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Congressman Dan Benishek voted to strip Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Payments (food stamps) from the bi-partisan Senate passed Agriculture bill. According to the USDA, there are over 92,000 SNAP recipients in Benishek’s district. He also voted against the expansion of Medicaid benefits for the most vulnerable Michigan residents.
Dan Benishek voted to shut down the federal government, putting more than 500,000 civil servants out of work nationwide. According to the state budget director, Michigan lost $18 million per day caused by the shutdown. Additionally, he was one of 80 GOP Congress people who signed a letter to Mr. Boehner and Mr. Cantor, calling for a federal government shutdown.
You will see that Dan Benishek agrees that “we should continue our efforts to repeal ObamaCare in its entirety this year, next year, and until we are successful.” Through legal and proper channels, the ACA is now a federal law.
The shutdown caused the closing of all five of the national parks in Michigan during the fall color season. Four of those national parks are located in Benishek’s district: Isle Royale National Park, Keweenaw National Historic Park, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, and Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.
Dan Benishek supported the Ryan Budget that would turn Medicare into a voucher program. He called for privatization of both Social Security and Medicare. Additionally, he has called global warming “baloney” and “a hoax.” He supported drilling for oil and gas in the Great Lakes.
With a small margin of victory in 2012, and given that he has voted to shut down the government which has impacted many Michigan citizens, I doubt that many food stamp recipients or national park service employees will vote for him in 2014.
Betty Bushey • TC
Who’s to blame?
Regarding Thomas Scribner’s letter, “Reckless Behavior,” 10-7-13, quite a rant. Mindless, totally partisan, uninformed, but quite a rant nonetheless.
His statement on Obamacare, “Despite the evident popularity....” shows he doesn’t have a clue. Three weeks after the roll-out of the health exchanges, the system still remains virtually unusable. According to all reports from every major news source, these exchanges are a disaster. I’m sure all those people around the country are finding that their premiums going up, their plans being no longer available for renewal, their doctors not participating, their hours being cut to below 30 hours a week are certainly finding Obamacare extremely popular.
As far as his complaints about the ‘reckless Republican Congress’ goes, is he aware that the Republican Party has already sent about 10 or 12 bills to the Senate for consideration? Harry Reid has unilaterally decided that any bill forwarded to the Senate is automatically dead on arrival and has been unwilling to negotiate on anything. If anyone is closing down the government, it’s Reid and his henchmen and Democrat sycophants who are hell bent on spending this country into bankruptcy.
If Mr. Scribner is so concerned about the closed national parks, I would suggest he write to Harry Reid and ask why the government is spending more money preventing people from accessing those parks than would have been spent by keeping them open.
Joel Weberman • Mesick
What about taxes?
The report, “Obamacare: What’s In It for You” by Robert Downes was certainly biased and borderline propaganda.
I write a weekly personal finance column and any subject matter that touches on politics needs to be unbiased and factually driven. For example, there is no mention of the numerous new taxes or increased deductibles, increased premiums that adversely impact people. Simple put, poorly written without adequate research.
Ken Morris • via email
Who’s running the show?
Here is a little “pop quiz” re: definitions and examples.
What is the government of the U.S.? The U.S. is a federal constitutional republic. The citizens elect who controls their government.
What is an oligarchical government? Government by the few; a government in which a small group exercises control. Dare I say the Tea Party? Looks like it. That segments of the GOP party has successfully shut down the business of Congress.
Is that bad? I say yes; for example Congress paid themselves for not working, while the economy lost $300 million per day while the shutdown was in effect.
Bipartisanship? Relates to, or involving members of two parties working together. Aren’t they honorable men, committed to work for the wholeness and unity of their countrymen?
Thomas E. Hagan • Empire
Misinformed on BC/BS
In the October 7 issue, letter writer Tom North stated categorically that he was informed through their customer service department that “Michigan Blue Cross/Blue Shield will terminate ALL-100% of their current insurance plans by 3-31 14.”
As a subscriber to a BC/BS plan that supplements our Medicare, I was naturally disturbed by his statement, so I contacted BC/BS myself.
The customer service representative I spoke to reassured me that there would be no change to our current plan, and added that changes would only affect younger people applying for policies under the Affordable Care Act.
We have always found Stephen Tuttle a reliable source of information and wish you had checked the letter writer’s claims before you published them.
LaVerne Greenwood • Waters
The latest free trade threat
TPP: Trans Pacific Partnership. Have you heard of it? If you care about “Pure Michigan” or “All Things Local” you need to be paying attention.
This is a trade agreement that for the last three years has been negotiated behind closed doors. It has been called “NAFTA on steroids” for good reason.
Remember NAFTA and the promises of prosperity, when all we got was a diminished middle class as manufacturing jobs were shipped overseas? TPP would be the final giveaway to giant corporations so they can then override domestic laws on environmental health, safety, and citizens’ rights. It would supplant U.S. sovereignty and cancel our right to self-govern.
This secret trade deal, if passed, would eviscerate regulations that now protect workers, the environment and our financial system. Unsafe foods could pour into our country and we would be powerless to stop them. Big tobacco could sue anyone that enacts anti-smoking laws. Local small-scale farmers could be deemed to discriminate against foreign suppliers, and local agriculture would be devastated.
The Senate can reject this corporate giveaway. Call Senators Levin (292-224- 6221) and Stabenow (202-224-4822) and urge them to reject this now.
Ann Rogers • TC