Letters

Letters 05-23-2016

Examine The Priorities Are you disgusted about closing schools, crumbling roads and bridges, and cuts everywhere? Investigate funding priorities of legislators. In 1985 at the request of President Reagan, Grover Norquist founded Americans for Tax Reform (ATR). For 30 years Norquist asked every federal and state candidate and incumbent to sign the pledge to vote against any increase in taxes. The cost of living has risen significantly since 1985; think houses, cars, health care, college, etc...

Make TC A Community For Children Let’s be that town that invests in children actively getting themselves to school in all of our neighborhoods. Let’s be that town that supports active, healthy, ready-to-learn children in all of our neighborhoods...

Where Are Real Christian Politicians? As a practicing Christian, I was very disappointed with the Rev. Dr. William C. Myers statements concerning the current presidential primaries (May 8). Instead of using the opportunity to share the message of Christ, he focused on Old Testament prophecies. Christ gave us a new commandment: to love one another...

Not A Great Plant Pick As outreach specialist for the Northwest Michigan Invasive Species Network and a citizen concerned about the health of our region’s natural areas, I was disappointed by the recent “Listen to the Local Experts” feature. When asked for their “best native plant pick,” three of the four garden centers referenced non-native plants including myrtle, which is incredibly invasive...

Truth About Plants Your feature, “listen to the local experts” contains an error that is not helpful for the birds and butterflies that try to live in northwest Michigan. Myrtle is not a native plant. The plant is also known as vinca and periwinkle...

Ask the Real Plant Experts This letter is written to express my serious concern about a recent “Listen To Your Local Experts” article where local nurseries suggested their favorite native plant. Three of the four suggested non-native plants and one suggested is an invasive and cause of serious damage to Michigan native plants in the woods. The article is both sad and alarming...

My Plant Picks In last week’s featured article “Listen to the Local Experts,” I was shocked at the responses from the local “experts” to the question about best native plant pick. Of the four “experts” two were completely wrong and one acknowledged that their pick, gingko tree, was from East Asia, only one responded with an excellent native plant, the serviceberry tree...

NOTE: Thank you to TC-based Eagle Eye Drone Service for the cover photo, taken high over Sixth Street in Traverse City.

Home · Articles · News · Other Opinions · The candidates and the...
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The candidates and the issues

Sara Gay Dammann - September 22nd, 2008
So much is being written about this election and so much of what is being said is irrelevant. It’s time to close the silly season and turn the focus to issues, not gender, not race, not age. The question is whom do we think can best lead this country out of the morass of war and economic woes?
The issues are many. Here are a few:
TAXES: Obama’s tax plan would lower taxes for 95% of all taxpayers, virtually eliminate income tax for 10 million working Americans and for seniors with incomes lower than $50,000, and Obama proposes to let the Bush administration’s tax cuts for the wealthy expire and be returned to middle and low-income taxpayers in the form of tax credits to pay for health insurance.
McCain proposes further cuts in the corporate tax rate (10%) and to extend Bush’s tax cuts for those at the top of the economy.
Obama’s tax record in the Senate includes the Stop Fraud Bill and the 2007 Patriot Employer Tax Act, which provided tax credits to companies increasing workforce in the United States.
EDUCATION: Obama supports universal voluntary pre-school for all children, expanding head start, proper funding for No Child Left Behind, teacher service scholarships, improving science and math curriculums, and the American Opportunity Tax Credit to make college affordable for all students.
McCain supports school vouchers, has no college level programs and has not supported extending Pell Grants.
Obama led the fight to increase Pell Grants to $5,100 and introduced legislation to support summer learning and teacher residency programs.
ETHICS: Obama has a deep record on ethics legislation including bills to end “no bid” contracts, restricting corporate jet travel by legislators, requiring disclosure of contribution bundling by lobbyists, and has refused campaign contributions from lobbyists and PACs.
McCain, despite his rhetoric, voted against lobbying reform and has intensified his fundraising with lobbyists.
HEALTH CARE: Obama’s public health care plan is similar to the federal employees plan, which covers all essential medical services including preventive, maternity and mental health services, and covers all children. For those choosing private insurers, Obama proposes a National Health Insurance Exchange to monitor private plans, ensure they are fair and accessible and to evaluate the plans. To control costs Obama would reimburse employer health plans for catastrophic illness costs above threshold, lower prescription drug costs by permitting overseas purchases and negotiating with drug companies.
McCain’s plan calls for federal assistance for states to create high-risk pools to contracts with insurers and provide $2,500 individual tax credits. McCain has no plan that requires coverage for children.
Obama has co-sponsored several bills including the Healthy Kids Act and SCHIP reauthorization as well as legislation on women’s health issues in both Illinois and the US Senate.
MILITARY: Obama calls for an orderly transition of responsibility in Iraq from the United States military to the Iraqi government. He calls for a shift of focus to Afghanistan where Al Qaeda and the Taliban thrive.
McCain, while acknowledging the resurgence of Al Qaeda and the Taliban still argues for more troops in Iraq.
Obama has a strong record on Veteran’s Affairs and has passed legislation to cut red tape for veterans at VA hospitals, passed legislation to help homeless vets, introduced legislation to improve outreach to National Guard and reserves.
McCain skipped the vote on the bill to provide better education benefits to vets in May, 2008, and has consistently voted against increasing funding for veteran’s health care.
The differences in the two candidates are real. There is reliable information on these issues. We do not need to be misled and it is our responsibility as voters to become informed and make informed choices when choosing our next President and Vice President.
One final note: some brilliant community organizers – John Adams, John Hancock, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, founded our nation. Community organizing is the basis of a true democracy.

Sara Gay Dammann has been a writer and freelance journalist for the New York Times, Detroit News, Chicago Tribune, Time-Life and other publications. She has lived in Charlevoix for more than 40 years where she and her late husband, Tom Dammann, a nationally-known newspaperman, raised their children.

 
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