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Lynn Rudmin Chong (3-30) 150 FIREWOOD

To The Daily Sun,

I read it and hear it — in New Hampshire we're known for our "retail politics". National candidates in primary season can hone their skills with us, meeting one on one. However, something else we can be known for — sharing firewood.

A friend in Sanbornton is sharing her firewood over-supply with her friends that have run out. When they come to take a load, they also take a load for another family that has run out of wood but also out of fuel oil money. Now friend, Mary, tells me she overheard conversation in the grocery check-out line this week of another family sharing their extra firewood with someone who ran out. No money exchanged. Just good hearts in action. Thanks for simple generosity being normal behavior in New Hampshire.

May the candidates learn from it. Heart to heart can beat out money changing hands.

Lynn Rudmin Chong


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Subsidies only mask true cost; they don't make things cost less

To The Daily Sun,

The three sectors of the economy that have experienced the greatest cost increases and price inflation over the past 50 years are those where government exerts its greatest influence: health care, education and housing.

The government-induced housing bubble fertilized with low interest rates, reinforced with mandates that lenders provide mortgagees with no money down to unqualified borrowers, caused one of the worst recessions in this nation's history. Millions of homeowners were forcibly evicted from their homes while millions of others watched helplessly as their property values plummeted. Government is already at this high-risk game again, permitting mortgages with little or no down payment, putting the tax payer again at risk of massive bailouts and home owners of eviction.

The cost of education, kindergarten through grad school, has increased faster than almost any sector of the economy. College tuition has doubled in 15 years, causing student debt to mushroom to more than a trillion dollars. Student default rates on that debt are now soaring. All while quality in education has stagnated or declined almost every place. America spends the highest amount of money per student of any country in the world while producing the most average test results. The best paying STEM related jobs still go to Asians, not Americans.

The cost of health care has been debated to its death. The acrimony and sour taste from that debate with dictated solutions from government has left Democrats at their lowest ebb of power in nearly a century. There are now only 17 Democratic governors out of 50, while Congress, the Senate and the majority of state legislatures are in republican hands as a direct result of that debate.

The Affordable Care Act has not, and will not cut the cost of providing health care. It only specified who got stuck paying the bill. When tens of millions of the young/healthy and middle class discovered it was them, they revolted with their vote. In fact the one issue all economists agree on is the unfunded costs of Medicare and health care in the tens of trillions going forward is the only issue that has the power to bankrupt this nation.

Government has made promises to people regarding health it simply can't afford to keep and won't. Government refuses to admit it because doing so could damage Democrats badly at election time for decades. So government dilutes health care hoping you won't notice. Full-fledged doctors with years of residency training have been replaced by a nurse practitioner, while the number of doctors willing to serve Medicaid and Medicare patients shrinks toward zero, driven out by government reimbursement dictates.

The constant bullying, meddling and intervention of government into health care, education and housing aimed to produce equality has produced the absolute worst of results. No one can deny it. Much of the handiwork of government is unstated price control through executive orders and bulling.

Subsides only mask the true cost of everything. They do not make products or services cost less. Grants from government and states with the intent to reduce costs only increase them. Handouts to education from government have never been greater while the cost of education has never been higher. The more government interferes in private markets to distort or control price, the faster prices rise and the poorer quality becomes.

Tony Boutin


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