Letters To The Editor 1/17/2019

January 17, 2019

Confusing details

on carbon dioxide

Editor: Regarding Gov. Tom Wolf’s commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, presumably carbon dioxide, an associated news article states that CO² levels surged 3.4 percent in 2018.

I present a few puzzling facts. First, the CO² levels reportedly are at 410 parts per million, whereas in 1988, 35 years ago, it was 350 parts per million. Satellite data confirms that over the past 35 years, the increased CO² levels has a fertilizing effect on the “leaf index” of the earth’s vegetative area of positive 37 percent, which means more green. Additionally, greenhouse experiments have demonstrated that doubling the CO² levels to 600 ppm resulted in increased dry weight of most crops by 25 percent to 50 percent.

Currently, greenhouses customarily generate additional CO² by using gas-fired furnaces inside. The vast majority of the earth’s greenhouse gas is water vapor: CO² constitutes only 4 one-hundreths of 1 percent. Carbon dioxide levels below 200 ppm results in photosynthesis stopping. Carbon levels in a typical house are at 1,000 ppm.

Can anyone explain why ice in the Arctic is shrinking, but some ice in Antarctica is expanding? I am puzzled by these facts.

The governor wishes to reduce CO² levels. First, maybe he should tell greenhouse farmers to stop producing it.



Immigration cost

estimate defended

Editor: A recent Times-Tribune editorial (“Shutdown doubly dumb,” Jan. 4) cites academic studies showing that immigrants create a net financial benefit for the nation.

Unless those studies only cover legal immigration, the assertion is ridiculous. Figures I found for 2013 indicate that the direct cost of illegal immigration was $135 billion and offsetting taxes paid were about $19 billion, leaving a net loss of $116 billion.

Given the increase in the cost of living and the increase in dependent immigrants the 2018 figure would be much higher. Some illegal immigrants believe that holding a regular job could expose them to Immigration Control and Enforcement so, for that and other reasons, it is estimated that 80 percent of them work under-the-table.

They may pay no taxes but enjoy the benefits of education, entitlements and medical care. On top of that, local economies are impacted when a significant amount of their earnings transfers out of the area to support families in foreign countries. I recall a 2014 article where Florida estimated this to be about $15 billion a year. To further compound the problem, some reportedly file income tax returns showing a negative income thus, due to the earned income tax credit, they get a check from the government. While regular employment could expose them to ICE there is no worry when filing a tax return because the IRS is prohibited from questioning their citizenship.

When considering the direct and indirect cost of illegal immigration, President Trump’s $270 billion estimate may not be far from being accurate.




Trump putting

Democracy to test

Editor: I was a registered Republican for 53 years, but today I am a registered Democrat. Enough is enough.

First, we had to suffer the Republican tea party, which brought Congress to a standstill, caused a government shutdown, threatened to not raise the debt ceiling and to not pay the nation’s financial obligations.

Now, we have a Republican president who has, for example:

■ Effectively ceded our leadership role on the world stage.

■ Caused our allies to state openly they can no longer depend on the United States.

■ Failed to condemn national and international wrongdoing.

■ Continually misleads and lies to the American people.

■ Undermines our institutions and erodes our rule of law.

■ Fired or caused his most able assistants to resign.

■ Placed “yes men” in some high offices, not to make good decisions for our country, but to protect him.

■ He has more lawsuits pending against him than any other president in history.

This administration is on pace to become the most corrupt in our history, with at least 33 people and three companies either convicted or indicted in relation to special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russia’s 2016 election meddling.

But perhaps worse than the president’s actions is the tacit approval of his actions by Republican leaders in Congress who seek political gain rather than carrying out their constitutional duties and obligations to the nation.

This is not incompetence. This is the willful dismantling of our institutions and our rule of law. Pundits now question whether the nation can withstand another two years of this.

The answer may rest in the hands of Republican leaders in Congress. After that, it will be in the hands of the electorate, assuming the rule of law survives.




Include McConnell

in Russia probe

Editor: I watch and read the news as much as I can and there seems to be one major reason that the Senate Republicans sit on their hands regarding all the nonsense that continues with President Trump and that is Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

I think that special counsel Robert Mueller should expand his investigation to include McConnell because he, too, may be comprised by the Russians.



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