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A Top Priority
Now that the election is settled, it’s time to figure out what needs to be done in the current session of Congress.
In my mind, there is no matter more important than putting our nation’s economy on a sound financial footing. For the past four years, the government has been spending like a drunken sailor. Bush has raised government spending more than any predecessor, and has failed to veto a single bill. This is sad evidence of a mere rubber-stamp Congress.
Record surpluses have been turned into record deficits with big giveaways to the rich, the least effective means of stimulating the economy. The national debt, over $7 trillion now, is approaching the legislatively established ceiling, which the Congress is likely to raise once more. What they need to do is take action immediately.
We are at war. Previous Congresses have raised taxes to pay for war, but this one imprudently did the opposite, and four times! They need to raise taxes (on the rich) but they’re not going to do that. This means that huge spending cuts are in order. I’ll get the ball rolling by suggesting the elimination of the following:
1. The “Star Wars” Missile Defense System – Doesn’t work, never will. And not needed anyway; who’s going to send ballistic missiles at us? Not Al Qaeda. They’ll use a suitcase bomb, and this system won’t protect against that.
2. The “Faith-Based Initiative” – Religion has to raise their own funds, and not force others, who don’t belong, to give to their collection plate.
3. Corporate Welfare – There’s at least $200 billion out there. If we’ve seen fit to cut welfare for people who need it, what’s the justification for giving it to corporations that don’t? They should be getting by on free enterprise.
We currently pay around $250 billion (annually) just to keep the National Debt afloat. And, that can only rise when interest rates go up. It is grossly immoral for us to pass the bill for our profligacy on to future generations. They will curse us in our graves for it, especially if it results in the economic collapse that we really have coming. It’s time for us to force Congress to address the deficit. We need it reduced far more than we need a few more paltry dollars in our pockets. No more stupid tax cuts!
Stephen Van Eck
Last Time We Laughed
For the holidays, at eleven years old, my father bought me a car racing set. Dad helped us assemble the Aurora two-lane modified oval racetrack, complete with transformer, two controls, and a pair of racing cars. One was a white Chevy Chevelle with a blue racing stripe, the other a red Ford Mustang.
For hours that night my brother and I were dazzled by the cars and by the thrill of competing against one another. Round and round and round they went, clockwise, counter-clockwise, too fast, too slow, complete with crashes and rollovers. It was really amazing fun.
After about three hundred laps, something changed; I became bored and so did my brother. It just wasn’t thrilling, anymore. My brother went to play with his microscope, and I grabbed a “Discovery” book about Ferdinand Magellan. My Father asked me if something was wrong with the track and cars, and I said, “No, it’s boring.” Magellan wasn’t. At eleven-years-old, I knew more than most of America.
NASCAR is just a bigger version of my little racetrack. It’s painted cars going round and round and round. It’s the same cars, same circles, same drivers, and same crashes, over and over and over again. Below the Mason-Dixon Line, most of the Mid-Western and Western United States, and in most of rural Pennsylvania, unfortunately, some don’t agree.
These are not eleven-year-old kids. They’re bedazzled, not bored. They’re grown adults, and they’re excited by painted cars going around in circles. Lap after lap, week after week, month after month, year after year, they pay millions to see the same little cars go in little circles.
These imbeciles, with less focus than an eleven-year-old kid, just elected our President.
Years ago, I lived in Abilene, Texas. I sought a library. I asked the hotel clerk; he didn’t know where the library was. At the diner, I asked again. Six more people didn’t know where to find a library. After asking better than twenty-five people, I finally found someone who knew. She was an elementary school teacher, who laughed, saying, “No problem in this town finding football fields or the dirt track.”
That’s why Bush won Texas, and most of America.
I’m not laughing, because this isn’t funny. Our Constitutional liberties are in the hands (or should I say claws) of people so stupid, they’re not bored by the little cars going round and round and round the track.
Democrats are you tired of losing? You want victory in 2008? Don’t fight ignorance and stupidity; embrace them! Forget about Gore, Kerry, Edwards, prescriptions, Medicare, jobs, terrorism, taxes, minimum wage, and Social Security.
The team that can beat the Republicans and finally win back the South is the NASCAR team of “Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and Jeff Gordon” for 2008. Don’t laugh. Jeff Gordon (“Wonderboy”) is cute, and will draw-away the working women’s vote from the Republicans. Where’s the library?
Last time we laughed, a bad actor from California won.
Lee Geisler, P.L.S.
Earn The Respect
I picked up my mail today, and inserted between the pages of my copy of a shopper was the current issue of the Raider Reader, the school newspaper of the Blue Ridge High School. I don't often read this, as I don't have children in the school (all grown), but thought, let's see what's up with the high school set.
You could have knocked me over with a feather when I turned to page 5 and read the title to the feature article, "Baby Pains at Blue Ridge"! I read the piece three times and still can't believe it. What I'm sure was an attempt by the writers to highlight the hard facts of teen pregnancy actually comes off as a glowing "pampers moment" glorifying what a wonderful opportunity it is to have a baby while still in high school.
While I try to temper my shock and anger over the tone of the article with the knowledge that the writers are teenagers themselves, and probably view the blessed events as romantic and brave, in reality I feel that the message they have sent to all who read the article is that sex without responsibility is fine, unplanned pregnancy is just a little OOPS, and though the parents are totally unprepared for raising, supporting, or even educating another human being, it'll all work out.
In the article, the writers ask the question, "Why does the US have such a high pregnancy rate compared to other countries?" then goes on to answer with a quote from Victor Strasburger, MD of University of New Mexico School of Medicine that "we don't educate about birth control... don't discuss it at home.... don't give teens access to it". So the conclusion reached appears to be a lack of birth control. Wrong. Any person tall enough to reach over a counter and pay for it can purchase birth control from any drug store or supermarket in America. In my opinion, the real reason is a lack of responsibility: 1) on the part of the parents of teens and preteens to actually discuss sex, the responsibilities that come with it, and its place in a relationship, and 2) on the part of the teens who want to have adult experiences without the adult responsibility. It's ironic that teens can be so easily intimate with one another yet too embarrassed to deal with the realities of a relationship. Hence, a human being that will now live upon this earth for the next 70+ years is created as the result of a momentary lack of judgment. What a cheap value this places on human life.
It not only saddened but infuriated me somewhat to read the glamorized stories of these girls, for in each case it never mentions whether they intend to finish school, how they plan to support these children, or what their plans for the future are. Let me fill in the blanks. Two of the three finish school (they are seniors, so hopefully they tough it out). The third is a sophomore. She drops out; too far to go. They are all on welfare and food stamps, and have their health care paid for by taxpayers (some of whom can't afford their own health insurance), in the form of Medicare. Future plans? Hang out with their friends, walk the babies up and down Main Street, leave the kid with grandma and continue to date and most probably create child #2 in the next year or so.
If this scenario is wrong, I challenge them to prove it. They made adult choices, they should act like responsible adults: get a job and support their family, pay for their own health care, groceries, and shelter, and take an active part in the raising of their child. That is an adult. It's not easy, romantic, or fun. But then, and only then, do they earn the respect they deserve, from themselves and from society. But most of all, from their children.
New Milford, PA
TO THE EDITOR POLICY
Thank you, Susquehanna County Transcript
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