Democrat or Republican, we have now decided the fate of our nation and we all must live with those results. Democrats voted for their own personal agendas and the Republicans voted on what was best for this nation. Our own personal agenda, wants and needs won out, and we must live with that fact.
This week has already shown tremendous concern for our country. The stock market fell due to sell offs from concern over this administration's ongoing policies. Major industries are laying off employees due to the election results.
Here in our valley, the Steadman Clinic has canceled its $30 million Vail project due to health care concerns of this administration. Taxes are going up at the beginning of the year, even though our administration denies this.
We now have the Iran drone cover-up that was just exposed on Nov. 9, as well as the Benghazi cover-up, which has yet to be explained to the nation. For gun owners, President Obama has signed their Second Amendment rights away this week with the United Nations gun treaty agreement. If readers do not know about this, they should research and understand it now.
For those who voted for this administration due to abortion rights, legalized pot, free health care, welfare checks, global warming, drilling, illegal immigration, gay rights, anti gun control, unions or any other personal agenda, they have set this country on a path of certain disaster.
Our path is set and we should all prepare for the worst this nation has ever seen. We are broke, and there is no clear path to change that course.
We should all pray that God bless and protect this nation more than ever.
The election is over. The meaning of the results is subject to some debate, but one thing is clear: The majority of the electorate, despite a weak economy and high unemployment, chose the policies of President Obama for resolving the problems from the financial collapse of 2008. This choice should be honored.
The re-election of the Tea Party candidates to Congress is of less significance, given the 95-plus percent re-election rate of incumbents. The hard ideological stance of these representatives must be tempered by the desires of the vast majority of Americans to resolve the problems with the economy.
The deficit is a major concern; the tax code is in need of major revision; entitlement programs and the military need to be cut judiciously; and most definitely a second recession must be avoided.
These imperatives do not lend themselves to easy, ideologically determined solutions. The ratings agencies are already signaling a downgrade for U.S. debt if the gridlock of 2011-2012 continues. The fiscal cliff of mandatory, across-the-board cuts at year end threatens a mini-disaster and renewed recession. Congress, our lawmaking body, must create bipartisan legislation, acceptable to the president, which raises revenue, decreases spending and avoids triggering marketplace panic.
The bottom line is that there must be revenue increases by eliminating loopholes and even increasing tax rates, at least on those most able to afford the increase; there must be cuts in entitlement and other government programs without destroying the social safety net or national security.
Because the American public wants more services than they are willing to fund and will punish a legislator who raises taxes to fund the services desired, I recommend the president and Congress agree to create a commission of experts whose recommendation is binding. They will thereby minimize their political risk. Pending the findings of the commission, the debt ceiling must be raised and the fiscal cliff avoided. Allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire, at least for now, and closing some of the most obvious tax loopholes should temporize until the final recommendations can be adopted.
I write in reply to Shirley Starr's Nov. 10 letter regarding 5 million gallons of water.
Ms. Starr has omitted one vital fact in her request for everyone to be fact checking the "big scary number." In all the activities she points out requiring water, the water gets returned to the hydrological cycle, to be reused again and again.
Fracking water is filled with toxic chemicals and has to be disposed of down injection wells and is permanently removed from the hydrological cycle, never to be seen again.
As we have a limited amount of water in the West, fracking effectively steals water from the rest of us. In addition, the oil and gas industry outbids farmers at water sales, which ultimately means less economic diversity as farms fail. Is an arid, toxic, industrial wasteland really where Ms. Starr wants to live?
Scott Balcomb's support for the Worrell and Durrett purchase in his Nov. 2 letter to the editor seems to suggest the three Garfield County commissioners made their decision based on speculation using public funds.
Taxpayers need to ask the following questions for these types of real estate transactions:
1. Who represented the county as the buyer in this transaction?
2. What specific use did the commissioners have to enter into this real estate transaction?
3. Where and when were the specifics of a plan for the property's use posted?
4. Did the use have support from governing authorities within Glenwood Springs, a home rule municipality?
The same questions need to be asked with regard to another pending real estate transaction involving the swap of county owned land under the Valley View Hospital. The county land is valued around $4 million, in exchange for the Petre Building in Glenwood Springs, worth an estimated $1.8 million with substantial building improvement costs.
The land swap has the county swallowing a $2.2 million deficiency between the properties plus building improvements, along with lost negotiating opportunities to increase revenues through a more equitable lease agreement with Valley View.
Like the Worrell and Durrett purchase, without the commissioners offering the public and Glenwood Springs governing authorities a clear plan for real estate purchases and use, the transaction with county funds is speculative. Further, the county will incur heavy maintenance expenses associated with the swap, and lose opportunities for negotiating more equitable leasing terms. There are clear state rules about counties purchasing and swapping real estate.
Unfortunately, this information wasn't available until after the election per our county manager, Drew Gorgey. Whether or not the land swap is a done deal isn't clear. The Valley View land swap, like the Worrell and Durrett building purchase, seems to be flying under the public's radar. Clearly, the current commissioners and interested parties like it that way.
After a disappointing outcome on the elections for Garfield County commissioner, I urge the citizens of this county to continue to pay attention to the many issues that were brought to the table during this election process. They are very important.
We need to hold our elected officials accountable for the decisions they make. They are sworn in to protect the citizens' best interests, not their own.
We cannot go down the path of the past. We must move into the future with transparency, honesty and commitment and to remind our commissioners that they are servants to our county and it is their duty to uphold that responsibility. We must remain vigilant on keeping track on what our commissioners have on the table. If we don't it will be business as usual, and we can't afford that.
Water, air quality and land protection are things that should not be compromised, ever. Our commissioners owe this county that sort of protection, it's their job. The words, "we the people" still means something in our democracy. Hopefully they will listen this time.