To The Daily Sun,
In October, we witnessed a 16-day federal government shutdown with extensive ripple effects. Thousands of federal workers were furloughed, not knowing if they would be paid for their forced time off, left to cover their household bills any way they could. This unnecessary drama that hurt the economy and impacted real people finally ended when the president and the Congress came to a short term budget deal to reopen the government and extend the debt ceiling limit.
This short-term deal continued Fiscal Year (FY) 2013 spending levels until January 15, 2014 and also created a conference committee comprised of members of both parties from each chamber of Congress. By December 13, this committee aims to set funding for FY2014 and also craft a longer-term budget plan to replace the across the board "sequestration" spending cuts. Our own senator, Kelly Ayotte, is on this committee.
Many assume that much of the conference committee debate will once again be about taxes and earned benefits, or so-called entitlement programs like Social
Security and Medicare. The fundamental differences between the parties on these issues could mean a stalemate yet again. There is one place to look for significant cost savings while providing funds for vital programs, and avoiding the recurring debate about taxes and entitlements. This is also the one area where the rate of spending has risen heedless of austerity imposed elsewhere. This is where well over half of the discretionary budget annually appropriated by Congress is: the Pentagon budget.
The Pentagon, like other departments and programs, is currently subject to sequestration cuts imposed by the 2011 Budget Control Act. While the "meat ax"
approach of sequestration is not the best method to make cuts in any federal agency or program, strategic cuts are needed for sustainable and effective defense and security planning and budgeting. Outdated, wasteful, and unnecessary large weapons programs all need scrutiny and fiscal discipline. The Pentagon needs to be reshaped and strengthened for 21st century realities.
As a former state representative, I understand the challenges and complications in writing a budget, but I also know to be guided by the needs of my constituents. We need clean air and water, education, job training and health care, not weapons systems like a $1.5 trillion F-35 fighter jet that hasn't proven to be remotely useful. We need funds to support veterans and military families, not more dollars poured
into Cold War –era nuclear weapons programs.
I hope Senator Ayotte will work to ensure that a budget deal includes strategic cuts to the Pentagon. If Congress proves once again that it cannot compromise, the repercussions for our community, and for the country, could be disastrous. We need a common sense approach that addresses misplaced spending and prioritizes the needs of our constituents.
Kate Miller, Chair
Belknap County Democrats
Last Updated on Thursday, 12 December 2013 11:20
To The Daily Sun,
You heard it first here. THE ENTITLEMENT SOCIETY BINGE that began with FDR IS STONE COLD DEAD, no matter who wins the election next year or the White House in 2016.
The sad and failed DEMOCRATIC epitaph of entitlement spending.
1. Since 2010 Social Security (SS) has been paying out far MORE MONEY than it has collected. That shortage gap widens to the size of the Grand Canyon every year to 2031. In that year every dollar of the trust fund will have been SPENT. At that point SS will have to SLASH its payouts by 23 percent to every beneficiary in America. The person receiving $1,000 a month will then get $770. We are FORCED with a GUN TO OUR HEAD to participate in a GOVERNMENT program with a "house of cards" operating structure that rests on actuarial quicksand. The "cards fall' and government BREAKS its promises over and over and OVER. YOU are SHAFTED by government at every turn economically.
Private enterprise would produce such better retirement results, and without all the POLITICKING and BS. SS has ALREADY been severely diluted . Those benefits are going to be DILUTED again, in the not-far future. Every year of delay only makes the reform medicine all the more BITTER for EVERY future beneficiary. EVERY WORKER HAS BEEN LIED to regarding the amount of his or her future benefits and what the rules are or (will be) for qualification. I GUARANTEE IT! Further, the program has the worst return on assets of ANY pension plan in America, sticking every beneficiary with a much lower benefit than they should be receiving. Bernie Maddoff is a saint compared to the honesty and treatment you receive from the federal government.
2. In 2030 the average couple reaching the eligibility age of 65 will have paid into Medicare $180,000. The cost of their expected benefits they will receive will be $664,000. Nearly half a million dollars in benefits MORE than the couple PAID FOR. It is why Medicare is BANKRUPT beyond the wildest of imaginations in the tens of trillions. So bankrupt it could BY ITSELF bankrupt the ENTIRE COUNTRY. You have been as LIED to from government as any one ever has who has walked these lands. Like SS, every year of delay to tackle the impending Medicare monster of doom only increases the severity of the reforms required. If government were a business it would have been jailed, if not HUNG long ago. If not for lying and deception, gross INCOMPETENCE. People want to believe someone can make something from NOTHING. No one screams that LIE louder or more often, purely for CONTROL than government. Their con game always ends badly, and BANKRUPT. Tens of millions are always hurt by the lies and deceit. You can keep your doctor, your hospital, your insurance and the costs are going down are just the latest BOLD, IN YOUR face lies to the American public by DEMOCRATS that began with FDR. These people think we are all STUPID. Frankly, millions are highly GULLIBLE, you can read the uninformed ratings of many of them in this paper. That is why the lies like those from Obama NEVER STOP coming.
