Traverse City Record-Eagle


February 20, 2014

Letters to the Editor: 02/20/2014

Congress can deliver

Hey Congress, get it done.

Raise the minimum wage to at least $10.10. Any additional money will be spent, the economy benefits. Past increases did not increase unemployment.

Pass an immigration bill that offers a citizenship path. There will be no permanent second class.

Pass an equal pay for women act (77 cents vs. $1). They will spend it, the economy benefits.

Increase temporary unemployment benefits. This is a moral issue.

The president has, rightfully, a very limited power under the Constitution. He cannot do the above. Congress can. He can talk; Congress can deliver. Take advantage and improve your visibility with the American people. Your reputation couldn’t get any worse. All polls indicate there is support for these actions.

If you’re really gutsy, resuscitate the “Grand Bargain” discussed in the past between Obama/Boehner. That was shot down when Boehner couldn’t deliver because of the tea party. Use the Simpson/Bowles ideas to reduce all taxes, business and personal, by completely revising the abominable tax code. You will become beloved for your accomplishment.

Get it done.

Richard E. Haan


Quit the demonizing

I have to comment on the political cartoon published in the Feb. 11, Record-Eagle that showed an inflated scarecrow labeled “Agri-Biz Subsidies” next to a thin scarecrow labeled “Food Stamps.” The comment from the fat scarecrow was, “I got stuffed! What did you get?” The thin one says, “This Nice Shaft.”

This is a distortion of the facts.

According to the Feb. 8 issue of “The Economist” the bill is glutted with pork and, they state, “ … House Republicans who wished to treat food stamps (which account for 80 percent of farm-bill spending) and agricultural subsidies separately.”

The article also states, “ … cuts to food stamps actually amounted to a mere 1 percent over 10 years compared with an earlier version. And the big picture is that food-stamp spending has exploded since 2000.”

This is certainly not draconian.

I just wish people would quit demonizing those who try to find fiscal responsibility as being cruel and hard-hearted whenever the subject of managing welfare and entitlement expenses comes up.

If you are interested in an unbiased view of the Farm Bill I suggest you read The Economist’s article.

Robert C. Feague

Traverse City

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