Letters To The Editor 8/6/2018

August 6, 2018

Trump big spender

Editor: Some of us may have difficulty paying our bills.

Gas prices have risen 31 percent in the last year. Health care costs are rising. With the new tariffs, we’re told our food will become more expensive.

Basically, many of us are struggling. So, I think we should at least get thanks from our current presidential administration, which is spending our tax money freely. During his first years in office, President Trump spent 33 percent of his time at a Trump property and 25 percent of that time at a golf course.

I would be less apt to begrudge him that luxury if each trip didn’t cost an average of about $3 million, as estimated by the Center for American Progress. Much of that money is spent on security. Then, there is the use of Air Force One, which costs about $200,000 per hour to operate. Judicial Watch, a conservative educational foundation, estimated that Trump’s travel costs during his first year in office exceeded $13.5 million, far higher than any past president.

It’s like he uses our credit card. We may not feel the pinch immediately, but we will once we have to pay for the deficit through potential cuts in Social Security and Medicare benefits. Trump likes to spend money. Since being in office, Trump has increased the national debt by more than $1 trillion. I just wish it was his money instead of ours.





Quite a record

Editor: With apologies to David Letterman, here are the Trump administration’s top 10 offenses against democracy and decency for July :

10. The president is being sued for using his office to increase his own private fortune.

9. His Supreme Court nominee has written that a sitting president can’t be indicted and doesn’t have to answer a subpoena. If this had been the law in 1973, then-President Richard Nixon wouldn’t have had to resign.

8. He has announced a $12 billion bailout for big agriculture to compensate for falling prices and vanishing markets, the predictable consequences of his own feckless trade policies.

7. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke has moved to gut the Endangered Species Act.

6. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has launched a “religious liberty task force” to promote laws that will protect religious bigotry.

5. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin hopes to bypass Congress to cut the capital gains tax, which would cost more than $100 billion, 97 percent of which would go to the richest members of our society.

4. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has cut funding for student loan forgiveness, even when the students involved are the victims of fraudulent, fly-by-night online colleges.

3. Trump continues to conduct a cynical disinformation campaign against the investigation of special counsel Robert Mueller, which already has produced criminal indictments or guilty pleas from 32 people. 

2. In Helsinki, he fawned over Vladimir Putin, the thuggish Russian dictator.

1. His Department of Homeland Security failed to meet a court-ordered deadline to reunite more than 2,400 immigrant children with their parents. Some of these children have been sexually abused and others have been forced to endure injections of powerful psychotropic drugs while in U.S. custody.

None of this looks much like “winning” to me and I’m tired of it.




China asserts self

Editor: There is no reason why economic superpower China should not throw its weight around and provoke U.S. airlines to “dutifully” refer to Taipei in their advertising and revenue generating systems.

Astute airline CEOs recognize that calling the country “Taiwan” is language for “backsliders.”

Globalist-minded Chinese businessmen recognize how Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin is well-poised to throw around his weight regarding the president’s decision-making, including President Trump’s withdrawal of the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The deal was cunningly forged in the dark under former President Obama.

Current bullying trade negotiations with China and other actions have had negative blowback potential against some U.S. companies and dismayed American consumers.




Interchange unkempt

Editor: Recently, my wife and I took a trip to Lake George, New York.

I was very much impressed with how clean New York’s roads are as compared to our highways. Do we have all the slobs here in Pennsylvania and they have none? I don’t think so. I think that their highway department takes better care of their roads than ours does.

Of particular concern is the Clarks Summit interchange along Interstate 81, where it intersects the Pennsylvania Turnpike. This area is used by a lot of people traveling through our region who stop there for local services. It is disgusting and embarrassing. Where is our highway department?




Speech limited

Editor: The First Amendment to the Constitution regarding freedom of speech no longer seems to judge what we can say.

Social media now seems to rule our speech. As reported July 30 at CampusReform.org, a conservative news site, and printed in the Wall Street Journal, Charles Davis, the University of Georgia journalism school dean, tweeted his congratulations to a childhood friend after the friend won the Republican primary race for governor of Georgia.

Within three days he had to apologize to all those “offended” by the tweet after being defamed as a “racist” and bigot for his”dangerous rhetoric.” He was denounced for using a university social media account to say something nice about Republican GOP nominee Brian Kemp.

His apology said he “will endeavor to be more thoughtful” in the future. He said he had “learned” from the feedback.

Is this what our discourse has descended to?



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