McConnell, Barr can't fool voters about shutdown
Rep. Andy Barr and Sen. Mitch McConnell persist in claiming they have consistently voted to avoid a government shutdown.
What audacity. How naïve or stupid do they think their constituents are?
If they want to avoid a shutdown they will stop voting to tie the budget extension bill together with defunding or delaying the Affordable Care Act.
Their objections to the act, which have been rejected over 40 times by the Senate, could and should be considered as separate matters.
Linking budget extension legislation to repeal, delay or defunding of the Affordable Care Act means reducing the consumer spending of federal workers and those who work for federal contractors at a time when our economy is still struggling.
The shutdown is halting the processing of small business loans, scaling back food safety inspections, soon will suspend benefits for 3.6 million veterans and the Centers for Disease Control's flu prevention program, depriving 9 million needy mothers and pregnant women of nutritional assistance from the Department of Agriculture, potentially disrupting disability benefit programs relied on by millions, further cutting Head Start programs that prepare small children from impoverished families for school, as well as closing national parks and museums that are essential to tourism in hundreds of communities.
And that's just a small part of the disaster their anti-Obama fanaticism is bringing on our nation.
Paul's misguided quotes
Hours after the Republicans shut down the government over the health care law, Sen. Rand Paul railed that the shutdown was actually "about whether or not a society or a civilization can borrow a trillion dollars every year without ramifications."
He then continued, "this is the problem I think for liberals in general in that they have really big hearts but really small brains. You have to think through the consequences."
Paul should take that advice himself. First, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office noted that for fiscal year 2013 the federal budget deficit was down to $642 billion — the smallest annual shortfall since 2008, before the economic meltdown that occurred under President George W. Bush. Government spending under President Barack Obama has grown more slowly than at any time since Dwight D. Eisenhower was president. Paul should do the math.
In the same interview, Paul insisted we should repeal the Affordable Care Act, which would increase the deficit by $109 billion over 10 years. That's according to the Congressional Budget Office, and even Republicans acknowledged as much in their Ryan budget.
Paul also recommends that the government reduce the amount of money coming in — and, therefore add to the deficit — by repealing a tax on medical devices.
Can it be that Paul has this much trouble with simple arithmetic? So, please tell me, who is the one with a small brain?
In his Sept. 24 commentary, "Unrestricted free-market capitalism wrong for the nation," Marty Solomon did not state, but did imply, that John D. Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie and J.P. Morgan, in his words, "ran the country" during the 1920s and 1930s.
That would really be hard to do since only one of those three men lived during that time period. Morgan died in 1913, Carnegie in 1919 and only Rockefeller lived until 1937.
Why would an educated man such as Solomon write such an implication?
Richard R. Magee
Use funds to aid E. Ky.
I read your recent editorial suggesting that the Abandoned Mine Lands fund of $2.5 billion should be invested to help save the Eastern Kentucky economy. A few comments:
■ You have harped on the effects of mining for years. Now that you have gotten your wish for the end of coal mining, are these same problems no longer important?
■ The coal industry pays $10 of severance tax for each dollar of AML funds. This has amounted to over $20 billion of severance tax alone in the past 40 years. President Barack Obama has nearly made the burning of coal illegal and we are out of mining jobs. The severance tax was created to pay for alternative industry in this area after coal is gone.
■ Eastern Kentucky receives only 35 percent to 40 percent of the coal severance tax sent to Frankfort. The remainder is used for the rest of the state to shore up their economies, such as tax incentives for whiskey, horse racing, the automotive industry and Rupp Arena.
We have given the state of Kentucky $20 billion. Where are our alternative industries?
Kentucky needs to return 100 percent of severance tax on the limited mining left in Eastern Kentucky. This money needs to be taken out of the hands of politicians and used for its intended purpose.
The AML fund was also paid by the coal industry. Leave it alone, and for once do what the original law intended to accomplish for both funds.
Hotheads, not racism
There has been a lot of talk lately about racism in the U.S., because of the George Zimmerman trial in Sanford, Fla.
The shooting and trial opened up a debate, which even drew in the president of the United States.
This case was never about racism or profiling like many, such as the Rev. Jesse Jackson and the NAACP, have claimed. The ones who holler racism should stop and look at what actually caused this shooting.
The fault lies with two people: George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman should have listened to the 911 dispatcher and not followed Martin.
If Zimmerman had not followed him there would not have been a shooting. If Martin had kept his cool and not jumped Zimmerman, he wouldn't have been shot. This is not a case of racism, it a case of two stupid people who did not use their heads before reacting.
End to mass shootings
Most of the mass shootings could have been prevented, like at Columbine and Sandy Hook schools and the movie theater in Colorado, if we could enforce gun laws.
If we pay attention to the bullying in schools and the abuse and health and behavior of American citizens, most of the mass shootings could be prevented.
We need to ban certain guns, have stricter background checks to look at the buyer's mental status and raise the age limit on buying a gun.
If the United States can prevent war, it should be able to pass a law to prevent tragedies from taking place and it would put Americans at ease.
I hope that in the future we will see a much better law on guns but not take away Second Amendment rights. If not, there is no way to prevent shootings and protect the schools and other public places