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.
Last Updated on Friday, 27 March 2015 09:59
To The Daily Sun,
We've all been looking forward to spring returning to New Hampshire. Finally, it's time to celebrate the warmer weather and blooming flowers!
Guests who enjoy lunch or dinner at Patrick's Pub in Gilford on Sunday, March 29, through Thursday, April 2, can ask their server to donate 25 percent of their meal cost to the Belknap Mill. I encourage you to participate in this "Spring Into Action" fundraiser with family, friends and co-workers. I want to thank Patrick's, a Belknap Mill business member, for hosting this five-day Give Back Program.
The Belknap Mill is a historic treasure that attracts visitors from all over the country and beyond. Your support can help to continue their arts and education programs. Stop by 25 Beacon Street East in Laconia to see Stewart making socks on the vintage knitting machines. He usually volunteers on Thursdays. Check out the monthly changing exhibits, powerhouse museum and the latest items offered by local artisans and photographers in the Gift Shop. You can rent space for your wedding, baby or bridal showers, birthday and anniversary parties, business meetings and more.
Visit www.belknapmill.org or call 603-524-8813 for the hours of operation or more information.
Join me and Belknap Mill supporters to make sure these programs continue for future generations to enjoy.
Last Updated on Friday, 27 March 2015 09:54
To The Daily Sun,
Gov. Hassan has never supported the 8-cent per gallon gas tax increase or played games with the Department of Transportation budget as claimed by Rep. Mike Sylvia in a letter published Thursday. The whole DOT fiasco is a creation of the House Finance Committee Republicans.
The Finance Republicans snatched the DOT budget from the governor's budget proposal, attached it as an amendment to an innocuous bill about drivers licenses (HB-357), crippled the department by slashing $88 million needed to fund department operations so it could spend the money raised last year to fix the roads, and when John Q. Citizen complained loudly, decided to fix the bill by imposing an additional 8-cent tax increase.
Curiously, Finance Chairman Rep. Neal Kurk refused to sponsor the gas tax increase, but publicly stated he'd support it. Such fortitude. Well, by Wednesday, the 176 Republicans who signed the Grover Norquist pledge seem to have been joined by a few others, and, apparently the Democratic minority in the House didn't want to go along with the shenanigans, by passing the House Finance crippling amendment, adopting a floor amendment imposing the 8-cent per gallon increase and then passing the bill.
As a result, on Wednesday, when the bill came up, Rep. Kurk urged the House to kill his committee's amendment (2015-1015h), and pass the bill dealing only with driver licensing.
Nary a word was spoken about the amendment to raise the gas tax (2015-1071h). This issue now becomes a second thing subject to my warning in an earlier letter: "Don't count on this being the last word on the subject."
David O. Huot
Last Updated on Friday, 27 March 2015 09:48
To The Daily Sun,
I would like to comment on article titled "Jeers & Cheers" in the March 7 issue of The Laconia Daily Sun.
Part of the article was based on a letter by Susan Colby expressing her opinion of the visiting crowd's behavior at a recent game between the two schools. I respect her opinion, but do not agree.
To summarize how the article read to me, as a fan of Laconia High School: a person associated with a losing team was upset. School officials were present and in control. No actions on court or in stands were considered unsportsmanlike. School administration had not heard anything negative from school officials present. Next game everything was great except actions by opposing fans prior to game, considered rude by some.
I do not understand why The Laconia Daily Sun chose to juxtapose this article in a way that depicted Laconia fans as unruly. I think a more appropriate title for article would have been "No harm, no foul".
As a parent, I could not have enjoyed the atmosphere and excitement of recent playoff games any more than I did. I only have praise for all of the friends, families, faculty and fans who came out to support our student athletes. I felt school spirit was boisterous and proudly on display.
Our youth should be allowed to express themselves in a constructive and creative manor. These events are an extension of their education and necessary to allow them to grow as individuals and in groups. To depict them as unsportsmanlike based on one letter was unfair.
Last Updated on Friday, 27 March 2015 09:44
To The Daily Sun,
Thanks, Russ Wiles, for your own version of "revisionist history" based on the pre-Vietnam mentality that the U.S. is somehow the globe's policeman and must expect that total military victory is supposed to be the precursor of the winning of the hearts and minds of those we seek to liberate from their own cultures.
Today "Mission Accomplished" is the former Iraq, with nearly 1.5 million Southwest Asians dead by way of the U.S.'s direct actions of war, collateral damage or the famine and pestilence that are created in every one of these police actions. We then add to that the additional 8 million desperate former Iraqis made refugees created out of these political destabilizations we initiated, added to the 2 million we were directly responsible for creating whilst we prosecuted our wars on these peoples whose cultures, customs and religion we find mostly revolting.
May I propose some other "revisionist history"? The Turks would not allow us to set the precedent for Putin to invade and annex a sovereign foreign nation, over their territory. They feared the eventual political destabilizations and refugee floods they are now dealing with. Bush II ignored the precepts of the Powell-Weinberg doctrine. He had no exit plan for Iraq, just a plan to invade it and destroy the so-far-mythical Weapons of Mass Destruction.
