Letters to the editor: 10-22-2013

October 22, 2013 

WHO IN THE WORLD is running the United States of America?

We have a government that believes the best way to eradicate trillions of dollars of debt is to spend trillions.

We have a government whose plan is to get people back to work by providing 99 weeks of unemployment checks.

We have a Forest Service that believes in burning our forests instead of logging them.

The people who work hard are met with higher taxes while the people who don’t work are rewarded with welfare, food stamps, medical benefits and subsidized housing.

Our Fish & Game Department is more interested in reintroducing wolves instead of elk.

We have a Farm Program where 80 percent of the money goes to food stamps.

In the USA you can get arrested for hunting or fishing without a license, but not for entering and remaining in the country illegally.

We live in a nation that was founded by geniuses and is now being run by idiots.

GARY WILLSON, Reubens

I WANT TO CONGRATULATE Rep. Mike Simpson for his voting on the Continuing Resolution to reopen the federal government and raise the debt ceiling. This took courage and the best of judgment, as well as empathy for citizens and an understanding of the economic and political damage that has and would be inflicted upon the U.S. had the votes not been there. Conversely, nothing but shame to Labrador, Risch and Crapo. They could care less for the people they supposedly “represent.”

ROBERT GOYDEN, Boise

THAT CALLS TO IDAHO'S congressional delegation were running in favor of prolonging the shutdown is being called into question. A half-dozen people posted messages that questioned the accuracy of the reported numbers and/or the reliability of the staff doing the reporting. Only one of the some 58 posts was in favor of continuing the shutdown.

The headline on the front-page story of the Sunday Oct. 13 online edition read, “Idahoans to congressmen: Continue shutdown until President Obama gives up Obamacare.”

The succeeding online story by Rocky Barker said, “... calls to Idaho’s congressional delegation are running two to one or more for continuing the shutdown ....”

An Iraqi combat veteran said, “... as of now I have not met one person out of thousands I deal with each day that say ‘keep it closed.’ ”

Calls to Idaho congressional delegation offices in Boise on a Monday were met with a message that stated all delegation offices were closed due to the shutdown of the government. A message in three mailboxes said that the voicemail box was not taking messages because it was full. A fourth office did not permit leaving a message as an option.

CHARLES HOPPINS, Boise

REGISTER AS A REPUBLICAN to make a difference — even if you are not.

I am a die-hard, left-leaning independent voter — yes, I voted for Barack Obama, twice — but I also voted for Ronald Reagan. But I can no longer vote for any Republican because the extreme right-wing “tea party” politicians have hijacked the party. This has happened because the majority of the dismal few people who bother to participate in the Republican primary are extremists.

If, like me, you would like to see some semblance of moderation, statesmanship and responsibility return to the Congress, get off your couch and register as a Republican even if you’re not and support like-minded candidates. I promise it won’t hurt.

You can still vote for a Democrat in the general election, but you already know that won’t make any difference in Idaho — but your activism in the Republican primary may make it easier to live with the Republican who wins.

SCOTT MARSHALL, Eagle

I’D LIKE TO KNOW IF THE KIDS and wives of Crapo, Risch and Labrador have health insurance.

Silly question. Of course they do. Does your family?

Every first-world country on the planet provides their citizens with basic health care except the U.S. South Africa used to be in that two-country club, but they grew up.

I’m a widow with a small income, but our Republican, all-male representation in Washington could soon wipe that out because they’re refusing to pay our bills.

My real question, why do Idahoans continue to vote against their own financial and family interests? Why do we vote against our children’s health and education?

Before anyone starts accusing me of being some transplant liberal, I was a kid when we only had 90,000 residents, Frank Church was a senator the entire state respected, and though I’m not particularly happy with all the ultra-conservatives moving here, that’s life.

I have a feeling if our four entrenched, out-of touch-people in D.C. (too worried about re-election over the basic human welfare of their neighbors) don’t change their evil ways, they’re going to be keeping company with Larry Craig.

SUZIE HOOVER, Meridian

IN 1944, YOUNG MEN STORMED THE BEACHES of Normandy during World War II and led an invasion to free a continent from the heavy boot of a tyrant. On a Sunday this month, aged warriors visited the Washington, D.C., mall and stormed the barricades set up by park police to deny freedom to roam the memorial built in their honor.

Younger and more able-bodied veterans began disassembling the barricade to free their memorial from a growing and out-of-control bureaucracy.

Thus ended a week which began with the revelation that a fully-funded Defense Department and a feckless secretary of defense, with the apparent blessing of the president, denied the families of U.S. soldiers recently killed in Afghanistan the $100,000 death benefit owed them.

After disassembling the barricade, these men carried sections of fencing across the street, where they deposited them in a heap against another fence, behind which sits a petulant president who governs with dictates and executive orders.

Unlike the invasion 69 years ago, the liberation of the World War II Memorial was spontaneous. Nobody thought to weld the sections of the barricade to the White House fence or prepare a bronzed plaque identifying the grotesque pile of fencing for what it really was: the Obama Memorial.

QUENTIN SMITH, Boise

IT IS LAUGHABLE that Rep. Raul Labrador is being held up as some kind of hero for spending three hours touring Nampa school kids through the empty halls of the Capitol during the federal government shutdown. I wonder how he explained his respect for our Constitution and the brilliant design of our government, with its three branches of power, in the same breath as he explained his support for the shutdown.

The Affordable Care Act passed the House, the Senate and was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court. Did he explain to these students that you just throw a tantrum that hurts millions of others when you don’t get your way? Or did he walk them by the office of someone like John McCain and tell them how a real Republican and leader responds to defeat?

GAYLE STAUFFER, Eagle

IDAHO CONGRESSMAN RAUL LABRADOR'S stand with the tea party against funding the Affordable Care Act is both amateurish and also deeply offensive to working Idaho families.

It is impossible to hold our national economy hostage without also holding Idaho families and our state economy hostage as well.

Besides from ideological grandstanding, ensuring the stability and growth of national and state economies is pretty much the only thing Republicans are good at, lacking which they are as useless as appendages on a bowling ball.

Sure, all members of Congress take an oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution, and are derelict if they fail to do so. Labrador and his pals make the case that expanding health care coverage to lower-income American families is unconstitutional. Yet the Supreme Court ruled the ACA law fully constitutional, and thus law of the land.

And why call the law an “expansion of entitlements,” when what’s really at stake is efficiency and fairness? It’s a cost-saving fix to the most inefficient health care system in the world, currently costing us fully double what most other nations pay for the same services. That’s freedom? Freedom to be suckers.

CHRIS NORDEN, Moscow

TEA PARTY LEGISLATORS passionately dislike government. They feel nonpayment of forthcoming government obligations is praiseworthy, even though Congress itself approved those bills.

The tea party wants to transform America into a financial “deadbeat” and cannot conceive how that could jeopardize our economy.

They even feel default is economically healthy. One tea party representative stated, “We need to have that moment where we realize (we’re) going broke.”

Ezra Klein, named a best financial blogger by Time Magazine, makes an analogy between families and government:

“That moment when a family realizes it’s broke and stops paying their mortgage, credit card bill, etc? It’s not a good moment for them. It’s a moment that wrecks their credit score and makes it harder for them to be ‘not broke’ ever again. To try and improve the U.S.’s finances by sharply and permanently increasing its borrowing costs is like trying to prove to your sister that her house is a firetrap by actually setting it on fire.”

The tea party is a party of deep passion, not deep thinking. They want to “set the house on fire” to make a impassioned political point.

Shouldn’t we elect politicians who depend on intellect rather than emotions to represent us?

PAUL MOWATT, Kellogg

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