Editor's Note: These letters to the editor have been sorted by topic by the Tribune editorial staff in an effort to allow readers to read varied opinions on the issues, candidates, and other circumstances surrounding the 2012 general election. These submissions are the opinions of the author, not the Tribune, and have not been edited for grammar or content.
Romney/Ryan stance offers nothing to average citizens
George W. Bush’s top speechwriter, Michael Gershon made some sharply pointed, but insightful comments in the Washington Post this week regarding the Republican presidential campaign of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan that bear repeating.
He noted the Republican “ideology, pitting the ‘makers’ against the ‘takers,’ offers nothing. No sympathy for our fellow citizens. No insight into our social challenge. No hope of change.”
He added, “ “This approach involves a relentless reductionism. Human worth is reduced to economic production. Social problems are reduced to personal vices. Politics is reduced to class warfare on behalf of the upper class.”
Mr. Gershon is obviously disturbed by the demands of the far-right ‘lunatic fringe’ and Mitt’s willingness to pander to their compassionless agenda!
Peggy Noonan, former speechwriter for Ronald Reagan, recently wrote, “It’s time to admit the Romney campaign is an incompetent one. It’s not big, it’s not brave, it’s not thoughtfully tackling great issues. It’s always been too small for the moment.”
Former Bush aide, Marc McKinnon, recently stated Mitt Romney is a, “deeply cynical man, who sees the country as completely divided, as two completely different sets of people.” Mitt “would likely govern in a way that would only further divide us. How can anyone support a candidate with this kind of a vision of the country?”
I hope these words of caution and concern by center-right Republicans will give a few old-style conservatives a reason to re-consider their support for the regressive and divisive thinking of the NEW ‘Far-Right/Tea-Party’ dominated Republican Party!
Think long and hard about who can lead us out of mess
If you were in charge of our government on Sept 11, 2001, how would you have responded to the tragic events of that day? President Bush had been informed by every major intelligence service in the world that Iraq possessed WMD’S and Sadaam seemed to reinforce that opinion by refusing U.N. inspectors access to areas they wanted to inspect. WMDS were not found in Iraq when the invasion forces took control, so either all of the intelligence services were wrong or these weapons were moved to Syria for safe keeping when the invasion was imminent.
Through all of the uncertainty of that time, Bush increased the national debt from just under 6 trillion dollars to 10 trillion dollars through his eight years in office. Just over 4 trillion dollars in eight years. By comparison, in less than four years Obama has added more than six trillion dollars to our national debt. Two trillion more than Bush in half the time. If this trend continues what will the people who rely on government help do when there is no more money or our credit rating has been degraded to the extent that we will not be able to borrow the money needed to continue Obama’s generosity.
If you care a whit about the future of this country, you will think long and hard about who is the most capable person to lead us out of the mess we are in.
Romney has some explaining to do on bailout stance
Given his disdain for government bailouts, Mitt Romney has some awkward explaining to do, documents that show Romney demanded and got a $10 million hand out from the government in the early days of Bain and Company, the private-equity firm that launched his career. in 1991, the documents show, Bain was on the brink of financial collapse. Romney responded partly by forcing banks to swallow painful losses on loans to Bain. He did this by invoking a bizarre clause Bain inserted in loan documents that allowed the company’s executives to collect fat bonuses before paying their debts to the banks. Rather than getting nothing of the $30.6 Million Bain owed a troubled bank, the Federal Deposit Corporation agreed the take $10 Million less. The fact that the FDIC is financed by banks rather than directly by tax payers probably makes the word bail out a stretch. But the embarrassing fact remains that Romney helped save Bain from bankruptcy by getting a 8-figure gift from the government.
Look at the facts on budget deficit
Those Obama-haters who constantly complain about how the president has drastically increased the budget deficit and national debt through his reckless spending should take a deep breath and examine the facts.
The last new major spending bill the president proposed and Congress passed was the stimulus bill in 2009. That $787 billion bill not only saved millions of jobs but extended unemployment benefits for millions of workers laid off due to the financial crisis and the failed Republican fiscal policy, aided those same people in paying for their COBRA health insurance premiums, and poured billions of dollars into numerous construction projects around the country, many of which were requested by Republican congressmen who opposed the bill.