3. In the 1960s the American people spent $1 on entitlements for every $3 dollars it spent on public investments like education, infrastructure and college aid. In 10 short years that number will be flipped on its head. We will be speeding $5 on entitlements and $3 on public investment, substantially crowding out vast amounts of money for every other public good in America.
Last Updated on Thursday, 12 December 2013 11:17
To The Daily Sun,
Old saying that politics makes for odd bedfellows and this is surely the case between the Obama administration and all the big health insurance companies. Obama and company keep telling us all about the big bad insurance industry and how he is saving us all from them. So what's in it for the insurance companies if they are so evil? Answer is money, money and more money. They stand to double or triple profits through Obamacare. The president promised them 30 million more subscribers, paid for by your taxes. Add to that even the most modest plan on the exchange will cost most working people double what customers had been paying even for those few who qualify for a subsidy and then the huge increase in their deductibles and co-pays. Easy to see how the evil insurance companies will make out.
So what does the progressive socialists gain? Power and control over your lives, your health and welfare. Big brother is here, smiling and telling you in his smooth, soothing voice to just trust him and all will be well.
It might be wise to consider for a moment just how many of his promises he has kept before, and how many provable lies he has told us looking us in the eye with his smooth, soothing voice. Are you and will you and your children better off now and will you be next year? Six million families have lost health insurance so far and despite assurances the system is working, it isn't. No system is up and running that sends your check to the insurance companies. Failing that, there is therefore no insurance policy issued. Don't worry things could be worse, just wait it will get worse.
Last Updated on Thursday, 12 December 2013 10:58
To The Daily Sun,
At this time of year it is so easy to get caught up in the rush and excitement of the holidays. However, the 24 hour up-to-the-minute news channels are a constant reminder of the pain and misery of others on a global scale. While we may keep these poor souls in our prayers, and send money or other aid when we can, it is often the case that we overlook the equally devastating pain of those close to us, our neighbors and friends.
As we sit here tonight, our neighbors — our friends — are grieving the loss of their beloved dog, "Danny", who went missing on November 27th.
Danny is not just an integral part of their lives, but a lifeline of love to this couple and their other dog, "Ellie". Serious health issues are not strangers to our friends, but the disappearance of "Danny" has taken a grave toll on Kelly's health, and likely Don's as well. Our friends can't smile or send a cheery "hello" across the yard these days, and little "Ellie" no longer plays outside or eats well as she too, grieves for her constant companion.
Please help us bring "Danny" home for Christmas. He is an 8-year-old yellow Labrador and was wearing his tags on his black collar the day he disappeared from his home in Balmoral. "Danny" has "visited" Suissvale in the past and though many know "Danny", his usual friends have not seen him recently. He loves to go on long walks and play with any new friends he meets, so he may have traveled a bit of a distance in any direction.
It is a heart-wrenching pain to not know what has happened to "Danny". But with the help of a supportive and vigilant public, and animal lovers everywhere, we are hopeful that someone, somewhere will know something about "Danny". He may be wandering, lost in an unfamiliar place, he may have gotten stuck somewhere, or has been injured by someone who may be afraid to come forward. In this case we can only assure you that the joy of "Danny's" return is the only thing that matters. If "Danny" is being forced to reside with a new family, please search your heart. "Danny" loves his family and they in turn love and need him in a way that is beyond words. His return will be rewarded regardless of the reasons for his absence. Please look to your heart and conscience at this time of peace and love and bring "Danny" home. Be the instrument of a Christmas miracle. You'll be blessed and rewarded for it.
"Danny's" friends have taken up a collection of $200 for any information that leads to "Danny's" return. You may also have seen some of the flyers we have been posting anywhere that we can. If you have any information, please call Don or Kelly at 801-664-6974.
Or call and leave a message with usat 603-476-5692.
Bless you and thank you for any help you can give us.
Tom & Diane Potwin
Last Updated on Thursday, 12 December 2013 10:12
To The Daily Sun,
There has been some great letters again this past week that deserve to be addressed. I have tried to write letters that are of local interest which get off in the wrong direction. I can't believe all the hate talk directed towards our president. I read the letter written by Mr. Tim French of Gilford. I am responding to his letter at his request, as in the past nave been ignored and he can't understand why. I have also put out information on the right-wing nuts that no one has an answer to.
So, first you need to explain to the folks in the Lakes Region why we should be interested in statistics from Chicago? The next thing you should explain is how all this has affected you personally? Who are you and give us the access to the sites that you got all this information from so we can check the information you have provided? To help you in getting started, you wrote, and I quote: "There are more people in Chicago on welfare than there is that work". A little hint, many folks on welfare work but fall below the poverty level. Please advise me to your source of information. I believe it was President Reagan who said trust but verify.
The next one I want to verify is and I quote: there have been more people killed in Chicago than Iraq or Afghanistan in the last six months, mostly young minorities.
I have responded to your letter as a member of the left-wing party, as you requested, so I expect you will return the courtesy. AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR.
Last Updated on Thursday, 12 December 2013 10:08