House Speaker John Boehner and his Republican friends seem only to be interested in political showmanship rather than aspiring to a “government of the people, by the people, for the people.”
They seem to feel no remorse undermining the stability of the American middle class and supporting policies that continue to keep millions of families below the poverty line.
Fifteen percent of Americans live at or below the poverty line, yet, two weeks ago, the House passed a bill to cut $40 billion from the federal food assistance program.
Why is it that when times are tough, those who need a helping hand the most are the ones penalized, while businesses benefit from corporate welfare and executives continue to rake in record salaries?
It is absurd that those who seem to benefit the most from our welfare system (corporations and the wealthy) tend to be the ones who are constantly demonizing the notion of social welfare.
The idea that those who are in the lower rungs of society and recipients of support services are somehow lazy or have defective character and abilities is simply unjustifiable.
Yes, there may be a few individuals who circumnavigate the system, but the same could be said of the corporations that exploit legal loopholes to avoid taxes and maximize their benefits from corporate welfare. Are we going after them with pitchforks? Are we eliminating their welfare?
The current system exists because those with the most money have the most influence, and as long as it benefits them, it will continue to exist. Yet the minute they experience minor difficulties, there is suddenly a drive to address their problems because lack of action would have “grievous” consequences for the economy.
It’s ironic that these same individuals and our nation’s leaders seem to display such callous disregard for the economic fallout from the current stalemate in Congress. Instead of seeing to the welfare of our nation, the right-wing conservatives are holding our nation hostage.
Instead of investing in our most precious resources — our citizens — they prefer to limit individuals from achieving the American Dream.
Americans constantly tout the values of individual freedom and determinism that our great nation was founded on, but what about the values of liberty and justice for all?
Doesn’t justice also imply equality? Shouldn’t that equality include access to resources so that all Americans can engage in the pursuit of happiness, not just those who have the means?
Shift Norton’s burden to Columbus
Instead of attacking overtaxed people in Norton, the levy-grabbing schools ought to beg and cajole their buddies in the Ohio Statehouse when they “need” more and more money.
We have an expensive sewer hookup disaster waiting for us.
They always want to pick the pockets of the poorest, just because they own property. The common person is the one who gets his pocket picked and his savings looted.
John D. Ambrose
False promises on health care
In 2008, presidential candidate Barack Obama told us his main objective was redistribution of wealth. The Affordable Care Act is a major step towards that goal.
To get public support for the bill’s passage, President Obama told us that we would experience lower health-care costs and we could keep the present plan and health-care providers if we liked them.
When pressed for details, Speaker Nancy Pelosi said we would have to pass the bill to see what was in it. That was the most honest statement in the legislative process.
As the law is unfolding, the promises of the bill’s benefits are turning out to be untrue. Most people I know are experiencing 25 percent to 50 percent increases in their insurance plans for next year.
Small businesses are starting to reduce workers’ hours or send them to the exchanges to avoid paying for much more expensive health insurance. Manufacturers (like me) are investing in automation to avoid adding employees.
Despite the promise of many million more patients with insurance coverage, hospitals are laying off staff to cut their costs. The Congressional Budget Office is forecasting the bill will cost the government (taxpayers) far more than predicted when it was being promoted.
Last week, Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on national TV admitted that while most American’s health insurance costs and taxes will increase despite the president’s promise, we should be happy to make that sacrifice so low-income Americans can have first-class health coverage.
What she did not say is that it was part of the plan all along, it just would have been difficult to sell if they told the truth. Not to worry for her, though, as federal government officials and staff will get subsidies to help cover the added cost.
The burden will be largely carried by the middle class, including the unions who no longer support it.
The country needs entitlement reform more than ever. The Affordable Care Act should be reworked to make it more sustainable. We also need honesty when new laws are being proposed, not shoddy salesmanship and untruths to get a new entitlement passed.
Most bikers roll responsibly
As a responsible motorcyclist and a concerned citizen, I am writing about the incident that occurred in New York City on Sept. 29, involving an SUV driver and some motorcyclists (“Bikers hurt in melee,” Oct. 2).
I am troubled by the serious injuries caused by the SUV driver and by the actions of some motorcyclists who apparently decided to take the law into their own hands.
Those of us who ride support rider education and often raise funds for charitable causes in our community. The safety of all road users, especially motorcyclists, is of the utmost concern to me, and I do not support actions by any road users that violate the law.
Each year, the American Motorcyclist Association sanctions hundreds of well-organized recreational events where law-abiding motorcyclists gather to enjoy camaraderie and spend their tourist dollars.
One unfortunate event of this kind, reported frequently by national and local media, can create a false image of all motorcyclists .
Motorcycling has become an enjoyable, mainstream activity and almost everyone today has a family member or friend who rides. The actions of the motorcyclists portrayed in the video of the encounter in New York City do not represent me, my friends or the vast majority of the 27 million motorcyclists in America.
I heard on the radio recently that the average American checks his or her cell phone about 100 times a day.
If that’s true, then technology has made slaves of us, rather than the other way around.
Safety first in city of Stow
I am responding to a two-part series on school safety (“School safety debated,” Sept. 15 and “School safety not perfect,” Sept. 16). The articles featured area departments and how they were providing security to the schools in their jurisdictions.
Unfortunately, the article did not include any coverage on the one school system and the local police department that were taking the most aggressive approach to school security. That school system is the Stow-Munroe Falls City School District, working in conjunction with the Stow Police Department.
Immediately after the shootings in Connecticut, the Stow Police Department was contacted by Stow school Superintendent Russ Jones, who wanted to hire off-duty officers to provide security to the seven schools in the city of Stow, starting the following Monday.
Officers were assigned to patrol the schools (including Holy Family School) during the remainder of the past school year, and the program continues this school year; however, the school board cannot continue to pay for this program forever.
Stow Mayor Sara Drew was already concerned about the low staffing levels within the Stow Police Department, and she took immediate action to establish a safety task force to examine the needs for increased police presence in the community and in the schools.
As a result of the work of the task force, an income tax increase of 0.25 percentage points was placed on the November ballot. The entire amount of income tax raised would be earmarked for the police department for the hiring of additional officers and to pay for any necessary equipment and training. This increase would also allow the establishment of a school security unit within the department.
Mayor Drew, the Stow-Munroe Falls City School District and the Stow Police Department take the safety of citizens and students very seriously.
That is why I am asking the citizens of Stow to support community safety by voting for Issue 16.
Louis A. Dirker
Chief of Police
City of Stow