There have been no other new spending bills. In fact,our stagnant Congress has failed to pass a budget for over two years and relies upon continuing resolutions to fund the various government agencies.
The ballooning deficit is the result of ongoing, long-ago passed spending bills by both Republicans and Democrats, the massive drop in revenues due to the Bush II-era tax cuts, the huge spending increases by the Department of Defense, and the continuing related costs of the war in Afghanistan and the ill-advised invasion and occupation of Iraq.
Yes we have a budget problem, but it is not solely the fault of this administration.
Edward F. Murphy
A few ways Romney can still win
We have a few ways that show how Mitt Romney can win this election. If California is hit by a massive earthquake and sinks into the Pacific on the morning of the election, Obama whould not get all their electoral votes. Or if 47% of the losers that live in Ohio and Florida do not show up to vote, Romney might be able to win both states. And what if Obama finally admitted he was born in Kenya? Or better yet, what is some photographer got a photo of Obama kneeling down, facing Mecca while praying to Allah. If Michele Obama started to wear a hajib we pretty sure that could help Romney also. It’s also possible that Obama may moon Mitt during the first debate proving he is not fit to sit in the Oval Office. And if the sun doesn’t come up on election day, that may work too!
Obama will hunt down terrorists
I firmly believe that letter writer Leon Ceniceros is living in another world. His letter “Another Carter in the White House” seems to falsely accuse President Obama “kissing up to the Muslim World” and saying it is from his “Muslim bringing up” It is really sad that people like Mr. Ceniceros has such disarranged thoughts like this. He must live in an outside world such as FOX NEWS. No facts only dumb unfounded accusations.
President Obama has fought Muslim Terrorist through out the world more than any other President we have had in Decades. Maybe Mr. Ceniceros did not get the news about the all of the wanted Muslim Terrorist President Obama’s Administration has wiped off the face of the earth including the one that killed over 3500 Americans in one day. He should stay more in touch with the World.
These Attacks on our Embassies were bore down on by more Terrorist. The Muslim Religion is a Sacred Religion as any one of our very own Religions. Our President honors and Respects all Religions in the world. Our President however has proven, he will hunt down any Terrorist anywhere in any Country at any time. Our very own Ambassador and his staff were murdered by Terrorist
in a Muslim Country that is wanting a Democracy. It has been condemned by all Muslim Countries. You can bet that these Terrorist will also be hunted down by our President’s Administration. Mr Ceniceros needs to come back and pay attention to facts.
President doing the Four D’s
Mr. Obama (and no, I am not going to call him by his title. Not this time.) is doing what I call the Four D’s -
He is doing this to our nation’s defense. We used to have 3,000 rockets protecting this country; now it’s 1,500. Next, he plans to downsize it - again - to 300, then down to zero. He seems to think that if we have no weapons, nobody will hurt us. HELLO! Remember Alderaan?
(Sure, that’s fiction — but it’s the perfect example of what I’m talking about.)
This man is both stupid and ignorant of the people that want to destroy us. I am not referring to just the terrorists - although they are a big part of it. I am also referring to people within our own government. They are sly and patient. When the time comes, they will literally destroy all that we hold dear.
Before you dismiss all this as political propaganda - I suggest you read Laura Ingraham’s book, “Shut Up and Sing”. What you read will both alarm you and make you want to throw your hands up in disgust, because that is what Obama is going to do, if he is given a second term.
And don’t dismiss Laura Inghram’s book until you actually read it. She actually names names inside, and many of them are familiar names.
If I were to grade Obama’s last four years, I would not hesitate to give him an F-minus. He is a threat to everything we stand for. Everything.
Romney shed his old-time religion of greed
We have all had time to sleep on what we watched in the presidential debate when Romney made his big switch to being the Super Obama advocate of putting government to work for the general welfare of all the people.
Gone was his old-time religion of greed.
For whatever reason, I have slept well during the nights that have followed the revelation of Romney’s travel on his road to Damascus during which he fell off his arse and onto his head and has seen the light. The very morning after, I awoke in wonder of this miraculous Romney metamorphous and over coffee and my morning paper I started thinking about the whole Hail-Mary hail of words he had unleashed while speaking in spit tongues.
