Everywhere we look today we see stories of cutting: Medicaid, Social Security, health care, public employee wages and benefits, infrastructure maintenance, hospital and nursing home services, police, fire and education services ... all under the auspices of addressing our deficit and our failing economy. Nowhere do we see stories of how the rich and powerful have had their tax breaks revoked. No, we hear about even more tax breaks for this 1 percent of our nation with huge efforts to make them perpetual at our nation's capitol.
Monumental efforts have gone into trying to compute just how much the government can take from the other 99 percent without provoking a major uprising from our middle class and poor. But what about the efforts to compute and put into action the revocation of tax breaks that this 1 percent currently enjoys in order to eliminate our nation's outrageous budget deficit? I haven't seen any of this here in Idaho or elsewhere.
Therefore, I respectfully suggest a computation that might be fair and acceptable: For every dollar cut from services to those of us in the 99 percent, there must be at least $100 of tax breaks revoked for the rich and powerful. If the government wants to cut $10 million in Medicaid services, it must also revoke $100 million in tax breaks to the rich and powerful. My guess is that would put quite a dent into the deficit.
--Bedford Boston, Caldwell
I see a lot of news about environmental problems and challenges facing us in the 21st century, such as pollution, climate change and the decline and extinction of thousands of plants and animals every year. We are in a biodiversity crisis: the sixth major mass extinction of life on Earth (mnimagesonline.com).
Rarely do I hear discussion of the underlying cause: the demands of nearly 7 billion people. I hear more about the wolf population than the human population. Growth and consumption are automatically treated as good things, no matter what the consequences. This narrow view ignores costs of unsustainable growth, consumption and limits of Earth's finite resources.
Nearly 50 percent of U.S. pregnancies--and about 40 percent worldwide--are unintended, resulting in millions of extra births every year.
If our children are to have a good quality of life, we must seriously begin to stabilize our population through education, empowerment of women and universal access to family planning and birth control. We need to increase, not decrease, funding for Planned Parenthood. We can and must stabilize our population for a quality of life for all living things, including people.
--Ron Marquart, Boise
Men of Honor
It's apparent what the elephant in the room is truly about when it comes to the Medicaid budget in Idaho: honor. In our male-dominated government, do we have honorable men in the Idaho Legislature and governorship who will act in rightness protecting the most vulnerable? Do we have men of character, courageous and strong enough to lead constituents, opening their hearts to higher purpose and serving the spirit of true love and compassion? Medicaid outreach is true compassion in action, and compassion is born of love. True love requires sacrifice. Civilization requires shared sacrifice to exist. Honorable men do not turn their backs on higher purpose and the laws of love. They're not willing to compromise themselves or others.
Wise leaders with heart will not rubber stamp callousness. Strong men do not walk out on their responsibilities to those who need their strength and protection. It's now quite apparent that choices are available that will easily produce the revenue to support Medicaid services to the vulnerable. We simply need to say yes to the obvious choices to accomplish that, and choose to say yes to our highest purpose and the laws of true love. Men, it takes courage. Is that something you have?
--William Martin Fowkes, Boise
Children spend more time with their teachers than they do with either their friends or parents. Also, it's pretty much a given that the percentage of left-leaning teachers in Idaho is much greater than left-leaning citizens overall. You know who I'm talking about: Birkenstock wearing, Volvo driving hippies who just can't refrain from pushing their values on our kids. They call it "science, humanism and enlightenment." I call it atheist commie politics. If we go with Tom Luna's plan, there will be larger class sizes and more classes by laptop, which means our children will spend less time with these subversives, thus weakening their influence. Also, fewer of our kids will be inspired (or allowed) to attend college, and we all know what hotbeds of revolutionary thought those places are. Go Looney!
--Paul Thomas, Boise