Letters to the editor: June 22 - East Valley Tribune: Opinion

Letters to the editor: June 22

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Posted: Sunday, June 22, 2008 7:42 pm | Updated: 10:40 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

We encourage readers to submit letters to the editor on issues of interest to East Valley residents. Submissions should be no longer than 300 words, factually accurate and original thoughts of the writer. Please be brief and include name, address, city and phone number for verification. Letters and call-in comments may be edited for clarity and length.

Submit your letter to the editor

We encourage readers to submit letters to the editor on issues of interest to East Valley residents. Submissions should be no longer than 300 words, factually accurate and original thoughts of the writer. Please be brief and include name, address, city and phone number for verification. Letters and call-in comments may be edited for clarity and length.

Submit your letter to the editor

PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION

Lack of experience a bonus

We are down to two, Sens John McCain and Barrack Obama, and one of those two will become the president of the United States. McCain is running on his experience and that makes him a Washington insider, and McCain and the establishment in Washington has concluded that Obama is unqualified for the presidency because of his lack of experience. That is, Obama is not a Washington insider. I’ll take the outsider anytime.

McCain’s campaign is strongly going with the idea that making the Bush tax cuts permanent would get the economy out of the rut and upon firm ground again. But that is a hard pill to swallow because since those tax cuts did not keep this country from going into a recession. McCain is having the same experience as the rest of us and since he has not learned from this experience, pray tell me what good is his experience.

Obama, the Washington outsider, is also going through tough times as the rest of us, but instead of following along with a false idea as McCain is following, he is coming with new ideas. Ideas that are not of the Bush stripe and therefore has a much better chance of working than anything that McCain has put before us.

DONALD G. MARTIN

MESA

SCHOOL MEAL PROGRAMS

Preachers don’t pay to support

This is in response to the Rev. Herb Osman’s June 16 letter regarding the free meals programs. Is he aware that “free” meals are paid for with tax revenues? As a citizen, Osman has the legal right to suggest how taxes are spent. But considering his vocation — and in light of his tax-exempt status — I’d like to ask: Does Osman believe he has a moral right? His opinions regarding what we, the taxpayers, should spend on the needy might carry more moral weight if he were one of us.

I propose Osman contribute to the needy by voluntarily surrendering his tax exemption. Join us, and your government, in our efforts to do God’s work! Or, to put it in the vernacular, put your money where your mouth is.

PAUL ANTHONY

MESA

Continuing the abuse of welfare

Your lead editorial in the June 11 newspaper (“Grubbing for more handouts,” Our View) is outstanding. I congratulate you. This is real journalism.

I am surprised at the candor of Debbie McCarron, food services director for Gilbert and Mary Szafranski with the Arizona Department of Education. There seems to be no sense of shame or embarrassment about abuse of these programs. Perhaps their view is that abuse is not possible.

Has “grubbing for more handouts” become the American Way? It sure seems like it. “Always, our main priority is to increase the number of children who participate, whether the economy is good or bad, the program is very underutilize,” Szafranski said. Translation: “We need to justify our request for more funds every year and make sure our jobs are secure.”

I had always believed food stamps were for the needy. I later found out that abuse of food stamps was widespread. A homeless person once tried to sell me some food stamps for pennies on the dollar.

It was almost 20 years later that I learned the schools furnish free meals to those under 18, even when school is not in session. They don’t card anyone to check their age, either. And like McCarron said, “$2.50 for lunch is hard to beat.”

VERN FULLER

MESA

LIGHT RAIL

Could save downtown Mesa

We all know that the construction of light rail will be disruptive, to say the least. Yet the potential benefits to the sorry state of downtown Mesa are enormous. Will some people go out of business? Probably. Will most have a hard time surviving the construction time? Absolutely. However, this is the price downtown must pay to save itself.

It’s not just light rail. it is the promise of a chance to compete with the rest of Mesa’s power centers on an equal basis. The exciting thing about change is that access to a revitalized and relevant shopping district that will actually draw potential new customers should override any despair that some businesses will suffer. If these businesses prepare for their future they will survive. For those who won’t, well, that’s just business as usual.

You won’t survive because of light-rail, you won’t survive because you didn’t have what it takes to survive in a capital environment.

This is also a time for Mesa’s new leadership to step up to the plate. This is a time for them to show to the city that they actually have their own commitment to public transit.

CRAIG BIDDINGER

APACHE JUNCTION

OIL

Tax profits to lower debt

The high price of fuel is fulfilling Osama bin Laden’s dream of a crippled American economy, and the Republicans in Congress are helping. They blocked the windfall profit tax on oil companies and withdrawal of tax grants, claiming it would serve no useful purpose. Reducing our national debt is a valid purpose. President Bush threatens to veto repeal of the Enron loophole that conceals speculation in energy commodities, a principle reason for the upward spiral in gas and heating fuel costs.

The motoring public is not the only group suffering economically due to the soon to be $5 a gallon. Small businesses and government bodies across the U.S. are doomed. High prices caused conservation efforts, that reduces the gallons of gasoline purchased and produces a huge drop in tax revenue. Taxes like the federal tax on a gallon of gasoline was last set in October 1997 when gas was $1.17 a gallon. The 18.4 cents was about 24 percent of the cost. Most industrial countries charged percentages of 70 to 75 percent. In 2007, they averaged 60 percent compared to 13 percent for the United States. Failing to have a fair tax reduces opportunities to improve transportation modes while increasing the general public’s tax burden.

Fewer gallons being pumped not only reduces direct revenue, it also reduces future taxes from businesses and truckers. The profit of speculators, many are off shore hedge funds, or foreign groups will be taxed at an undeserving low rate, if at all.

RICHARD T. TRACY SR.

MESA

SMART STATES

Ariz. certainly isn’t one

Have you seen the Morgan Quinto Press Smartest State rankings? They are available online. Arizona is No. 50 out of 50. In other words, Arizona is the dumbest state. This should not be surprising, especially for those in or from other states. The rhetoric and practice from Arizona’s political leaders proves the point daily. State schools superintendent Tom Horne could make sure that every classroom has adequate books and supplies and that teachers are paid salaries equivalent to their educational and professional status. Instead, he crusades against programs that are proven to successfully assist students of color and even white students in school.

I see further proof of Arizona’s rankings in my daily interactions. The ignorance the people concerning the American Indian nations in their own state and in the larger world is beyond belief. I would suggest that schools have been teaching the values Horne proposes: ignorance of history and other cultures and the blind acceptance of manifest destiny and ethnocentrism. Too bad for Arizona.

MICHAEL W. SIMPSON

TUCSON

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