Did Romney win more fence-sitters than he lost Libertarians? He appeared to be thrusting himself out there as a guy who if president would out Obama as Obama — an Obama Light or an Obama Heavy?
Apparently Romney’s supporters are now to stop believing in or just forget what he has been saying during the months of campaigning right up until this debate in which with straight face he did a full flavor version of Yogi Berra’s quip, “I never said most of the things I said.”
As a person that has found no reason to believe anything Romney says, I don’t know what anyone that wants to find something to believe is going to believe at any given moment that keeps pace with what Romney has just said, or said he did or didn’t say, or will say next.
I think Romney has gone well beyond the political flimflam that comedian Steven Colbert coined as “truthiness.” Romney seems to have moved at warp-speed into a far-out cyber world of “sayiness.”
West Branch, Iowa
Only one lied
Democrats rang the national alarm after the first debate by proclaiming that Romney’s debate was based on lies. I’ve not heard them identify what his lies were, not one. On the other hand I can point to a specific lie by Obama.
Obama said “Social Security is structurally sound. It’s going to have to be tweaked . . . But the basic structure is sound.” Social Security is not structurally sound. Economists have been telling us for years that the model is not sustainable because the ratio of workers to retirees has changed significantly and can no longer support the increasing relative percentage of retirees. Additionally, contrary to the recent article by the Arizona Republic on Social Security, there is not a solvent Trust Fund. Congress spent our money years ago and left us with our own IOU’s for us to pay ourselves as tax payers. That’s like taking money out of our left pocket to put it in our right pocket, only there’s no money in the left pocket, it’s borrowed from China. A fundamental change is required, not just being “tweaked”, to make the program solvent. Additionally, what the politicians don’t tell you is that there is no guarantee for the government to pay you. In Flemming v Nestor, 363 U.S. 603 (1960) the Supreme Court established that there is no contractual obligation for the federal government to pay Social Security benefits. As the Court held, the denial of payment of benefits is the “mere denial of a noncontractual government benefit.”
The irony of the typical politician’s position (not just democrats) is that “it is very risky to privatize your Social Security program.” The three counties that opted out of the Social Security system in 1981 adopted the Galveston Plan (see “An American Model for Social Security Reform” by Judge Ray Holbrook). Their participant members receive a 7-8% return on investments providing 300-400% greater retirement benefits than their social security counterparts (us) and they have survivor benefits. Wouldn’t it be better to receive $3,600 or $4,800 per month instead of $1,200? They invest in very “risky” investments like guaranteed tax free government bonds. Who would have thought of conservative government guaranteed investments? The misrepresentation that your privately owned fund, that you run, will wildcat in the stock market is a fallacy. Galveston funds have money in the bank; not unenforceable IOU’s. When the government is holding the IOU’s and you can’t sue to collect, what can you do?
In the 1980’s when other counties realized how much better the Galveston plan was than Social Security, 50 of them lined up to opt out of Social Security. Well, . . . Congress could see the stampede coming to drain their slush fund in their unaccountable cookie jar and passed a statute making it illegal to opt out of Social Security. So instead of having free choice for a system that actually has money, is solvent, and pays 3 or 4 times greater benefits and has a survivor benefit, the government denied our free choice and compelled us into a system that, despite Obama’s misrepresentation, is not solvent, has no funds, is losing money and that, if push comes to shove, is not collectable. That takes more than a “tweak” to correct and it is disingenuous at the least to misrepresent to any one, not just seniors, a solvent status for social security. Our children have the unalienable right to freedom of choice in their constitutional right to their “pursuit of happiness”.
Romney’s ‘Secret Plan’ brings back bad memories
Every time I hear Mitt Romney say that he has a whiz-bang, everyone-wins tax plan, but that he can’t reveal details, it flashes me back to 1968, when Richard Nixon ran for the presidency saying that he had a secret plan to end the Vietnam War, possibly in as few as six months. But he couldn’t disclose details because it was a secret strategy. I was an Army officer at the time, and this sounded Heaven-sent to me, and I voted enthusiastically for Nixon. Nixon took office in January 1969, the same year I went on active duty. It didn’t take long to find that Nixon was blowing smoke up our collective asses, and that he had no plan or inclination whatsoever to end the Vietnam War, which had been going on since 1962. During the time I was on active duty from 1969 until 1972, Nixon’s secret plan took the lives of 25,000 additional American soldiers in Vietnam, including my roommate at Fort Benning, Lt. Gary Tomlinson, and a lot of other close friends. Nixon was counting on the voting public having short memories and assuming that this was all part of “the Secret Plan.”
