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Post Independent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

Remember Barack Obama saying this on Sept. 12, 2008: “I can make a firm pledge. Under my plan, no family making less than $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase, not your income tax, not your payroll tax, not your capital gains taxes, not any of your taxes.”

Last week, the Congressional Budget Office released an estimate showing the Obamacare insurance mandate (which the Supreme Court said is a tax) will raise taxes on 6 million taxpayers by about $7 billion by 2016 with a minimum payment of $695 apiece.

Among those paying the mandate penalty will be 4.7 million with incomes below 500 percent of the federal poverty level, which is projected to be $123,000 for a family of four in 2016.



In addition, on Jan. 1, 2013, taxes will go up on everyone who works for a paycheck. The 2 percent Social Security tax will restart; the new 3.8 percent health care tax will apply to all wages; expiration of the Bush tax cuts will raise income tax rates by 4.6 percent; taxes on interest and dividends will rise to 43.4 percent; capital gains rates will rise to 23.8 percent which includes that 3.8 percent health care tax; estate and gift taxes will rise to 55 percent.

The CBO is also predicting a new recession in 2013 if these rates all rise. Unemployment will rise to 9.1 percent and, due to programmed spending cuts at the Pentagon, the so-called sequestration cuts could cost 1 million defense workers their jobs.



Of course if you are among the nearly 50 percent of Americans who pay no federal income taxes, none of this will matter to you. You will go on receiving government support for income, food, housing, medical care, school lunches, etc.

In the meantime, the number of Americans who do pay income taxes are declining each and every year. Unless government cuts spending and fixes the Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid entitlement programs, the entire system is going to collapse. The result will be chaos in the streets. Keep your powder dry, folks, and vote in November.

Bob Anderson

Glenwood Springs

Please tell me that the proposed Two Rivers Expeditionary Charter School is not coming from the very same community that did not pass the school mill levy a year ago. Carbondale and Basalt carried the vote, if one remembers correctly. Please tell me that this charter school is not coming from the same school district that had classes cut to four days this year due to budget constraints, Garfield Re-2.

What are people thinking about anyway? I am totally against this additional alternative school in the valley. This is absurd. Pro-charter school people do not realize that with another school, that means less money for the school district as a whole.

The greater Roaring Fork Valley can barely keep all the schools solvent as it is. We have Waldorf, Ross, Mount Sopris Montessori, Carbondale Community School, St. Stephen’s Catholic Elementary and Alpine Christian. Every one of these schools takes away from the district’s state funding, let alone the continuous fundraising that goes on.

Contrary to what the proponents of this new charter school think, there is not the student population base, let alone the financial base to support these and our public school system.

Work with the public schools. There are many talented professionals who would love parent involvement. Work for change within the system. Don’t reinvent the wheel and take the existing, desperately needed funds from the public schools. Contact the school board to nip this in the bud now.

Leary O’Gorman

Carbondale

Disingenuous. Yes, that is what too many liberals and too many self-serving politicians are. And, yes, I mean both sides of the aisle.

But liberals such as Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and Obama’s campaigners are outright liars: Sen. Reid saying Mitt Romney never paid any taxes for 10 years, Rep. Pelosi asking representatives to vote for a bill before they read it, or that Romney will give the rich a huge, unwarranted tax break and tax the middle class an additional $2,000 – all lies.

Letter-writer Tom Rutledge wrote that he is “better off.” Mr. Rutledge better get his facts straight. Even if you play with the Dow figures over the past 12 years, you can not honestly show that the Dow is up 71 percent under President Obama’s term over George Bush’s eight years. Even if you take the biggest Dow downturn due to the 9/11 terrorist attacks, he is still way off.

President Bush’s low (after the attack) was 7,702 and his high was 14,164, whereas President Obama’s low was 6,547 and his high was 13,579. The Dow had a steady climb, other then the attack, under Bush with a few bumps. Bush had a real big bump after he was faced with a Democratic Congress in 2006. I ask Mr. Rutledge to explain his figures.

Inflation helped him with the Dow going up, which caused inflation harming the poor because food, gas, utilities, rent, etc., cost more now.

My health insurance went up, my industrial park was 80 percent full in 2005. In 2006, it was down to 40 percent and in June of 2012 it was empty. My house, along with other investments, have continued to go down in value.

Yes, there is some activity in Glenwood, with tax and borrowed dollars.

This election is not about you or me, it is about the USA.

Dick Fitzgerald

Carbondale

God bless America. Let freedom ring.

This is still the greatest country in the world, in spite of what the nation has endured since the 2008 election. We’re blessed with the opportunity to implement change if we are displeased, or to allow conditions to continue, if satisfied.

Politics seem to produce a predominance of preaching to the choir rather than reaching the opposition. The freedom to express views here on the opinion page is a way to be heard by reaching a diverse audience and an abundant number of open-minded people, as well as those with opposing viewpoints.

Yes, God bless America for the privilege to speak out and let freedom ring for the opportunity to take a stand.

Facing the most important election in history, voters might benefit by answering for themselves a few critical questions.

Exactly what hope and change are we experiencing after three years of rhetoric?

Specifically how are you and our nation better off or worse off now than in 2007?

What concerns you about the future status of our nation in world affairs?

How do you evaluate your own economic security and our national security?

How confident are you that our children and grandchildren will inherit the same lifestyles, freedoms and opportunities that preceding generations passed on?

Selecting from the candidates in this 2012 election need not be reliant on expert analysis nor campaign promises. The best decisions rely more on good judgment and common sense along with a gut feel.

This year’s national election deserves the utmost in careful selection, along with a record turnout at the polls.

State, county and local elections are critical as well. Fortunately, we can view the candidates at close range with meaningful insight.

