Readers comments 11.18.12

Respect for the one percent

Dear Editor,

I am sure I am not alone in enjoying politics as the perfect blood-sport, one which allows us to watch politicians of all stripes and flavors to run their plays and peddle their fact-free mythology…and then get bloodied one way or another by the smarter members of the opposition and rational voters.

However, this recent election has proved to be one of the funniest elections in recent history, due in part to some of the wackiest beliefs and fairy-tales that have sprung up out of the minds of those folks who now are apparently to be known as “Traditional Americans.”

Case in point is your recent letter from Jacqueline Mahoney. She starts off by reminding us that President Obama received the majority vote—very sweet of her and perfectly understandable since he did, indeed, receive the most votes, especially from the young who are, of course, “Our Future.”

However, Ms. Mahoney then ruins the positive tone of her letter by stating that Romney voters are “citizens who wanted a competent person to lead this country out of rampant unemployment for the betterment of all people,” which is an unapologetic attack on that great Republican who was chosen to lead our economy in the year 2000 and who then sadly yet inevitably so, considering his lifelong lack of business success, led us into the grasping arms of the Great Middle-Class Wealth Redistribution, from which we are all still struggling to escape.

Now Ms. Mahoney is totally within her rights to criticize the former president on whose watch our economy collapsed into the depths and our wealth drained away in a flood greater than any the Mississippi could produce, but when she disrespects the Safelink Wireless Program, which was created in 2008 to help those whose poverty keeps them from being able to effectively search for work due to a lack of ability to call potential employers, I take umbrage! These Safelink Wireless Program cell phones are not “given” to impoverished Americans by President Obama, as she appears to wants us to believe, and so he does not deserve her admiration. Truthfully, this program was a parting gift from President Bush’s administration and Ms. Mahoney should be ashamed to suggest otherwise. Not only that, does Ms. Mahoney not realize that the program is supported and supplied by America Movil, one of the world’s largest wireless providers, which is owned by Carlos Slim, a respected supporter of the US Chamber of Commerce and a beloved non-traditional member of the upper 1 percent? At the very least, she should be on bent knee to Mr. Slim in thanks for the help he is giving America’s impoverished and unemployed. A written apology to Mr. Slim from Ms. Mahoney might be appropriate as he is, truthfully, her better.

In future issues of the COURIER, I do hope that only letters from Romney supporters who are more respectful, not only of the Republican president who led us out of the increasing employment turmoil at the end of the last century, but of important members of the 1 percent, will be printed. Respectfully yours,

Michael Benfield



Success at the FOOT Auction

Dear Editor:

This past week the Claremont High School Theatre Department was the recipient of a wonderful display of the kindness from the Claremont community.

The Claremont High School Theatre has been under renovation since June 2012 and will not be complete until February 2013. Our first performance, the Friends Of Our Theatre auction, was in need of a venue, and the Candlelight Pavilion was so generous to allow the students to use its fabulous facility.

The auction was immensely successful, raising over $10,000 to support the award-winning Claremont High School Theatre, and providing the students with a remarkable learning experience by working in such a professional environment.

The Candlelight Pavilion staff was so helpful in every aspect, from assisting the student technicians with sound and lighting, to guiding the students in managing the house.

A huge thank-you is in order for Mick Bollinger, Mindy Teuber, Daniel Morefield and the Candlelight Pavilion’s generosity, support and kindness. We are fortunate to have such an exquisite dinner theater in Claremont, and are grateful for its generous support of the community.

Claremont High School

Theater Department



Post-election sour grapes

Dear Editor:

I read Ms. Mahoney’s letter “Trending Toward Socialism” this week, as well as watching the Republicans go through the 5 stages of grief following their defeat. 

The win was especially sweet as Fox had all their viewers convinced Romney was going to run away with it. Perhaps you should have listened to Nate Silver; his polling all along had Obama winning handily, and even gave the correct percentages. Fox has made a good living telling its viewers what they want to hear, facts don’t seem to matter.

It has been quite entertaining watching the Republicans’ post-election analysis, there seems to be a common thread: sour grapes! I have never heard so many creative reasons as to why Romney lost. They all seem to be lacking the gene to be reflective—let’s just blame everyone else because we could not have done anything wrong. Oh, the arrogance, the denial, the pathetic whining—get over it. 

