Congress and their big-boy pants
There is much talk in the news of late about how the Republicans are going to shut down the government. For some reason, I had the idea that the government has been shut down for the past four or five years. I say that because the voters sent Obama to Washington to lead the nation during some very troubled times. But, he seems to spend much of his time either planning his many family vacations, or jet-setting around the world telling all the world leaders how sorry we are for being Americans.
As for Congress members, they seem to spend most of their time in-fighting and never agreeing. Everyone knows we have some very serious problems in this nation. Problems that requires our government to pull together as one in hopes of heading off many more serious problems. Its time for our president to start leading, and those in Congress need to put on their big-boy pants and start doing the job that the voters sent them to Washington to do.
If they don't, yes the government will be shut down. However, if that happens the picture will not change much from what we have now.
Jerry Proctor, Colorado Springs
A danger to the country
An open letter to Rep. Doug Lamborn:
My sister has been in an abusive marriage for 20 years. She has been waiting for the Affordable Care Act to take effect before she gets a divorce, because that is the only way she will be able to afford health insurance as a single woman. But you and other Republicans in Congress would shut down the U.S. government rather than let the law take effect. Unbelievable. I am not a Democrat or a Republican but I see today's tea party Republicans, like you, as a danger to the country and to the common welfare. I hope to God you are voted out of office.
Anne Marie Holen, Salida
Sounds like the old stormwater fee
Lets see if I have this right. City Council wants to increase our property taxes to cover the cost of stormwater.
Mayor Steve Bach is pushing for the creation of a regional funding that will collect fees - sounds like the old stormwater fee to me.
So would someone tell me what happened to all the new pickup trucks and equipment that was part of stormwater. Has the city collected all the outstanding fees from storm waters past, I think not.
Our current and former elected officials in Denver want to undo TABOR, cause they can't do their job. They just want to be able to raise our taxes without having to ask the tax payers.
We already have people who have lost there home to foreclosure because they lost their jobs. We have some people who are just trying to hanging on, not to include those who are struggling with the Waldo Canyon and Black Forest fires and now all the homes lost to floods.
I understand the need for stormwater, but make it a sales tax so everyone, to include visitors from out of state, help pay for the cost of stormwater.
We need to fix so many things in this city that affect us daily, not a new baseball stadium or visitor center, those can all come later.
You say we need more shopping visitors downtown, so why not clean up the place and make it safe for all.
John Thordsen, Colorado Springs
What level of poverty is a nonissue?
I find it interesting that Barry Fagin wrote his Sept. 26 column shortly after the Republican majority in the House voted to decrease food stamp funding. Critics of the food stamp program assert that if a person is "employed" food stamps should not be necessary. Those critics obviously have not been faced with feeding a family while earning minimum wages. You made the statement that poverty in the sense of having material things is not much of an issue in America anymore. Well, how about poverty in the sense of children in this country going to school hungry. Is that also a nonissue?
I've been very fortunate in that I've never gone hungry or lived in homes that weren't both safe and comfortable. I don't begrudge anyone a decent home or the necessities of modern life such as stove, microwave, refrigerator, washer, dryer, heating and cooling. I would think a cellphone and a computer also fit that category if we expect the impoverished to succeed in education and obtaining employment. Is it possible that these "material things" as you refer to them were provided by a single mother working two jobs? And let's compare apples to apples. My parents were both college educated and made a comfortable living but yet my mother washed clothes in a ringer washer and hung them out to dry summer and winter (in Iowa).
What was once considered a "luxury" when we were growing up (in my case, the 1950s) has become a necessity. If the U.S. Census is to be believed, 94 percent of those living below the poverty level are satisfied with their housing. You say, "they ought to be" since most are bigger than the average European home. I seriously doubt that house size necessarily equates to safety, security, comfort and quality. A large house can be a slum without heat, A/C and overrun with rats and cockroaches.
You ask what fraction of the national average is an acceptable standard of living and then comment that it depends on one's level of socialism. Well, call me a socialist or just a compassionate human being, but as far as I'm concerned the only acceptable standard of living for anyone in this country is no less than what I want for my children and grandchildren. We love to refer to ourselves as the "greatest country in the world" and as "exceptional." Let's prove it.
Sharon Beaman, Colorado Springs