I finally found out the details of the Secret Plan on April 25, 1975, when the last American personnel were evacuated by helicopter from the roof of the Embassy building in Saigon. I can’t say that I would have voted for Nixon if I had known this was part of the Secret Plan. I have the same misgivings about Romney’s Secret Plan.
Are billionaires the only leaders we want?
Romney debated the size of his retirement portfolio last night and drove home the point that America should hire him as president because his record net worth for a presidential candidate. For six years now, he has been telling America to hire him based on his success at Bain and his other investments. Do we just want millionaires and billionaires to rule over us? Romney used his net worth to push around President Obama in the debates, a man he does not like or respect! Ann Romney has stated time and again that America is just plain lucky to have a man like Mitt running for our highest office in the land. Really, do we want a tax policy designed by the one percent, for the one percent to primarily benefit the one percent just like the Bush tax cuts? Romney is an outstanding salesman, but can America afford to put him in the White House!
History proves Romney was wrong, government creates jobs that capitalism covets
As a concluding remark at the second debate, Governor Romney declared, “Government does not create jobs.” It does. For example, the Internet was established by connecting various agencies mostly government. Yes, VP Gore was one driving force. Industry is now engaged in space use and exploration, that plus many new commercial innovations grew from NASA operations. Subsidies for hauling mail helped create the airlines; the Transcontinental Railroad really united the States, as did the telegraph wire.
Just a sample of progress from our Government complying with the Constitutional mandate to, “promote the general Welfare and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.” The Stock Market will not do that; it is the millionaire’s casino. The 401K, a poor substitute for pensions, which provided workers security and investment capital.
The South demands smaller and less government, but government played a large part in denying, then promoting liberty as well as their commerce. Progress came after the Federal Government. Electric power from the Tennessee Valley Authority provided the opportunity for all to prosper. The south is joined by Western States that benefit from giant Dams that harnessed waterways, for power and year round sustain life water supply. Some of their leaders subvert the First Amendment to retain power.
The breakup of Standard Oil and Ma Bell, both allowed Free Enterprise to expand and millions to prosper, encouraged innovation. Yet some question the right of the government interference. Al la Ann Rand. As it creates job, innovation also eliminates them. Travel agents and reservation clerks largely replaced by the iPhone. The Electric Co. meter man replaced by the Smart Meter. It indirectly reads and withdraws money from your bank account. That reduces two jobs plus mail and bank activity.
The Romney- Ryan team takes aim at downsizing Social Security which created more jobs as did Medicare in the last half of the prior century by allowing the middle class to retire as consumers and afford health care. Both previously available only to the very rich, usually inherited. More such activities and holidays that create consumer activity will be necessary. The word consumers seldom crosses Romney’s lips. without buyers goods do not cross the counters, or cash to the register.
Do we want to revert to 1930 as Grover Norquist demands or unhealthy coal burning to please the Koch Brothers? Has the Media succeeded in having America repeat Ancient Greece with its excesses then evolve to today’s Greece with its austerity, poverty and protest ? Will Romney- Ryan adopt the NRA solution to the upcoming mega Occupy Wall Street protests or like FDR in 1935 sided with the workers?
Richard T. Tracy, Sr.
A binder I would like to see
You know what I wish Mitt Romney would have a binder full of? I wish his binder would be full of all the people and things that will be adversely affected by his policies if he gets elected: poor children, poor families, middle class families, poor women, the elderly, poor women who have no place other than Planned Parenthood to get free mammograms or health screenings, children who attend public schools, public servants, the environment, women in the workforce, immigrants, and college aged students. My apologies to anyone, any group, any thing or place left off this list.
Race To The Bottom
Mitt Romney wants to let America hit bottom – that’s what he said. When the housing market was in free-fall and homeowners owed more than their houses were worth, Mitt Romney said the housing market had to hit bottom. When the auto industry faced bankruptcy and massive worker layoffs, he said, “Let them go bankrupt!”
