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 · Random Thoughts · No Free Lunch
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No Free Lunch

George Foster - August 12th, 2004
Code Red. Code Red. Take cover, the U.S. Treasury just launched its own terrorist attack on America in the form of $500 billion in federal deficits for next year.
I thought Republicans were the party of fiscal restraint, personal responsibility, and ANTI-big government. This federal deficit is the largest in U.S. history and don‘t give me the pat excuse that our overspending is an anomaly - the result of being at war.
True, we are spending hundreds of billions in Iraq and Afghanistan. Yet, the fight against terrorism will last for decades. If we can‘t stop federal spending from spiraling out of control while we are nation-building, how many trillions will the deficit increase if we are forced to engage in a conventional battle against a foe who will actually fight back with comparable weapons (i.e. North Korea)?
The accelerating deficits are an outrage - a growing menace to our country‘s stability and moral fiber. Economist Milton Friedman was correct when he boiled down his philosophy of government into “there is no such thing as a free lunch.“ When we spend money we don‘t have - trillions of dollars that our children and grandchildren will need to pay off - the chickens always come home to roost.
The widely-respected Brookings Institute has come out with a report named “Restoring Fiscal Sanity: Balancing the Budget.“ The list of how spending overages kill our economy in this report is jarring. Deficits increase household borrowing costs, increase indebtedness to foreigners, require a larger and larger proportion of revenues to be used to pay debt interest, impose enormous burdens on future generations, and most of all - slow economic growth. The Brookings Institute report also points out that the value of the dollar is at an all-time low when compared to currencies such as the Euro and many experts believe this is largely due to global concerns about the U.S. federal deficit.
In his State of the Union address, the President pledged to reduce the deficit by 50% in five years. Yeah, right. Some experts believe the projected $500 billion shortfall for next year is an optimistic estimate of excess spending - it could run closer to $700 billion after the dust settles. Obviously, we might as well get over any idea of reducing the deficit in the near future.
Even fiscal conservatives, who normally support Republican policies, are disturbed by this latest trend. Wall Street Journal editorials and the Heritage Foundation have both called for a higher priority to be placed on deficit reduction. Recently, dozens of Republican Congressmen met to formulate a strategy to attack the deficit.
The annual spending under George W. Bush has mushroomed far beyond any budget during Clinton‘s presidency. A major reason: politics. For example, under an onslaught of criticism from liberals for not providing enough protective body armor and benefits for all military personnel, the Bush administration recently signed legislation totaling $413 billion in increased defense spending.
If you believe John Kerry‘s attacks on Bush for miserly spending on troops at the Democratic Convention might have contributed to pushing this legislation through, you would be correct. Kerry says he would eliminate most of the recent tax cuts aimed at wealthy taxpayers, in part, to eliminate the deficit. The problem is that independent analysis shows reversing these tax cuts will only reduce the federal deficit by about $100 billion - not nearly enough to make a significant dent into the problem.
No one in Congress, the President, or any presidential candidate has the backbone to make the sacrifices necessary to eliminate the federal deficit and balance the budget. The only practical solution: we need a constitutional amendment to balance the budget every year.

 
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