Letters to the Editor: July 11

July 11, 2014 

Self-inflicted scandal a joke

Characterizing the recent Veterans Affairs hospital snafu as a scandal is a joke. If it's a scandal, it's totally self-inflicted.

It's expensive to maintain a military scaled to civilian wages. Ruinous rounds of Republican tax cuts for the wealthy have pauperized essential government services, causing long waits at some VA hospitals.

The true scandal is the $18 trillion national debt.

The wasteful annual interest payment on the national debt is roughly equal to the defense budget plus the VA budget, at over $800 billion per year.

Returning to a second-rate regional power might end our fantasies of exceptionalism.

I propose a 10 percent surcharge tax on the gross income of the 10 percent wealthiest taxpayers to reduce the national debt to $2 trillion.

There is also the added benefit of Congress balancing the budget by statute at the behest of the wealthy's legion of lobbyists. Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H. Bush and George W. Bush didn't balance a budget in 20 attempts.

Congress has promised veterans the moon, but can hardly afford a one-way ticket to Podunk.

Return to the pay-as-you-go of President Bill Clinton and end the borrowing binge.

Allen T. Kelley

Lexington


Taken for a pricey ride

It is pretty sad when most gas prices in this region are seemingly controlled by one bulk plant.

I returned from Tennessee recently where gas prices were $3.31 to $3.45, and in Lexington they hovered around $3.70 to $3.80 and have for some time.

Looks like we are being taken for the proverbial ride by powers over which we have little control.

Andrew Sallee

Lexington


Vote your conscience

Man-made climate change examples.

Global warming and greenhouse effect: Go into a sunlit greenhouse. Light pours through the glass and heats everything inside. Heat can't easily pass back through the glass. Heat can't pass through extra atmospheric CO2 from burning coal/oil/natural gas. It gets hotter inside.

Sea level rise and storm surge: Fill a pan to the brim with water. Slowly heat and watch the water spill over. Heat expands water, causing rising oceans. Blow through a straw over the water surface and watch it spill out faster— like a storm surge.

Increased flooding: Put water in a pan, cover with a bigger glass lid. Water drops collect on the inside of the lid. The drops combine and flood onto the stove top. More heat, more flooding.

Ocean degradation: Put sea shells into vinegar and watch over several days as vinegar gets cloudy and shells dissolve. Acidic water causes decline in shellfish and algae, leading to less food for larger fish and fishing decline.

Climate change denialists: People unwilling to learn, focused on reelection and personal gain, who are simply entertainers.

Climate legacy is Earth's living conditions in less than 30 years.

What to do? Think logically and vote your conscience.

George Wagner

Wilmore


No fooling women

I recently received a mailing from Sen. Mitch McConnell trying to convince me that he supports women in the military, based on his support for two pieces of legislation.

One allowed women to fly combat missions and the other was about victims of sexual assault in the military.

I doubt that, even if they became law, they would affect more than .01 percent of women. This is supposed to make female voters think McConnell supports them.

If McConnell had tried to do anything for women during the last 30 years, he would have something other than two pieces of legislation that haven't even passed yet to brag about.

His only goal during President Barack Obama's first term was to ensure that he had no second term. McConnell doesn't support women in the military or Kentuckians. He supports the wealthy and large corporations. Kentucky women deserve better than McConnell — we all do.

Greg Kring

Lexington

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