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What to cut?
Time to talk deficit. Clinton left a budget surplus of over $200 billion. George Bush left a trillion dollar deficit. Large chunks of Bush’s deficit consisted of the Bush tax cuts, two wars, and Medicare Part D, all put on credit cards. In addition the Bush recession added to the deficit.
The problem is not: food stamps, school lunches, Headstart, Big Bird, Pell Grants, W.I.C. etc. The poor, college students, the working class, elderly DID NOT cause the deficit.
Further Social Security has zero impact on the deficit. It has no business being on the table. As for Medicaid, it’s under-funded now. Medicare, raising eligibility age is a bad idea.
The cuts should start with the military and the monster complex of the national security system. The U.S. spends more on military than the top 16 countries combined. Nearly 67% of discretionary spending is military related. Between the military and national security industrial complexes we could cut deeply and be just as powerful and just as safe. In fact perhaps safer!
When George H. W. Bush dared to raise taxes the economy grew; when Clinton increased taxes the economy grew. When George W. Bush cut taxes the economy dived and job losses increased so much that by the end of 2008 we were losing 800,000 jobs per month! It’s been about 10 years since the Bush tax cuts went into effect; the “job makers” have not been making jobs.
To my elected reps: leave Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare alone. Do not cut safety net programs. Do cut Pentagon and national security budgets. Do create a jobs program in FDR style.
Karen Martin • Cheboygan
Lou Ann McKimmy decries the 182 bills passed in Michigan’s fall 2012 session in her lame duck outrage letter. Her issue seems to be there was no discussion on the bills and there was no time to read and understand them within the given time period.
Mckimmy would have credence had she wrote a similar letter after ObamaCare passed in the dead of night with no discussion and no time to read it. Remember Nancy Pelosi’s remark ? “We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it.”
Dan Trey • Vanderbilt
Yes to the three C’s (re: Rick Coates’ article on making the region a Culinary, Cultural and Craft Farming capital).
I am from Kent County many years ago and I heard about the Art Prize from family and friends. It has made a good difference. I own a yarn shop in Suttons Bay and would love to do whatever I can on the craft end. We have lots of artistic folks in this area and we should be showcasing them.
Kathy Dawkins • Suttons Bay
The truth about Israel
WORDS! How easy it is for them to be accepted as inflammatory, baring the view of the writer’s heart. Recent letters used the term “anti-Semitic” to describe critics of Israel, as if that gave their words weight. Being Jewish, I saw “anti-Zionist.”
I am proud of my heritage: Grandparents who supported and joined the freedom riders in the south. Parents who taught me to read all the books about my heritage, not just the Holocaust Among their collection of books, Ulan Pappe’s “The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine” and “The Modern Middle East.” Non-Jewish writers were also amongst their book collection, President Carter’s “Peace Not Apartheid,” and “Gaza in Crisis: Reflections on Israel’s War Against the Palestinians,” by Noam Chomsky.
Their books gave me the reality of Israel and Israel lost.
My heritage will never change, nor my pride in it. Israel can be rescued but only when the truth is visible and accepted. Words can be verified, news stories can be read. A narrow perspective formed only in emotions will never bring peace to the Middle East or anywhere else in the world.
Sarah Bemheim • Honor
Missing the mark
I couldn’t let Stephen Tuttle’s “December 26” column slip by without comment. Tuttle states: “Christmas Day is the focal point of the giving season for most of us. And the endpoint.”
Excuse me, but what is this based on? As a self-employed small business person, my hourly wage is less than minimum wage. Yet that doesn’t stop me -- or others I know -- from tithing 10% of each paycheck to charity, 365 days a year.
Also, Tuttle states: “About 20 million are so far below (the poverty level) they lead a life of such grinding, unrelenting poverty we would not recognize it.”
Perhaps he meant to write “I would not recognize it,” for in the same issue, we learn that Tuttle’s household enjoys $96 haircuts and shopping at Macy’s. Please give us working poor -- you know, the ones that walk the talk -- a break when lecturing “most of us.”
TJ Tracey • TC
Those wondrous women
A few hundred years ago, Edmund Spenser wrote about women:
“Such wondrous forms ought rather worshipped be than dared be loved by men of mean degree.”
Had Spenser been writing in contemporary America he might have penned, “Such wondrous forms ought rather worshipped be than menaced by Republicans of mean degree."
Thankfully, women repudiated the medieval mindset of the Republican Party platform in our latest presidential election. Yes, the Republican bus has just driven past the last exit leading to relevancy for women. A slight variation of John Milton’s own words describing his personal plight is applicable to the plight of the G.O.P. ‘When without fortune in womens’ eyes, we all alone beweep our outcast state.”
Nick laRose • TC