Letters to the editor: 10-18-2013

October 18, 2013 

Government shutdown

I'VE HAD IT! Washington can’t get anything straight. Even if they can agree before the deadline, we will be in the same situation in 90 days. The answer is to decrease spending and get rid of the programs that the government should not be involved in such as health care. The health care program will be a disaster, just as the postal service is. Government has no idea how to use money wisely. Just look at the stupidity of the government when they furlough the government workers. Imagine a business owner furlough their employees and still giving them a paycheck. It is the same as saying “take a four week vacation and you will get paid when you get back.” It is just crazy!

BARBARA WATERFIELD, Boise

JUST A QUICK QUESTION: What happens when a really huge percentage of the citizens of any given country are so disgusted and angry with their supposed leaders and law-makers that they are no longer willing to work within the existing system in order to create change? It’s not a trick question, but if you don’t know the answer, just review the world news from the past few years. Then, if you still don’t get it, put a teapot of water on a hot stove and observe. None of us, individually or collectively, are exempt from the throes of human behavior.

I believe it was Mao Zedong, past chairman of the Chinese Communist Party, who said there was no reason to go to war with the United States because it will eventually destroy itself from within. Well, I am certainly not a Communist but, I think Chairman Mao scored on that one.

No worries though, because our “leadership” will put something together to appease the lowly masses, and we will soon forget all about their outrageous behavior, at our expense, and will complacently allow them to stay on and do what they do, if anything.

TERRY WALTMAN SR., Boise

DURING THE SHUTDOWN, there were government employees who were not part of Congress, the House, or the Senate who have been going to work, unpaid, to keep important areas of the federal government running on some minor level. Unlike their furloughed counterparts who are able to file for unemployment, they need to be at work, or on call, 24/7. They too have families, and for some, they are the sole income-earning person. Imagine the frustration of these select few individuals when they hear that either every furloughed federal employee will receive back pay, or that no federal employee will receive back pay, even if they were working without pay the entire shutdown.

Please help me understand this concept. Dare we wonder why our government is in the financial situation it is currently in? If the decision makers in Washington were also working without pay, they would quickly come to a compromise and end the shutdown. But as that is not going to happen, at least make the shutdown effective by stopping needless, frivolous spending. And for goodness sake, pay the federal employees who have been working this entire time without pay!

SHARON SIMONTACCHI, Eagle

AS I DEAL WITH my own anger at the incompetence of our government, I have begun to ask how we end this quagmire of partisan paralysis. The answer, to me, starts with all of us as voters and citizens. Here’s what I concluded:

1. We must all commit to voting in primary elections. Low turnout at the primaries skew the results. Higher turnout only helps and it’s up to each of us.

2. Is it better to vote for rigid principles or a willingness to collaborate and compromise? This is a question we must all ask ourselves.

3. I suggest we all take a close look at the character of the candidates. Will their actions build good will and be beneficial to all of us? Are their words the truth? Will their positions strive to be fair to all concerned?

I am tired of ineffective politics because we have some serious challenges that must be addressed and will definitely require collaboration and compromise. Difficult issues like immigration reform, reforming the tax code, and how we fund education and infrastructure needs. Not to mention measuring effectiveness and revising health care insurance. We are the ones who must fix this mess.

JOHN LODAL, Boise

IT HAS BEEN STATED that the delegations to the Congress merely reflect their constituents’ leanings. Since the recent survey says that 2/3 of Idahoans supported the government shutdown, the Congressional delegations are doing just that. Perhaps that has something to do with the fact that Idaho is ranked 47th (tied for 47th) in education. An uneducated populace is ruling the Idaho delegation. It’s interesting that the countries with the highest ranking of highly educated adults appear for the most part to be socialist- leaning countries. Hmm! They appear to educate everyone, not just few.

BARBARA CARTER, Boise

Runaway debt

Irresponsible spending and runaway debt is killing America. Cities and towns are literally taking out bankruptcy (i.e. Detroit and Stockton, Calif.); and yet it doesn’t seem to serve as a wake-up call to Americans. Spending does not beget wealth. Spending begets spending. How can government expect its citizens to be financially solvent when it overspends its budget every year. Currently, it is $17 trillion in debt.

One study found 64 percent of Americans wouldn’t be able rely on their savings to pay a $1,000 debt. A study by Doorways to Dreams found 62 percent of families in the $20,000-60,000 annual income bracket lacked any emergency savings to help them cope with even one financial shock in any given year.

America has to adopt the policy that no matter how laudable a cause or program, we can’t spend money we don’t have to buy things we can’t afford, including health insurance, education, federal parks, etc.

If government wanted its citizens to save, they wouldn’t tax their savings. It’s as if government is saying, “Save and you will pay more taxes. Spend and you will pay less.”

Currently, our government’s financial model seems to be “do as I say, not as I do.”

MORRIS BASTIAN, Boise

Cable One

AS A CABLE ONE subscriber I find it funny that they cannot negotiate a contract at all four channels they claim have low viewer ratings, but they have a 24/7 golf channel. I guess they assume that instead of watching shows, we are all watching golf and therefore do not have to negotiate with the suppliers. Great way to do business, huh?

JACOB FRANZEN, Meridian

LET US ALL SHED a collective tear for Cable One, poster child for corporate greed, whose rates have risen to astronomical levels over the years. For this privilege, we receive a service cut in half and for which we must be duly grateful. Talk about TV being a vast wasteland. Welcome to Cable One.

It’s all a piece with tea party individuals shutting down government to spite their own faces; products such as cat food that are new and improved in the best interests of the cat, as opposed to the coffers of the cat food maker; software, new and improved to the point of incomprehensibility to the user; basic foodstuffs, new and improved to nothing fit for human consumption; and the many other idiocies we're are forced to endure in this new and improved upside-down world.

We feel your pain, Cable One. We feel your pain!

JOANNE HARTIGAN, Boise

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