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Your Letters

We seem to be a nation at war with ourselves. It’s a war precipitated by our government bent on taking from those who worked hard for what they have and forcing them to give their wealth to those members of society who think they deserve the fruits of other’s sweat equity.

When a citizen fears his government, it’s called tyranny. Why are firearm sales skyrocketing? When the Second Amendment is infringed, so goes the First Amendment.

This line of thinking absolutely destroys the incentives of the ambitious. What happened to the hard work ethic, patriotism and correct moral conduct?

Now our fearless leaders are trying to abort the Second Amendment with their skewed ideas and false statistics.

The Democratic Party never lets a good crisis go to waste, regardless who gets in their way, just to get re-elected. I often wonder about the level of awareness or intelligence of the American voter. When 21 of 22 incumbent U.S. senators and 353 of 373 incumbent members of the House of Representatives are re-elected (94 percent of the time), how could that possibly happen when collectively these self-serving elected officials have an approval rating of just 9 percent? They should have all been fired.

As Hillary Clinton just said on TV while entertaining us with her Benghazi shuffle, “What difference does it make?”

Is that the way readers feel? Maybe that’s what the new generation of American thinks. If that’s true, they’re going to lose more than their souls. I always felt if you’re lucky enough to live in the Rocky Mountains, you’re lucky enough. Maybe that’s not enough anymore. How sad.

Stan Rachesky

Glenwood Springs

I write in regards to the Jan. 23 advertisement in the Post Independent placed by the group Citizens to Save Grand Avenue.

I will add my voice to those of Councilor Ted Edmonds and Mayor Matthew Steckler. The Glenwood Springs City Council and the city of Glenwood Springs do not deserve this group’s scorn. Indeed, such invective is completely unproductive.

What this council and our city needs is this group’s help. It is unrealistic to expect this or any City Council to snap our fingers and solve a problem that has been 60 years in the making.

As I have publicly and forcefully stated, this is not City Council’s issue to solve or decide alone. All of the voting citizens of our wonderful city must rise to this challenge. It is no longer a simple question of saying “no.”

In point of fact, the history of the problem which we all now face with Grand Avenue resides in that very “no.” It was the oft-repeated mantra of both the downtown merchants and those shareholders in the Glenwood Hot Springs Lodge and Pool who were absolute in their conviction that a Highway 82 bypass would be the death knell of their very existence.

I place no blame here. I am only giving a thumbnail sketch of the historic roots of our present dilemma.

Do we have some hard decisions before us? Yes, we most certainly do. The most important decision that we collectively face is this: Are we (all of Glenwood’s citizens) going to decide to work on the solutions to these most vexing questions in a spirit of cooperation, or as adversaries? My choice is clearly to join together to make these decisions as a community.

Stephen Bershenyi

city councilor-at-large

Glenwood Springs

The sequester debate is nearing. In coming weeks you’ll hear there’s no serious alternative to cutting Social Security and Medicare, raising taxes on the middle class, and decimating what’s left of federal discretionary spending on everything from education and job training to highways and basic research. It’s time to “pay the piper,” they’ll say.

The truth is most Americans have not been living beyond their means. The problem is their means haven’t kept up with the growth of the economy, which is why most of us need better education, infrastructure, health care and social safety nets.

The real median wage is barely more than it was 30 years ago, even though the economy is twice as large.

The only people whose means have soared are at the very top. They’ve received almost all the gains from growth. Over the last three decades, the top 1 percent’s share of income has doubled; the top one-tenth of 1 percent’s share has tripled.

The richest one-tenth of 1 percent is now earning as much as the bottom 120 million Americans put together. The richest 1 percent now own more than 38 percent of the nation’s financial assets.

Think about this. The richest 400 Americans have more wealth than the bottom 150 million of us put together. The six Wal-Mart heirs have more wealth than the bottom 33 million American families combined. To the extent most Americans have any wealth at all, they have it in their homes, still down over 25 percent from 2006 highs.

Does all this sound like job creation? Like social justice? Like government by, of, for the people?

A 2 percent “wealth surtax” on the richest one-half of 1 percent of Americans (those with $7.2 million of assets or more) would generate $750 billion over the decade.

Why are we even contemplating cutting programs the middle class and poor depend on, and raising their taxes, instead of significantly taxing these vast accumulations of wealth now in the hands of these few?

Ron Kokish


This is in response to Lee Barger’s letter of Jan. 24. He is right, math is universal. More than $1 trillion deficit for four year adds up to more than $6 trillion in added deficit. But let’s look at the Democratic-controlled Senate’s budget. Oh, they haven’t passed a budget in four years. The Democrats’ only plan is to tax and spend and when it’s spent, to tax some more.

Mr. Barger notes that this plan will bring us closer to a European economy. Hasn’t President Obama already brought us closer to the levels of taxes and deficits of the European economy? Just note that the countries in the Eurozone with the highest debt ratio have the highest taxes and the highest unemployment, such as Greece. The ones with the lowest debt ratio have the lowest taxes and lowest unemployment, such as Germany.

I do agree with Mr. Barger about spending cuts, but not on the country’s defense. It has already been cut billions of dollars and will be cut even more with sequestration.

I would cut any funding to energy, but that would be conventional and green.

But my biggest cuts would be to education. We spend more per student than most countries, yet we have the lowest score ratio per student. What are we doing wrong here? This phenomenon is reflected with our own states. The ones that spend the most have lower scores than the ones that spend the least. I would get the feds out of education and leave it up to the states. Anything the feds do costs too much and they do a poor job of it.

I would also stop all federal grants to anybody for any reason. Why should my money be spent on a $75 million airport with no services, or $25 million on a harbor with only three boats and no roads? Or what about cities and towns that can’t or won’t do anything to create their own revenue, but will jump on the bandwagon for every federal, state or county grant that comes down the road?

Steven Elmore


I see a Republican woman has challenged the president to a shooting contest. I bet she can’t hit over 47 percent of the targets.

Carl Heck


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