From a purely financial perspective, I guess this makes sense. Mitt’s the guy who made a fortune taking profits from companies that had hit bottom, declared bankruptcy, and fired American workers for cheaper foreign labor. Mitt Romney wants to let America hit bottom, too – that’s what he said. And we know that he stands by what he said – whatever it was!
San Tan Valley AZ
Where did the money go?
My hopes have been raised because some people truly care enough to learn some facts before they shoot. My I lend some help. GM was bailed out with $50 billion taxpayer dollars, so what happened to that money? GM built two new plants and raised their employment by 55%, the problem with that is, it all took place in China. They still laid off and closed plants here in America. Then Obama gave $355 million to a Brazilian company to manufacture our military light aircraft, no jobs for America. Then he spent $529 million with Fisker to build an electric car — in Finland, still no American jobs. Like Romney said, he spent $90 million on this kind of stuff? May I ask why? Someone please tell me why.
Romney wronged Red Sox Nation
BuzzFeed reports Governor Romney invested thousands in the New York Yankees empire in 2007 and held the stock until 2012, well into the primaries. Mitt had hundreds of other investment opportunities and he invests in the Yankees.
Give me a Break! If Romney can sell out Red Sox Nation after being its Governor, who else will he sell out just to make a buck! Can we trust the United States to an absolute traitor? Red Sox Nation has not suffered such a treacherous insult since Harry Frazee traded the Babe to the Yankees.
This is a call to arms to Red Sox Nation. It’s not No, No, Nanette, this has to be NO, NO Benedict Romney. I call on the nation to stand up and vote against Romney.
Did we get the Hope and Change we were expecting?
In 2008 our country voted for a better America. There was excitement for uniting the country, creating non-partisan politics, cutting the deficit in half, having a transparent and effective government that truly serves the people, eliminating special interest groups, getting the economy back on its feet, and ending the wars and contention in the Middle East.
Instead, we have seen:
• Gas Prices have more than doubled ($1.80 to $3.75) as energy production dropped in the United States.
• The Federal Deficit has nearly doubled to $16 trillion. We continue to add over $1 trillion per year.
• We are forced to borrow $3.5 billion every day, to help pay for all the new spending.
• Unemployment is up, and has been above 8% for 44 months.
• The value of the US Dollar internationally has declined from 83 cents to 79 cents.
• For those able to find work, wages are down 6%.
• The Poverty rate has hit a 20 year high. (1 in 7 are now living in poverty).
• Food Stamp spending has doubled to $80 billion per year, with half the country receiving Food Stamps.
• The United States Global Competitiveness Rating has dropped from #1 in the world to #7.
• The credit rating of the United States was “Downgraded,” the first time in our history.
• Our position and relationship with the World is failing; our embassies are on fire throughout the Middle East (20 have been attacked).
In addition, we see frequent stories of scandals and huge waste in government; the Government Services Administration sponsors lavish million dollar “training” meetings; nearly a trillion dollars was spent on the “Stimulus” package with almost nothing to show for it (see the above metrics); nearly a billion dollars has been wasted to support several companies like Solyndra (which donated heavily to the President’s campaign), that declared bankruptcy shortly after receiving their loans.
The President repeatedly tells us he inherited the worst economic “mess” since the Great Depression.
If you study each of the 13 recessions since the Great Depression you will find that our current recession is similar to the recessions of 1945 to 1947, and 1980 to 1983 (which Reagan inherited from Carter).
The fact is, President Bush inherited a recession from President Clinton as the dot.com bubble burst, and was followed shortly by the 9/11 Terrorist Attacks. President Reagan inherited one of the worst economies from President Carter. Inflation hit nearly 18% along with high unemployment, yet President Reagan never talked negatively about President Carter, instead he quickly went about resolving the problems and created the longest peace time economic growth our country had ever seen.
The problem is that, while these other recessions are similar to our current recession, they recovered much more quickly with a fraction of the government spending (even when adjusted for inflation).
The current approach to “helping” end this recession has been to spend billions and even trillions of dollars in areas that have had little effect, and in some cases actually hurt the recovery.
It is the mishandling of this recession that may turn it into the worst recession since the Great Depression.
Since the 2008 election our country has been running without a proper budget, while government spending and borrowing continues unchecked.
