Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

December 5, 2012

Letters to the editor - Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012


House should make proposal, go home

It is time for the Republicans in Congress to go home for Christmas. There is no sense in staying in Washington to be subject to Democrat whining.

The Republicans need to get some backbone. They need to come to the realization that the House of Representatives holds all of the cards. The power of the House is absolute. No appropriations of money for anything the federal government does happens without being initiated by the House of Representatives. No changes in the tax laws can happen without being initiated by the House of Representatives.

In other words, no compromise with or caving in to the Democrats is needed. The House of Representatives needs to pass the appropriations and tax bills they believe to be the right ones and send same along to the Senate. Let the Senate take the responsibility for blocking. The House needs to get on with its business on all sorts of matters without concern about what the president or the Senate thinks. Neither the president nor the Senate controls the purse. The House does.

The House needs to decide where government should be cut, then cut off the funding. The first place to start would be with all of the czars created by Obama. Maybe the next should be a cut in the amount of money available to the president for traveling like a rock star all over the place all of the time.

The president is not a king nor an emperor nor a dictator ... yet. He may want to be. It sure looks that way when he comes with a proposal that would give him unilateral power to raise the debt ceiling all by his little own self. What a completely arrogant thing to even suggest.

The “people power” resides in the House of Representatives. It is time for congressmen to act like it.

Kent Blacklidge, Ph.D., Kokomo

Going over fiscal cliff won’t cure us

In a recent Tribune column, Lane Filler, an editor at Newsday, wants to raise $4 trillion by letting us go over the “fiscal cliff.” He writes, “Letting these tax cuts go into effect would cause real pain. But don’t let the politicians sell us morphine when chemotherapy is the cure.”

Asking us to endure that pain is like cutting off the head of the goose that laid the golden egg. The real pain Lane refers to is recession, huge job losses, and possibly even economic depression. The $4 trillion in possible revenue would evaporate right along with jobs, tax revenue and people’s savings.

Since going over the fiscal cliff has no chance of solving the deficit, and leaving the Bush tax cuts in place would mean cuts in Social Security and Medicare, our politicians need to get to work on other solutions. They need to begin by raising taxes for earnings over $250,000, and creating a minimum tax for millionaires and billionaires, ensuring the ultrawealthy pay something.

While raising taxes on the upper incomes is not a total fix, there are many other big buck areas that should be considered along with the $700 billion raised taxing the wealthy. We’ve already saved $700 billion reining in Medicare abuses by health care providers, and another couple of trillion could be saved by ending two wars.

There are numerous ways to save $4 trillion with only a little pain for those in power, without again asking/telling the American people to bear it all while the wealthy skip happily on their way.

Larry Brooks, Kokomo