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Letters to the Editor 9/13/18

Not a good use of taxpayer money

Regarding your article, “Byway committee votes for Callicoon visitors’ center”:

The building and real property in question is located in Callicoon, NY and it belongs to the New York, Susquehanna and Western Railroad, which the article did not mention.

To me there is a problem spending taxpayers’ dollars through public works grants and/or any municipal funding to improve any and all real property that belongs to a for-profit business that has already sought and received generous tax abatements through the county IDA.

Tony Ritter

Narrowsburg, NY


Where are the Republican deficit hawks?

For decades, Republicans have accused everyone but themselves of “tax and spend.” They say the country’s deficit is unsustainable, telling us to “balance the budget!” 

The Federal Office of Management and Budget projects that the deficit for fiscal 2019 will be $1.085 trillion. Within 10 years, it is projected that our national debt will equal our GDP, meaning every single dollar this country creates has to be used to pay back someone else, leaving nothing for defense, education, healthcare, infrastructure maintenance—not even military parades. 

Other examples of this practice of unlimited borrowing, financed by printing money, as this country is now doing, can be found in Venezuela and Zimbabwe. Venezuela’s inflation rate, projected by the International Monetary Fund, will reach one million percent by the end of this year. Venezuela’s national debt is 23% of its GDP in 2017. Zimbabwe stopped printing its currency due to excessive inflation, and switched to the United States dollar. If the United States of America experiences excessive inflation, are we to switch to the Russian ruble or the Chinese yuan? 

Chairman of the Federal Reserve, Jerome H. Powell, says the current fiscal policy is on an “unsustainable path.” All the advanced economies of the world are projected to reduce their debt-to-GDP ratio in the next five years, except this country, where we are increasing our debt-to-GDP ratio. 

Where are those Republican deficit hawks now that the country needs them?

Dixie Rich

Milford, PA


Super-rich electing themselves

The $1.5 trillion Trump tax cuts are unlocking tens of millions of dollars in campaign donations from the super rich and corporations. Exorbitant sums of money are pouring into the Congressional Leadership Fund, a “super PAC” whose objective is to denigrate and attack Democratic candidates. Into this fund, casino magnate Sheldon Adelson has poured $30 million from his $700 million windfall from the Trump tax cuts. Timothy Mellon, chairman of a collection of companies, has given $24 million. Valero Services, the oil refining company that received a $1.9 billion benefit from the Trump tax cuts, gave $1.5 million.

Over a quarter of the funds come from American Action Network, an entity that does not reveal identities of its donors. How convenient the super-rich expending millions of dollars to elect their hand-picked candidates who, in turn, write tax laws to benefit the super-rich. Meanwhile, who in Washington, DC is watching out for you and me?

Ronald Short

Lackawaxen, PA


America was always great

During Sen. John McCain’s funeral service, his daughter Meghan delivered an impassioned eulogy to her father, saying, “The America of John McCain has no need to be made great again, because America was always great.”

Meghan McCain knows better than anyone that her father personified the great values America has exemplified to the world: decency, fairness and concern for others. When countries were menaced by despots such as Hitler and Hirohito, America stepped in to save the world from their bullying and abuse.

John McCain paid dearly when he fought in Vietnam and was a prisoner of war. No American can achieve greater sacrifice. John McCain returned home to continue his service to the country he loved. He treated everyone with decency and fairness. His belief of bi-partisanship was demonstrated through the long list of legislative initiatives he co-sponsored with colleagues from across the aisle.

He was the best example of a member of the GOP: the Grand Old Party. How grand is his party at this moment of his passing? Does it exemplify decency, fairness and concern? John McCain dedicated his life to the service of his country. Is the GOP working in service to our country, or are they only focused on the party’s agenda?

One key phrase from Meghan’s eulogy is: “…because America was always great.” Was? Is America no longer great? From the insults spewing out of the White House directed at world leaders and other world citizens, I challenge each Republican to give an honest answer to that question and consider their actions.

Alice-Jane Loewrigkeit

Shohola, PA


What if it were your child?

Your six-year-old little girl stripped away from you, taken away and stuffed into a cage, while you’re whisked away to face almost certain death from gangs or your own government, never to see her again…

That we have descended into the depths of nationalism that allow our ethos to ignore the plight of human despair really makes me wonder what was going through the minds of rational people in Germany in the early 1930s. Did they distance themselves from the hysteria that was fast becoming reality thinking, that this too shall pass? People who are fleeing gangs or repressive governments are supposed to be welcomed here to the country whose iconic statue welcoming visitors in New York harbor says, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”

Many of these people are victims of U.S. policies that support tyrannical dictatorships around the globe and the “war on drugs” that has lined the pockets of private prisons and given unprecedented power to drug lords in Latin American countries. So they risk death to come to the country that has created their plight. Their reward is to have their children stolen from them and for them to be shipped off, like slaughterhouse fodder, to a hostile nation.

This is not the United States of America. John Faso supports these anti-American policies. Antonio Delgado will help bring back sensible immigration laws into our Congress. Let’s vote for what really makes America great: supporting what makes us strong and not looking for scapegoats to support shallow politicians and mega-corporations who profit from their misery. 

Kevin McDaniel

Hurleyville, NY


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