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I find the rapidly growing federal debt deeply troubling. When the Iraq war was getting underway, Dick Cheney, then Vice-President, reportedly said that “deficits don’t matter”. I don’t know how he came to that belief, but it may have come from the writings of Ken Fisher, a highly successful financial manager and popular columnist who has long argued that deficits don’t matter. The reasoning behind this belief is that the nation’s financial condition should be viewed like a business enterprise with debt measured against assets. The total assets of the United States far exceeds its debt, so the thinking goes we can spend freely because we are very solvent with our debt a fraction of our nation’s assets.

This thinking is fallacious and dangerous. A nation’s finances cannot be compared to a business enterprise. The latter’s assets – cash, receivables, inventory, capital investments are all redeemable to meet the company’s obligations. The assets of the United States are not. If China started pressing us to redeem the two trillion dollars of U.S. bonds it holds or started dumping them, we would be helpless to control the destruction of our economy and our nation. So what would these “deficit don’t count” people suggest we do, sell Yosemite or Yellowstone or all our national parks? Or maybe our naval fleet?

If we are not willing to be taxed for our government’s expenditures, we cannot afford to have those benefits. It’s true that if our nation is threatened, as it now by extremists, we might have to borrow to defend ourselves as we did in World War II. But deficits do matter and the rising federal debt is a cause for genuine alarm.



Creating debt doesn’t concern voters the way reducing benefits or increasing taxes do, so politicians will just go on creating debt. Americans must understand that our rising federal debt is a serious threat to our way of life and must be stopped. An aroused public is the only way change will occur.

Deficits do matter.



Rod Savoye

Glenwood Springs

In response to Jolene Varley’s letter regarding pot vs. alcohol: Jolene, you made some good points comparing the use of pot and alcohol, but you mistakenly noted that people drink alcohol only to get drunk or catch a buzz.

A big difference between alcohol and pot is that alcohol is enjoyable even without getting a buzz and you can drink alcohol without getting a buzz. Not so much with pot. It’s only function is to “alter normal body/brain function,” which is the definition of a drug. So it should be treated like a drug (and last I saw, pot was legalized for use as a drug with a prescription).

But if you want to gain support for your cause, I would suggest that you not overgeneralize or misinterpret the intentions of others to make your point. You don’t want to alienate the people whose opinion you are trying to change.

Nicki Cannon

Carbondale

In response to Brad Janssen’s letter:

Are you living with a 1930s attitude towards “the devil weed”? Have you ever even smoked it?

Do you ever take aspirin or Tylenol for a headache or other pain? Does it “seem like it does any good?” And what about alcohol? Do you drink alcohol? Is it just because our outdated laws say that pot is illegal that you think it’s worthless? And using the same criteria, that means legal “drugs” such as alcohol and tobacco are good, and good for you?

What is the difference – in your mind – between a drug and a medicine? And last, but certainly not least, what gives you or anybody else the right to tell anybody what they can or cannot do, as long as it doesn’t hurt anybody else?

I say you need to get real, because you are the farce!

Phil Amonette

Silt

In response to the letter from Leslie of Rifle about the dogs in this town, she is not exaggerating at all.

My husband and I both run around town and have been charged by dogs many times. He has called the police and I have had to call 911 when a dog repeatedly kept charging at me even though I was spraying it with pepper spray.

I’ve changed my running route so many times now that I only have one road I can run down and I have to do it several times to get my mileage in.

She’s also correct about the owners; they don’t apologize or ask if you are OK. I’ve also heard the “my dog doesn’t bite”, right after I get bit in the behind.

Karen Skelly

Rifle

I just wanna say thank you the town of Glenwood Springs. Thank you very much for spending our hard earned tax dollars on nothing but junk art and other town cosmetics we don’t need and are useless.

Speaking of things we don’t need, the town could also save us some money if they took down the Christmas lights on Grand Ave. Christmas is over and we have 11 and a half months till the next one. Why is the town still wasting money on Christmas lights. We could save tax money by not using unnecessary electricity to light up trees most people don’t even see, because, surprise, they’re at home sleeping. Hello, we are in a recession here, lets save money – it’s not rocket science.

Use that money we save on electricity to start fixing the roads. We, the citizens of Glenwood, need roads that are functional, and every time I say “we” I mean the taxpayers of Glenwood. We need roads that don’t destroy our vehicles every time we drive down them. The paved roads in Glenwood are worse than a bad dirt road, in case the town of Glenwood didn’t know, its expensive to fix vehicles. We don’t want our vehicles destroyed because we, the drivers, couldn’t avoid the crater sized hole in the road that’s been there for months.

Here is another money saving tip so you can fix the roads for the taxpayers. Don’t let five people stand around talking, doing nothing while one person works. I see it happen every time I drive by road construction in Glenwood. It takes the construction twice as long and costs five times more that it should.

Jolene Varley

Carbondale

If the Post Independent story on Friday about the county oil and gas liaison is factual, it looks like she is doing just what the county is paying her to do … protect the citizens of this county. Whenever a supervised entity complains, it usually means they are trying to do something that might not be correct, legally, morally or ethically, and someone is watching and keeping them in line.

Keep up the good work Judy.

Al Maggard

Glenwood Springs

I applaud Melissa and Bruce Matherly for the risk they took to protect the kids of the Roaring Fork Valley based on their Letter to the Editor of Jan. 23, 2010.

I’d like to add a few comments as follows: The reasons are MANY for not having parties for kids when you know they’ll be drinking. I’m only going to list 3. First, it’s a felony. Second, you have absolutely no way of knowing how much kids have consumed before they get to your party nor how much they’ve consumed while at your house. I personally know of 7 kids who’ve overdosed on alcohol (alcohol poisoning) while at a party thrown by a parent. Third, none of us knows which kid may have the genetic predisposition or personality trait that sends them across that invisible line into a life of substance abuse. Do you want that responsibility? Because if they’re drinking in your house or at your cabin or on your boat, you are responsible.

Choice is no longer a factor in the equation. Please wake up to this issue. I’m an adolescent counselor in the Roaring Fork Valley and this is, by far, the most urgent issue to be addressed. Believe it or not, it even trumps healthcare reform!

Feel free to call me at 963-6013, if you want to discuss this issue or if you need some help for yourself or a loved one who’s struggling through their own substance abuse problems.

Shelley Evans, M.A.

Carbondale


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