Printed letters, Oct. 1, 2010

Budget ballot items are bad for economy

For eight years it was my honor to serve as the state senator from Mesa and part of Garfield County (Senate District 7). At times, I found that the lines seemed blurred with what was going on at the federal level and what we were doing at the state.

In Colorado we are mandated to balance the budget every year, whereas at the federal level, unfortunately, deficit spending is allowed. To balance Colorado’s budget, even in better economic times, was no easy task. As an example, voter approved mandates for K-12 education automatically carve out 44 percent of the state budget. The Colorado Legislature must use the remainder for other critical needs such as roads, bridges, higher education, law enforcement officers and corrections facilities, while still maintaining a balanced budget.

If Proposition 101 and Amendments 60 and 61 are adopted by the voters, eventually all of these, except K-12 education,will suffer dramatically.

Under the proposed Amendments 60 and 61 and Proposition 101, the state and local economies will suffer from jobs lost (currently estimated at about 73,000, most in the private sector) and the curtailment of much needed services at a time when we should be striving to encourage job growth and grow our economy.

The loss to Mesa County will be in the millions. We will see further reductions in law enforcement, creating more opportunity for criminals to get away with crimes and increasingly less maintenance for our streets and roads, no new highways or other major public projects and longer lines for access to government services such as driver’s licenses and license tags.

I encourage voters to educate themselves on the impact of these ballot issues, which are known as the “ugly three” for good reason.  They are bad for the economy, bad for representative government where you make the choices based on state and local needs, and bad for our children’s future. I join leaders in both political parties and organizations throughout the state in urging you to vote “No” on Amendments 60 and 61 and Proposition 101.

RON TECK Grand Junction

Sentinel should support restraints on tax spending

I was dismayed to see that the new owners of the paper are well set in the camp of never seeing a tax they don’t love or a spending limitation that they do not hate. That The Daily Sentinel’s decision to put its opposition to any control over politicians spending on the front page clearly defines its editors as being liberal elitists wannabes.

Any time elected officials are faced with a spending oversight, they will cry about all the woes and harms it will cause. Some of us notice that they never mention restraint in spending.

Of course, there have had to be cutbacks with this economy. We had overspent, created far more entitlements, and bloated all departments and it is time that we get back to having what we need as opposed to what we want.

I suggest that editors look around and see that the Western Slope is home to a relatively conservative group of people of all political persuasions. Eastern liberal elitists belong back East.

ROBERT D. ANDERSEN

Grand Junction

Passage of Amend. 62 promotes needed debate

In its Sept. 26 editorial titled, ” ‘No’ on Amendment 62,” The Daily Sentinel editorial staff has essentially declared the unborn, in-utero, developing human a non-entity with no rights or even consideration in the debate. It rather chooses to emphasize what complications, “unintended consequences” or “legal uncertainty” might occur should we legally declare that unborn humans be afforded at least the right to life through the passage of Amendment 62.

If the unborn humans are really just that, “unborn developing humans,” as I and many others strongly believe, then where is the compassion, the dignity, the respect and, yes, even the legal protection for these the most innocent and vulnerable of humans?

The passage of Amendment 62 would also force us to consider the question, that is difficult for all of us: “When is it justifiable to end the life of another human being (war, self-defense, capital crimes, euthanasia, doctor-assisted suicide, abortion, etc.)?”

Should we continue to ignore this question by dancing around the issue, as does the Sentinel editorial? Or rather should we place into our Colorado Constitution a measure that we all recognize that human life (personhood) begins at the very commencement of the biological development of that human?

Recognizing that will allow us to move on to the discussion and legal determination of when and under what circumstances that life may be ended.

Yes, there may be unintended consequences of the passage of Amendment 62, but one very “intended” consequence would be the immediate cessation of the process that now ends the lives of in-utero humans without due cause, what we now so easily call “legal abortions.” Please consider a “Yes” vote on Amendment 62.

JOHN ANDREWS

Grand Junction



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