Obviously, Bob Rankin is the super choice for House District 57 and Randy Baumgardner’s legislative track record documents that he would excel as senator for District 8.

Finally, their outstanding past performance justifies the necessity to re-elect John Martin and Mike Samson as county commissioners.

Richard Doran

Parachute

After reading the Sept. 26 letter from Ken Kriz touting John Martin and Mike Samson as managers and not politicians, I didn’t know whether to cry, laugh or get mad. The National Association of Counties award was given in 2011 when the county had an experienced manager and a committed leadership team.

Let’s look at Martin and Samson’s hands-on management style without the layer of managerial accountability that buffered the public from the commissioners’ lack of managerial expertise.

The county purchased the Worrell and Durrett building in Glenwood Springs for $2.3 million. The amount paid was at minimum $300,000 greater than the appraised value. Who was the county’s attorney or manager in that transaction?

Garfield’s new county manager has cost our county residents $145,000 – $13,000 more than his predecessor. Drew Gorgey is an attorney with no management experience. Ed Green had an MBA and 26 years economic development experience in the public and private sector. Mr. Gorgey has approved secret meetings, and supported purchasing a building that was $300,000 over appraisal. Increasing expenditures instead of job creation isn’t fiscal common sense policy.

How many advanced degree personnel were fired, departments reorganized, and individuals promoted to key supervisor positions with nothing more than a high school diploma? Where are the oversights on positions like road and bridge safety?

They fired the public’s oil and gas liaison and replaced her with Kirby Winn from Chevron. Where’s public accountability with that industry-endorsed choice?

The commissioners decided to hire Frank Hutfless, the only applicant with ties to mineral extraction, for county attorney. As a bonus, Hutfless was part of a highly publicized lawsuit, Zinna v. Jefferson County, with a record from the Colorado Bureau of Investigation.

What about hiring national, ALEC-funded lobbying groups to write local policy?

Industry managers and effective public managers are not the same. Shiny industry marketing will not change the facts. Our commissioners represent one voice. It’s time to elect qualified representatives who care about public concerns. Aleks Breidis and Sonja Linman will do better.

David Mead

Rifle

I have been reading all the nice letters to the editor about John Martin, and I would like to add my perspective.

As a mayor, we have the responsibility of working with the other governmental bodies. There are grants, programs, gifts, matching funds, etc., available to any municipality that qualifies. We are well aware of the limited resources of Silt, and if ever Silt was to recover from the impacts of gas and oil, we would need some help.

I met with John Martin at a local restaurant to see if he had any suggestions. For the next two hours I was enthralled and captivated with the inexhaustible knowledge he shared with me. He introduced me to the nonpartisan Urban Renewal Authority concept, and quoted state statues like they were a poem. Mr. Martin educated us to the methodology of which to implement and exercise these programs.

After many coffee conversations and town hall meetings, Silt created an URA. Now we have the vehicle in which to make our dreams come true. Every lawyer and governmental official that I talked to praised John Martin for his inexhaustible knowledge of government affairs. Through much dedication and sacrifice, Mr. Martin has led the way for Silt to recover from said impacts.

As the papers stated, Garfield County did join in with Silt, issued some well deserved grants, and now Silt is well on its way toward recovery, thanks to the Garfield County commissioners, led by John Martin. What impressed me about his technique was the accountable and responsible approach in dealing with public funds.

Mr. Martin does cross party lines and deals impartially, even to the chagrin of some. It’s been stated that the Garfield County’s surplus of over $120 million is makes it one of the top 10 counties in the nation for fiscal security, and is either first or second in Colorado.

John Martin has successfully lobbied in Washington on behalf of Colorado and Garfield County. Let his accomplishments speak for themselves. For the security of Garfield County, we need a man of his experience, knowledge and common sense. Vote for John Martin.

Mayor David Moore

Silt

The Carbondale Trustees via Resolution No. 19, on the Sept. 25 agenda, granted $80,000 in a mid-year appropriation to Garfield Clean Energy (GCE).

Since 2008, $760,000 has been granted to Ennovate, Garfield Clean Energy, CLEER, CORE and Biospace for energy savings and education programs. Through 2012, the total will now be $840,000.

How much is now sustainable, and how much more is required to reach the 20 percent reduction by 2020 goals?

GCE, formerly Garfield New Energy Communities Initiative, is managed by CLEER: Clean Energy Economy for the Region. GCE, used to receive regional state grants, is not listed with the Colorado Secretary of State as a charity or a business, but is reportedly a new type of organization.

Resolution 19 is not clear as to how the monies will uniformly benefit the citizens of Carbondale. I generally am supportive of conservation and economic energy savings, but concerned when our town of Carbondale employees have only received 4 percent raises in 2008, nothing in 2009, 2010 or 2011.

The Carbondale general fund budget in 2012 was $5,182,517, of which 66 percent was allocated to personnel, who were granted a 2 percent cost of living allowance raise, costing $67,068. That just didn’t seem very fair to me, when compared to some of the other expenditures.

It is important in these tough economic times to keep our money close to home and help people working for the town and our town citizens.

Resolution 19 states the money is to be spent in Carbondale. What has the past energy grant spending accomplished? Now that most energy efficiencies and instruction are universally available on the Internet, do we really need to be duplicating what we can have with a few clicks?

How many people and organizations in Carbondale have received rebates and incentives from Garfield Clean Energy, and just how much did they each receive?

We’ve been funding these organizations since 2004. After eight years, it’s time to become sustainable, or at least accountable for results. Or let’s start using surplus dollars that we seem to have to give a well-deserved real raise to town employees.

Bill Grant

Carbondale


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