All through the Southwest Asian war efforts, Bush and then Obama referred to the Mujahideen as being "insurgents". We did not see that word now fallen into disuse, in Mr. Wiles recent column. Shortly after the fiction of Bush's ambitious war on Iraq was revealed, his Secretary of State resigned in apparent disgust for being bamboozled into vouching for the existence of the WMD deception.
In the 2008 election, incumbent Sen. John E. Sununu was swept out of office by the disgusted electorate voting their level of confidence in the disastrous foreign policy and domestic economy collapse his fellow Republican, Bush II ultimately delivered. Obama is evil because he recognized the sense of the electorate when he ran for re-election against the War Hawk-campaigning Mitt Romney, who was by many opinions a Vietnam draft dodger with the same motivations as the boxer Mohammed Ali. Mr. Ali went to jail. Mitt went to France.
The electorate seems to have sensed Winston Churchill's observations about democracy being the worst form of government except for all the others previously tried. The electorate endorsed the re-election of a cartoon character of about the same credibility as his predecessor over the war mongering prince of the pluto-gerontocracy. Someone who would not serve in his time, but now thought himself fit to be Commander and Chief.
So far Obama has, until recently, kept the boots off the ground in the former Iraq. If you watch the Sunday news magazines you will see the credible plus one dozen Republican candidates for president all saying that it is for our allies of the same cultures in the region to deal with the winners of the hearts and minds in the Islamist Caliphate. We are to provide air support and material support but "no boots on the ground" to destroy ISIS. Republicans are advising against boots on the ground, while Obama is now increasing those numbers. Obama has no further need to heed the will of the electorate. The $300 million-plus for a library is his current main concern.
A war-weary America has gotten its pound of flesh in terms of exacting retribution for the 9/11 attacks. Up until recently Obama had been advising that, "These folks are going to have to sort things out for themselves." Now they have, and it is generally recognized that the wrong people have won that process. We could not allow free elections as continuously promised in Vietnam because the wrong people would have won there, too.
Our Constitution specifically forbids quartering military personnel in our homes by the Third Amendment. Americans with their sense of self-righteousness cannot imagine how occupying Kuwait for 20 years and invading Iraq with the collateral damages to the civilian populations engender rage in the indigent populations. Emotions our nation's founders were keenly aware of in creating the Third Amendment. Americans do not want to admit to being the cause of refugees in Syria and Jordan selling their children on the streets for sex. We after all were the force for good.
We got rid of Saddam, Uday, and Qusay. Now we have the ISIS. Remarkably ISIS kills its enemies so as to be assured they will not have to fight them again. Tactics so different than Saddam or that the British employed in the aftermath of the 1916 Irish Rebellion and the Amritsar massacre in India a few decades later? Tactics employed by Reno and Custer 125 years ago. We let some of the enemy interned at Gitmo go because we are a spineless nation and not willing to deal with "them" as "they" are committed to dealing with any of us that are so foolish or naive enough to venture into these SW Asian regions to be do-gooders.
It is easy to find and film these successful westernization stories but are they really reflective of the societies of Southwest Asia's ambitions for self determination? So Russ is correct that the president, sensing the will of the American electorate, belatedly post the 2008 election promises, withdrew from Iraq. But he had to withdraw to help him win the next election. So the current fiasco of the last 12 years of U.S. foreign policy in Southwest Asia is all Obama's fault?
Along with the suppression of the Taliban in AfPak, we have the biggest U.S. heroin epidemic of the last quarter century. It is true that Hillary Clinton refused to go on the national TV Sunday news magazines after Benghazi. Instead, as she was reticent to spin the Obama administration's fiction to the nation, Susan Rice was sent up to spin the lies. Susan would have been in line to be the next Secretary of State but was thrown under the bus. Instead the vet who questioned how you ask the last soldiers to die at the end of a mistake to just suck it up, became the Secretary of State.
The Benghazi disaster was not unlike many previous disasters where the CIA, the Defense Department and the State Department were all culpable. It is easy to pin it on Clinton as to her being the lightning-rod personality. As Secretary of State, Clinton pursued expeditionary diplomacy. Maybe there is an argument to be made for or against that kind of more risky diplomacy, but if you pursue it there may eventually be costs such as occurred in Benghazi. The alternative is to employ the "everybody loves Joe" insular diplomacy as explained by one of Russ' contemporaries in the novelette "The Ugly American."
Let us also persist in the revisionist history of the role VP Cheney did not play in the Iraq fiasco. Let us not take note that along with Senator Sununu, it was Senator Clinton also voting for authorizing Bush to invade Iraq. So Clinton is all about the Benghazi accountability but should not be criticized or held accountable for her support of Bush's "good" war of aggression on Iraq? It is all Obama's fault for forming the objective and exit strategies in Iraq as provided in the Powell-Weinberg doctrine.
The costs of U.S. active-military pay, rising by 46 percent in inflation adjusted terms over the last decade, is turning our all-voluntary force ever more into mercenaries. The exponentially increasing legacy costs of military pensions of ever more top brass needed to prosecute war. The same as for the costs of caring for and the rehabilitation of the heroes who have given their real pounds of flesh and providing benefits to the burgeoning numbers of vets.
As for getting retribution for 9/11 against some randomly selected militarily weak Arab nation, what is not to like about Obama exacerbating "Mission Accomplished"?
Last Updated on Friday, 27 March 2015 09:32