Columnist misses mark
George Will loves baseball, I love baseball. George Will is a writer, I'm a writer. George Will uses the English language to distort the truth, I always tell it like it is.
In a recent column in the Idaho Statesman Mr. Will wrote the following sentence: "If the workforce participation rate were as high as it was when Barack Obama was first inaugurated, the unemployment rate would be 10.8 percent."
I don't even know what this implies, but it sounds like a bad thing. I do know what it actually says. It says that if in an alternate universe the unemployment rate was the same as when George Bush left office, it would be 10.8 today. Instead it's under 8 percent and improving as we speak.
President Obama was not responsible for the unemployment rate the day he took office. George Will's statement is so convoluted it confounds the logical mind. Basically it says, if anything was the same as the day Obama took office, it would be the same today.
I guess in America, freedom of speech allows people like Mr. Will to say anything.
BILL ENGLISH, Boise
President, Congress land exemptions
Exemptions from sequestration:
Sequestration is not an across-the-board cut. President Obama signed into law the Sequestration Transparency Act. The law requires the president to identify all exempt discretionary and mandatory accounts.
Here are just a few of the many exemptions taxpayers will continue to pay for: compensation of the president, payments to widows and heirs of deceased members of Congress, and the judicial retirement and survivors annuity fund.
Is everyone doing their fair share? We could ask the Office of Thrift Supervision, also exempt.
SAM FLORENCE, Boise
Blame game continues
OK, here we go again. First we had the fiscal cliff, which was taken care of, I think, but I'm not sure. Now we have the big budget cuts looming. Then there is the sequester, whatever that means. Meanwhile our representatives, who are supposed to be managing our country, are milling around on their side of the aisle, mumbling to each other, and pointing at the representatives on the other side of the aisle.
None of them seem to care about what may happen. If these budget cuts cause pay cuts, furloughs or actual layoffs, I think those folks in governments should also feel the pinch. Budget cuts, furloughs and pay cuts should start at the top. From the White House, to the Capitol, austere measures should go into effect. Let them also feel the pinch.
ROBERT J. MOFFAT, Meridian
Closing the White House for tourists and flying around on Air Force One to play golf with Tiger Woods is un-patriotic!
FRANK LONYAY, Boise
People have no one to blame but themselves
I am fed up with the mentality of the American people. Daily, I read where individuals blame either Democrat and Republican parties for the country's problems. We are too stupid to realize the American people are to blame. Both parties create our problems.
Our elective officials spend their time convincing us that what they did is not their fault. They talk about the war, inflation and debt.
It is the 545 politicians who did this to us. People spend hours blaming the party they don't like for our messes. We don't like what is going on, so the other party is at fault. Hogwash. We haven't the guts to admit that we don't know the first thing about what is required to govern. Why? Because we have our own agenda on what the government can do for me and not what is best for the country. Stop blaming the 545, first start with you.
EARL F. BENEDICT, Boise
High rates hurt poor
In 2011, I had an echocardiogram at an independent cardiac clinic and it cost $500. The next year it was bought up by one of the two area health care giants and the cost was raised to $1,500. This is a quick test that uses the same portable equipment thousands of times, administered by a technician who visits various sites on a rotating schedule.
What was the justification to raise the cost? The very same echocardiogram, an EKG test, and five other screening tests are offered as a package by the traveling HealthFair van for a mere $258.
In a Statesman interview with one of the two major area providers, St. Luke's and Saint Al's, one of the officers said the goal of acquiring independent clinics was to offer better health care at a lower price.
This is an obvious steaming load of manure.
An additional injustice is that someone who has insurance through their employer gets the bill reduced to about 50 percent through the clout of the insurance company.
A person who is unemployed or doesn't have insurance through a major provider has to pay 100 percent. Thus the poorest are billed at the highest rate.
JERRY DAVIDSON, Boise