Letter: Political discourse should be based on facts | PostIndependent.com

Letter: Political discourse should be based on facts

John Stephens
Glenwood Springs

My family received a letter from Cory recently. Yes, that Cory, Rep. Cory Gardner. Actually, it was a solicitation for funds. Since his campaign and related “independent issues committees” are receiving millions from billionaires like the Koch brothers, I wonder how we got on his list.

Anyway, that’s not the reason I’m writing. I write because I believe that our political discourse should be reasonably based on facts, and the letter we received contained several obvious mistaken assertions. Let’s look at some of them, referencing actual data. His statements are in quotations.

“Obama’s and Udall’s extreme environmental agenda paralyzes oil and natural gas production.” Absolutely false. U.S. oil and natural gas production are at or near all-time high levels. According to the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, Colorado gas production has risen every year since 1988 and oil has risen every year since 1999. Gas production has declined once again here on the Western Slope, as it has in the past, simply because there is more money to be earned drilling for oil in other locations.

“… burdensome regulations are impeding economic growth.” One can always argue that regulations impede growth, but it is also true that our complex economy could not function without reasonable regulation. But what we really need to look at is U.S. growth. Some facts: The economy grew at a 4.2 percent rate last quarter, an average of over 210,000 new jobs have been created every month in 2014 (more than at any time since Clinton was president), and the number unemployed has dropped 1.7 million this year. Business Insider just recognized Colorado as having the best economy in the country.

Finally, “Obamacare is forcing 7 million out of employer-based health insurance.” Actual data shows a drop in the uninsured of 3-4 percent nationwide. Part of this is due to Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) enrollment and part to actual increase in employer-based insurance. In states that accepted Medicaid expansion, the decline in uninsured was greater. Colorado dropped from 16.54 percent to 9.02 percent uninsured. ACA rates for 2015 now show a slight drop nationally (Kaiser Family Foundation data).


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