Printed Letters: July 13, 2014

U.S. may lose its place as greatest nation ever
The July 3 commentary by Josh Penry is correct that the United States is the greatest country that has ever existed. That fact is not debatable; however, his comment that the “best days are ahead” is simply wrong.

In his unbridled optimism Penry has ignored history. There is plenty of evidence that about 250 years is as long as any country has ever been able to be the most powerful militarily, economically and politically. The Roman, British, Egyptian and Ottoman empires, among others, have all become mere shadows of themselves or disappeared altogether.

The U.S. is coming up on that 250-year threshold, as we are 238 years from our founding. Thus, there are about 12 years to right the ship. Can it be done? Not if history is an indicator.

But history isn’t the only indicator that we are headed for decline. Currently, we are in the longest war of our history, the War on Poverty. That war, started in the 1960s, has consumed more money than all our military wars from the Revolutionary War through Afghanistan combined. In fact, in inflation-adjusted 2011 dollars, almost three times more has been spent on the poverty war than on the military wars ($19.8 trillion vs. $6.9 trillion). The dismal results are that today we have more people on welfare, food stamps, unemployment and other social programs than ever before. That is not sustainable.

Consider also how many jobs have vanished into thin air. When President Bush left office, we needed 360,000 new hires monthly to keep the unemployment rate from increasing. Now, through governmental sleight of hand we see the unemployment rate going down with 220,000 new hires or less per month. This means that there are about one-third fewer jobs to be had than in 2008. That is bad enough, but government programs and regulations are also reducing the quantity, quality, pay and hours of the jobs that there are, forcing more people on to government assistance.

Finally, the mainstream media has chosen sides and can no longer be counted on to provide balanced truth about Democrats, Republicans or their respective legislative positions, and so voters cannot make educated decisions about what is best for the country.

So, with the few reasons listed above, there are many more that space won’t allow. I’m afraid Penry is as wrong as he has ever been about anything. The United States, the greatest nation ever, is sinking and there is no saving it.

RICK L. COLEMAN
Grand Junction


Grant’s column regarding Hobby Lobby shows his bias
Reading Bill Grant each week should be required for all politicians. It has to be the epitome of biased commentary. If the Democrats want it, it has to be right and if the Republicans want it, it has to be way outside the mainstream. To clarify, I am a registered independent, and I vote for the person I think will do the best job regardless of the letter behind his name on the ballot.

As I read Grant’s commentary on the Hobby Lobby ruling, I can’t help but marvel at the encroachment of government on our lives. I doubt the Founding Fathers, or anyone else for that matter, ever envisioned the government deciding women should be provided birth control as part of their health care. Since that is a clear personal choice, I am amazed that the government should have any position on it at all. It is laughable that this issue is categorized under women’s reproductive rights, along with abortion. How abortion became the rallying cry for the right of women to choose whether or not to have sex is beyond me. But, that is another issue altogether.

In his column, Grant quotes UCLA law professor Adam Winkler as saying the Supreme Court found that protecting women’s rights to control their own reproductive decisions “isn’t a good enough reason for the government to force a business corporation ... to include birth control in its insurance contrary to the business owner’s wishes.” As I read that quote, I was struck by the phrase “the government to force a business corporation ... contrary to the business owner’s wishes.” I’m not sure when the government became God, but every citizen of this country should be concerned by this statement.

He then says the following, “Sensing the outrage this decision is likely to provoke in young women, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, was quick to proclaim, ‘If the Supreme Court will not protect women’s access to health care, then Democrats will.’” And according to Grant and his allies, the Republicans are the only ones who play politics with volatile issues. Yeah, right.

KEVIN ARMSTRONG
Grand Junction


CMU numbers indicate issues with open enrollment policy
It was recently reported in The Daily Sentinel that for fall semester of 2012, 36.2 percent of CMU students and 79.1 percent of WCCC students had to take remedial courses. In the same report, the average remediation rate for Mesa County School District 51 high school graduates is 47.8 percent. Does anybody see a connection here? It’s clear that K-12 education is a big failure not only in the Grand Valley, but across the U.S., as well.

This also begs the question as to why so many of these high school students are accepted to CMU. According to a recent report in US News and World Report, CMU’s 4-year graduation rate is 13 percent. The 87 percent that do not graduate on time spend a lot of money on college and can get into serious student loan debt, possibly without a degree to show for it. Maybe CMU needs to take a look at its open enrollment policy and instead look at students who are more college worthy.

BRUCE BENSON
Grand Junction


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