing’s controversial agenda is upset by the very document they claim to hold so dear and insist must be adhered to without even a scintilla of interpretation.

E. MICHAEL ERVIN Grand Junction

Congress must act quickly to salvage our nation

Were our government a private enterprise, some insightful CEO would declare bankruptcy, dismiss the Board of Directors, and possibly go into receivership. The receiver could make decisions necessary to prevent total insolvency.

Our elected representatives, regardless of party, have toed their party line to a point where our precious form of government has become compromised and perhaps, soon, will become untenable. They continue to claim to represent “the people”.....which people I am not sure.

The Republicans demand savings, and then seem to wish those savings be used to offset further tax cuts; net difference: nada. The Democrats wish to “invest” the savings in new programs and initiatives; net difference: zilch.

The sad truth is, we all demand spending reductions, but we all feed at the trough of government benefits. While demanding less spending, less taxes and less of everything, none seem to want their trough disturbed.

Retirees and soon-to-be retirees demand no changes to their programs, homeowners demand retention of mortgage interest deductions, veterans claim their benefits cannot be cut,  farmers and oil companies still expect their subsidies, etc.

The representative form of government has been hijacked by life-long politicians who long ago ceased being able to do what is right for America, and continue to do what is right for their special-interest contributors.

Our “representatives” must act fast to salvage our nation, their dignity and our form of government. Sure, next election we could possibly throw the bums out,  but by then, the damage may be too great.

JIM HOFFMAN

Grand Junction

Violent video games are different from cartoons

Members of the U.S. Supreme Court may vote as they see fit, of course. Just don’t insult the intelligence of anybody with common sense by claiming that there’s no difference between the bloody and desensitizing violence and soft porn of today’s video games and the roadrunner and coyote cartoons. Any court member believing that should hide under his robe for shame.

Second, despite the congressman from New York thinking other states should now feel it’s OK to sanction same-sex marriage, the fact remains that the definition of marriage was established long ago amid the apples and other delicious fruit in Eden — not in the Big Apple.

BILL FORBES

Whitewater

Conservatives look to rewrite economic history

In a June 19 letter to the editor, a valley resident proved to us, conclusively, that he has a well-developed desire to rewrite history and little, if any, understanding of economics.

Saying that our current financial woes can’t be blamed on Ronald Reagan proves the latter, while nearly every sentence reeks of conservative bullet points unhampered by reality.

Obama as had to spend too much of both the country’s money and his own political capital to try to get us out of the colossal fiscal mess started by (yes) Reagan, abetted by George H.W. Bush, cleaned up by Bill Clinton (who actually left some money in the till) and then all but destroyed by George W. Bush’s incredibly profligate presidency and his credit-card Congress (2000–2006) — the same folks who are now complaining bitterly and endlessly about the recession which they themselves helped mightily to create.

A writer whoappears to be someone who gets all the news he needs from Fox News, Rush Limbaugh and Sarah Palin, shouldn’t’ be throwing stones at where others get their current events.

DAVID COOPER

Clifton


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