Don't toss baby food out with bath water
Those who would slash so-called "entitlement" programs often cite examples of fraud such as a recipient buying luxury items, driving a Cadillac, selling food stamps and so on.
The critics seldom make a distinction between recipients who cannot help themselves and those who will not help themselves. Until we figure out a way to separate the truly needy from the cheaters, there will always be abuses in Medicaid, food stamps, unemployment insurance and other kind of assistance.
But drastic cuts to these programs are not the answer. Throwing out the baby with the bath water only penalizes the truly needy.
Never miss a local story.
Abuses in entitlement programs are dwarfed when compared to abuses at the top of the economic ladder: complex tax loopholes and questionable tax shelters for the wealthy; fraud and corruption on Wall Street and in the banking industry.
Entitlement programs are often mismanaged and,yes, some undeserving folks will play the system. But to let the perfect be the enemy of the good would unfairly penalize those who need help the most and that is blatantly immoral.
If it ain't broke...
Hardly a day goes by that I do not hear someone in Washington preaching that Social Security and Medicare will be going broke.
But I have yet to hear the first person stand up and say that welfare is going broke.
Now is a good time to assess the damage our U.S. Rep. Andy Barr created by forcing the government to shut down.
Economists estimate the shutdown reduced economic activity by about 0.5 percent and there will be a commensurate loss in job growth. If you were looking for a job, go ask Barr why it didn't get created.
We are witnessing a drop in consumer confidence domestically and a decline abroad in the prestige of the United States. Barr voted to initiate the shutdown and against the compromise that reopened the government.
He acted to put the government into default on its debt obligations, a step that would have resulted in extensive and severe economic hardship.
Barr took these steps claiming he was acting on behalf of the people of the 6th District. But polls showed the public opposed his actions. Even the Chamber of Commerce was opposed to the shutdown, indicating his extortion tactics were also bad for business.
Since he clearly does not represent the people of our district or even the businesses of our district I suggest we refer to him as non-representative Barr.
I hope that next November we return non-representative Barr home to the 6th District so that he can spend more time with his family. Between now and then heaven help us if non-representative Barr does much more on our behalf.
Wink, nod for us, Andy
Which of Andy Barr's votes are we to take seriously? He says he voted at least 16 times to open the government, that he was not part of the fiasco we recently witnessed in Congress.
He says default on our national debt must be avoided. Republicans joined Democrats and voted to open the government and avoid default, yet Barr voted to keep the government closed and to default on the debt. No matter how he spins it, that's what he did.
Maybe Andy can give us a wink and a nod next time so we'll know what he's really up to.
Politics not a game
I thought we got rid of slavery with the conclusion of the Civil War. Do you realize that if you work for a corporation you are a slave? Think about it. They pay you minimum wage or if you are lucky $15 or $20 an hour.
However, the CEOs at the top, our upper 1 percent, are making thousands of dollars an hour or millions a year.
Most of us will not make a million in our lifetime. They cry because they are asked to pay health care, sick days or a higher wage.
The slaveholders were more compassionate. They fed and clothed their slaves. Today the poor care for the poor while the elite hide their treasures in foreign countries.
If everyone were paid a respectable wage, they would be paying taxes, have no need for food stamps or Medicaid. There may be a way to reverse the trend. Many of the comments made on Fox News and by our leaders are for their benefit, not ours.
Please do your homework and learn the facts. Remember how they tried to stop you from voting? We should not be here to win for Republicans or Democrats. We are not in a football game. We need to elect candidates who will serve us.
Money talks too much
It's really irritating when politicians say one thing and do the opposite. This behavior is not confined to political leaders. The Supreme Court is getting in on the act. In this great country we all have a voice. This is the heart of democracy. And mine is equal to yours. One vote, one person.
But the SCOTUS has changed the democracy with its ruling that free speech is not democratic, but depends on who is speaking.
If one has a million dollars and gives it all to the party of his choice, while someone else who works at a fast food restaurant gives all of his income, this is somehow fair and equal speech.
Our leaders should read Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address. There they may read the words, "...of the people, by the people." Let us take those words to heart.
Letters about candidates in the Dec. 10 special election for the 13th Senate District are limited to 150 words and must be received by 5 p.m. Monday, Dec. 2. Letters from candidates, their campaign staffs and family members will not be published.