LETTERS: Republicans should learn from Eisenhower

To the editor:

Republican President Dwight Eisenhower spent millions on our country’s infrastructure and government services that made life better for everyone. Ironically, today it’s the House Republicans who block use of tax revenue — our tax dollars — for government services that nearly everyone wants.

President Eisenhower invested huge sums in constructing interstate highways, which provided jobs for about anyone who wanted a well-paying opportunity. Demand for road and bridge building contractors, engineers and skilled equipment operators lifted many into the middle income bracket. Workers had money in their pockets. Small businesses and industries sprung up along the highways to serve travelers.

Tea Party Republicans are squeezing government income so hard that we can’t even hire the teachers, police officers and firefighters we need. Republicans even block attempts of President Barack Obama to hire unemployed construction workers to repair the highways and bridges that President Eisenhower built. Ironically, President Obama has the same philosophy of government’s role as Eisenhower — kick-start investment in things people want and need. That’s what we pay our taxes for. Under President Eisenhower, we truly had “government of the people, by the people, for the people.”

House Republicans don’t care about the masses. Their incomes aren’t in danger. They get rich off of perks and payola distributed by lobbyists of billionaires seeking lower taxes. Modern robber barons of Wall Street pressure them with largess to shift Social Security tax dollars into 401(k) accounts. They want to use that money to wheel and deal on Wall Street, investing in global corporate stocks, where the big money is, and they are privy to inside information. There goes the safety net of our great grandchildren when they retire.

More gravy comes to House Republicans from the private health industry, which is trying to kill President Obama’s attempt to bring mushrooming Medicare costs under control. The private health industry, with the help of other billionaires, spends enough money on its Fox News propaganda network to pay its cost several times over. Fox News is a purveyor of misinformation organized by Rupert Murdoch.



Water and denial

To the editor:

Regarding the announcement of Pat Mulroy’s exit from the Southern Nevada Water Authority (“Water manager leaving,” Tuesday Review-Journal), are we supposed to be happy that rates will go up? That the SNWA did the best it could? And should we give the outgoing water czar a party? If we accept all that with a shrug, then we’ll get what we deserve.

Denial is a great guilt cleanser. Here are the facts:

1. The water authority had no business building a museum (Springs Preserve) for a reported $235 million, with no way to cover ongoing expenses. Did the Springs Preserve really need a gourmet chef’s enterprise for food services?

2. Builders were never required to adequately cover planning for flood control, desert landscaping and funding for water infrastructure. You know why.

3. Water is a problem for at least eight western states, and Nevada’s water authority should have made it an ongoing priority with the federal government. The city of Soldotna, Alaska, pointed out that its Kenai River dumps all its spring flow into the ocean every year. Why don’t we pipe such water to the West? We can bring down water from all the places where it’s more than abundant, and do flood control and possible hydroelectric generation to boot.

4. Desalination is more than feasible. Talk to the Israelis and Saudis about that.

Yes, the water rates will skyrocket, the rich will pay and pass the costs on to whomever, and the outgoing water czar will get a great pension and a wonderful going-away party.



Staring at the Sun

To the editor:

I feel it necessary to comment on the obvious demise of the Las Vegas Sun. In the 1980s, I lived in Baltimore. The city had a more conservative newspaper called the Baltimore News-American, and the liberal paper was and is The Baltimore Sun. The News-American lost readership and went out of business. Nobody screamed that we needed a conservative paper to balance things out, or that conservatives needed a voice.

The Sun’s Brian Greenspun is no William Randolph Hearst. Put on your big boy pants, Mr. Greenspun, stop crying and get a new life. I don’t like paying for your childish-looking paper, though my dogs, all four of them, love it.



Sequester hits veterans

To the editor:

Active duty personnel aren’t the only ones affected by the ongoing sequestration budget cuts. Veterans are getting the short end of the stick, too (“Military families agonize sequester, planner says,” Monday Review-Journal). These cuts have affected programs that train veterans for new jobs. They’ve furloughed medical staff at military clinics that help troops and veterans dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder. Sequestration cuts will even hit Veterans Affairs next year, which is bad news for veterans who already must wait months or years to get answers about the benefits they’ve earned.

Of course, caring for our veterans costs money, just like everything else, and money is tight right now. Yet sequestration is a clumsy strategy for trimming our budget, blindly cutting essential programs while leaving real government waste untouched. For instance, while programs to help homeless veterans take a hit, the Pentagon’s most expensive program in history, the Joint Strike Fighter, has avoided sequestration altogether. This is despite the fact that the program is billions over budget, years behind schedule and has received poor marks from test pilots. Some Pentagon insiders recommend we cancel it outright.

These are the real discussions Congress should be having about the budget, instead of allowing sequestration to cut veterans services.



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