As for promises of transparency and getting rid of partisan politics, the first two years were dedicated to arm twisting, closed door Health Care meetings, resulting in the most partisan, most expensive bill ever passed, and prior to its passing we were told, “You need to pass it to know what’s in it.” The Health Care bill alone is one of the key reasons our economy remains in a recession.
In just 4 years we have become more divided; we have unimaginable debt; for those who are able to find work, their wages are down, unemployment is up, and millions are so discouraged they have stopped looking for work. The value of our dollar has fallen, and commodity prices (like food and gasoline) continue to rise. Our stature in the World has fallen, and for the first time ever, our Credit rating has been downgraded. I struggle to see any pattern of success.
Essentially we have gotten the exact opposite of the Hope and Change we expected.
Romney falls short on foreign policy
Governor Romney is an empty shell who can so easily be molded and directed, especially true in the Foreign Policy arena. Bush’s NeoCons will run foreign affairs in the Romney administration. On day one of his presidency, the NeoCons will go back to Iraq, stabilize its government (prevent a Shia theocracy) and take the oil contracts awarded to China. Next, send US military forces into Syria to topple the Bashar al-Assad regime. Act three, a large scale ground invasion of Iran to stop its nuclear weapon program and install a new government. We are still absorbing the total costs from the Global War on Terrorism, Iraq and Afghanistan (at least 40,000 US causalities, over two trillion dollars and one million dead Iraqis). We need to know that Iran has five times the population of Iraq, when we go into Syria the Russians will intervene like they did in Vietnam and we have no clue on how to fix Iraq, which
the West keeps breaking over and over again. Before you vote in this election, ask yourself about the costs to re-invade Iraq, conquer Syria, and kill the three million Iranians required to take control in Iran.
How will people of faith vote?
President Obama has failed America with his domestic economic policies, Massive Debt, High Unemployment, High Energy Prices, Socialism with Big Government Dependency, and Weakness because we can not be a Military Super Power if we are not an Economic Super Power. Obama has failed America and Israel with his flawed Middle East Policies by eroding our support for Israel and showing lack of resolve to stop Iran from getting nuclear weapons, all of this as our people are killed and our embassies burn. Maybe people of faith can rationalize these failures, along with Obama’s Radical Mentors and Associates like communist Frank Marshall Davis and racist pastor Jeremiah Wright, but will they ignore the moral component that ALL religions teach? Obama favors “Unlimited” Abortions at any stage of pregnancy and Same Sex Marriage which are contrary to church doctrines, and there is a contest with the Catholic Church about paying for birth control which is seen as an attack on Freedom of Religion.
At the Democrat convention, delegates wanted to vote GOD, and Jerusalem, out of their platform. How will people of faith vote in the most important election in our history? “In GOD We Trust”.
Joe Wible Sr.
Which candidate will give you the most freedom
News flash: Republicans and Democrats agree! In an unparalleled show of patriotism, the House and the Senate have agreed: They love their freedom! It’s the individual’s freedom to succeed or fail that made this Country great! It’s not our Government; it’s our Free Enterprise System that makes us the best. U.S. Citizens have more opportunity to conduct free enterprise than any other country on earth. The only limit for you and me lies between our ears! Our Politico-Economic System is not perfect, but it’s miles ahead of whatever’s next. We’re the biggest and the best, so please, don’t forget it!
So which one of the Presidential Candidates will allow the Citizens of the United States an opportunity to succeed with minimal government interference? Romney says he will reduce the size of government; Obama wants to increase it. That’s it; that’s the bottom line. Nothing else really matters to our futures. Not at this time in our history!
Every other issue, carefully spoon-fed to us by the media, pales by comparison. It’s not energy, health care, war, balanced budget, federal deficit, minority rights, women’s rights, taxes, climate change, Wall Street Insiders, foreign policy, religion, education, immigration or any other very important issue. The single most important issue is this:
Big government is bad. If this problem isn’t solved our country will die. Period.
Which candidate will give you the most personal freedoms in your lifetime? You decide!
Fort Collins, Colo.
How can you trust Romney?
Romney has flip-flopped on abortion. And gun control.
Yes, really! So as a pro-life, pro-gun voter, how do you trust him on any issues we care about if he can’t decide on even these two?
J. Andrew Smith