In this busy, hurry scurry world, we need to stop and take a deep breath and appreciate this community and the people in it.
We went to the Holly Days celebration and Parade of Lights (in Rifle on Saturday, Dec. 1). It was truly an event where members of the Rifle area could get together and enjoy the season and each other.
I just wanted to thank the Citizen Telegram staff, their volunteers, the Girl Scouts and the Boy Scouts and business sponsors for the hard work, so we could come together as friends and neighbors and enjoy the evening. It's so nice to have something in our community that is not all about the bottom line.
It is so important to continue these events and keep the "small town" feeling during the holidays, and to take a moment to care about each other and visit, rather than text them.
Next year, make sure to mark your calendar and come and enjoy the festivities.
Larry and Dee McCown
(Editor's note: Next year's Holly Days is set for Dec. 7, 2013.)
I want to thank Dan Bokenko for demonstrating the liberal mindset in his Dec. 6 response to Ross Talbott's column in the Glenwood Springs Post Independent. Ignore what was said and inject your own biased misunderstanding as if it's truth.
Nowhere in Mr. Talbott's column was there a call for elimination of taxes, nor was there any statement that suggested we should "blame it all on taxes." As a matter of fact, Mr. Talbott states that "some taxation is essential."
The heart of his column suggests most taxes are hidden, so the consumer doesn't see them. As a result, he pays them blindly. Then, there is a call to tax producers more heavily, who pass that expense on to you, as a consumer.
The main reason consumers see the prices of products rising without their pay going up is because the operating expense of the producing business has gone up, mostly due to taxes and regulation compliance.
If you want a higher wage with a fixed product cost, then you must work to reduce production costs. If you mandate a higher wage with increased minimum wage, with no other change in production costs, then all you have done is increased production costs. That always ends up in an increase in the cost of the end product. Guess who just paid for the increase in your wages?
As the pain and cost of doing business continues to rise, so does the cost to the consumer. You will sooner or later drive off the desire to operate a business, and then the small businesses that are the backbone of our country's economic engine will fade away.
Editor's note: This letter was sent to U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo.
Thank you for your response to my concern over the problem of illegal immigrants. A bipartisan solution is important for the well-being of the country.
I favor a regulated guest worker program, after making it less inviting for illegals to come here by levying heavy fines to employers who hire without proper documentation. Without jobs, the incentive to invade us will be less compelling.
Spending by the federal government must be reduced and can only be accomplished by eliminating some federal agencies.
You are an experienced educator. I am sure you can see the logic in returning all authority for running our schools to local school boards, with oversight by state officials. This is how it was before legislation created the U.S. Department of Education. Please work for the elimination of this department over a few years.
We need a good energy policy that includes all sources, green and conventional. Coal, natural gas, nuclear and hydro must be a primary source for many years, until technology develops for other resources to become competitive. We don't need a U.S. Department of Energy, except for research and advice.
The U.S. Federal Highway Administration should be drastically reduced in size and the federal gas tax eliminated. Most of its responsibilities consist of gathering gas tax money from the states and passing it back to the states, spending several billions of dollars in the process.
This department should focus on research and advice, along with other minor functions within the U.S. Department of Transportation. States would have the ability to raise their gas tax to make up for lost revenue.