Letters to the editor-06-19-2013

June 19, 2013 

BEST AUTHOR

Consider this writer

In response to your list, the Best of Treasure Valley: What? No Best Local Author? Best car wash. Check. Best food truck. Sure. Best florist. Gotta have that. But what about the talented local writers? Nope. They've gone completely ignored. So I meretriciously submit Tom Landaluce for Best Local Author. His insightful, topically relevant, humorous, and unbearably entertaining book, "The Tragic Death of Corporate Man: a hero for capitalism; champion of the working class," should more than warrant him the honor of being labeled... Best.

TOM LANDALUCE, Boise

BICYCLES

Bikes take over the road

Recently, I was trying to drive over to Vista from Warm Springs and every way I tried to go I was stopped by a road closure. This 20-minute trip took over an hour. There was a race going on with bicycles taking over the roads. I have nothing against bicycles, but when they take over the whole road that is too much. Bicycles don't pay for the roads, vehicles do with their license fees.

I think bicyclists should pay a small fee and have a license. This fee could pay for better bike ways, plus more of them. This would make biking safer as bikes and vehicles collide from time to time. So often there is not room to pass if the road is narrow.

Most bicyclists are very good, but every so often bicyclists don't stop at stop signs and red lights. I've come so close to hitting them. What I don't understand is why aren't they required to obey normal traffic laws in Idaho?

BRUCE BOYLES, Boise

SOCIAL JUSTICE

Principles should apply to the military, banks

Science and economic rationalism are important, but without a sense of social justice, they address the symptoms, not the causes of social issues. As reported, there is a new drug that can help treat PTSD.

I am pleased that a drug may be made available to help veterans suffering from the trauma of war. Yet a more ethical strategy might be to refrain from sending our sons and daughters into battle in the first place. Loss of life (on all sides) in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan has proven that the human costs of war are intolerable. In a parallel manner, the big banks that were "too big to fail," are offering foreclosed families an insulting amount of money to "pay" them for ruining their lives. Big banks and their CEOs must bear the ethical responsibility for causing this disaster - personally.

The Consumer Affairs agency could use the measly payments to hold the banks and bankers accountable. Garnish the wages of the wealthy bankers until those who were unfairly victimized are made whole. Ironically, a portion of the banks' profits and the money they are hoarding overseas is our tax money. A sense of justice demands that it be returned.

ROBERT MCCARL, Boise

SOCIAL SECURITY

Seniors would be hurt by proposed legislation

I urge all Idahoans to write our congressional representatives and oppose the so-called "Chained CPI" budget cut proposal as it applies to Social Security. Cuts under this proposal would hurt Idaho seniors who are already stretched by the continually rising costs of groceries, health care, and utilities, costs which offer few less expensive alternatives.

Social Security is a self-financed program, not a piggy bank for deficit reduction. It remains the single best retirement option available today. Two-thirds of Americans get more than half of their retirement income from this program. Many of these Americans took advantage of other retirement programs such as the 401k, which through no fault of their own were depreciated by failed financial markets.

Based upon this year's annual trustee's report, Social Security continues to show a surplus of income over expenses, has a 75-year projected actuarial deficit that is manageable within a growth economy, and will stabilize as the baby boomers move into and out of retirement.

What are we really trying to fix here? If we are truly concerned about the viability of this program, why not consider raising the payroll tax cap, or other financially sound alternatives to harmful cuts?

DON MOREAUX, New Meadows

FOLLOW CONSTITUTION

Founders provided answers we need

If your vehicle is running badly, what's the first document you consult? The owner's manual, of course. Everybody knows the USA is "running badly" now. Why don't our national elected leaders read and heed the Constitution (U.S. government's owner's manual)? By the way, they all spoke a binding oath before God to preserve, protect and defend our Constitution.

The U.S. government is a creation (out-of-control monster far more ominous than any runaway truck) of we the people and the several states. We delegated - very specifically defined - enumerated about two dozen (see Article I Section 8) well-defined powers; all other governmental powers are reserved for the people and the states as per the 10th Amendment.

If you take a look at the 2013 U.S. government you behold a convoluted plethora of bureaus and agencies never mentioned in the original Constitution like the IRS, FDA, FBI, the Federal Reserve, FHA, FDIC, student loans, Departments of Labor, Agriculture, Education, etc.

No doubt, if the feds restricted their operations exclusively to their rightfully, legally, specifically delegated constitutional powers alone, then our grandkids would not be in bondage to our accelerating $17 trillion debt.

HARLEY D. BROWN, Nampa

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