Here’s a reality check: You lost because 61 million Americans simply rejected your ideas. The fact is, Ms. Mahoney, maybe not all, but many of your party are racist, are homophobic, and some Republican who sold the plan that restricting voting, attacking minorities and women, was a winning strategy only confirms just how out of touch your party is.

You wrote, “Romney is rich and that seems to be his crime.” Wrong again. It was the way he got rich that tainted him. He was not a job creator, he was a job destroyer, shipping American jobs overseas and felt nothing all the time he was ruining the lives of so many. That was his crime. And, by the way, he saved the Olympics with government money—like so many Republicans who spew hate toward our government, yet are the same hypocrites who will run to the government when they need help.

The fact that you personally feel the top 2 percent do pay their fair share is subjective and the majority of this country disagrees with you. I personally feel they have had a decade of raping and pillaging this country on the backs of the middle class and have become very wealthy doing it.

And people getting free cell phones and TVs, where? Do you know these people? Is there a secret store for poor people where a government person is handing out phones and big-screen TV’s.

As far as Obama not being able to figure out how to solve unemployment, he presented a jobs bill long ago, but your beloved Republicans would not sign it. Another failed strategy by the fringe right, “Let’s make sure Obama doesn’t succeed and people will be so angry they will no doubt vote for Republicans.” Wrong again. And who paid the price for that filibuster? The middleclass.

I don’t think you and the other 58 million Republicans are jerks, just without compassion. I do think your anger is misdirected and you form opinions based on how you feel and not on facts. You resent those less fortunate and see it as some form of conspiracy just to live the high life on food stamps which, by the way, you can only receive for a limited time, not forever as you seem to believe. President Clinton saw to this.

You see, Ms. Mahoney, the Americans you demonize are mostly hardworking middle class people that are content living a simple life, want to go to work, make a decent wage to support their families, send their kids to college and, like you, love this country. 

Pam Stevenson



Urge Congress to plan longterm

Dear Editor:

The League of Women Voters urges citizens to write to their Congress members. Congress now has a historic opportunity to set federal fiscal policy on a fair and stable path.

While avoiding the spending and tax changes scheduled for January 1 is important, it is much more important to provide a long-term solution by substantially increasing revenue, protecting the social safety net, reducing defense spending and carefully managing the deficit. The League of Women Voters strongly urges Congress not to miss this opportunity.

Congress must restore a fair and progressive tax system in order to provide needed revenue and ensure social equity.  We urge you to allow tax cuts that benefit only the richest 2 percent to expire on schedule, which would provide nearly $1 trillion.

The League also supports an effective estate tax, ending special treatment of capital gains and dividends, and increasing the maximum for social security tax withholding. Securing substantial new revenue from those with the greatest ability to contribute will allow our nation to meet reasonable deficit reduction goals, invest in education and infrastructure and protect the programs that meet basic human needs.

Long-term deficit reduction is an important goal, but it is also vital to recognize that deficit spending is appropriate and effective for stimulating the economy during recession, meeting social needs in times of high unemployment, and meeting defense needs in times of national security crises. 

Over the last several years, and still today, our nation faces these problems. Early deficit reduction must not overtake the need for establishing economic growth and meeting vital needs. The Bowles-Simpson proposal, for example, cuts the deficit well beyond what is needed to stabilize the deficit over the long term.

Any budget agreement must protect basic social spending. Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and essential services for low-income people must be maintained. Millions of seniors, children, people with disabilities and others depend on these programs and they should not be cut.

Today, more than 20 million people are in need of full-time work, and unemployment continues to hover around 8 percent. With the current state of the economy, our nation must have a truly balanced approach to spending and taxes.

The League of Women Voters urges Congress to support a new direction for federal fiscal policy, one that recognizes the importance of a fair tax system, one that provides for social needs, and one that will carefully manage the deficit and the economy.

Please take a few minutes to urge Congress to start the year by setting us in the correct direction.  Thank you.

Ellen Taylor

Vice President of Advocacy






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