Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

October 17, 2013

Oct. 17, 2013: Letters to the editor

Kokomo Tribune

---- — Republicans doingcountry a service

The whole default conversation in the government is nothing but scaremongering. The U.S. is not in danger of defaulting, unless the administration actually chooses to do so.

The government will collect more than $3 trillion in taxes this fiscal year. The national debt requires about $450 billion to be kept current and not in default. So you can see that there is plenty of money available to keep the United States current with its indebtedness.

The money the U.S. wants to keep borrowing only goes to make government bigger and more intrusive in our lives. If the borrowing limit is reached without a deal, the administration will be forced to set some priorities and pay the most important things.

I have no doubt it will choose not to pay the things most important to the American people, just like it did with closing the national parks, in order to inflict the most pain and fear. These tactics are tyrannical.

The Republicans are doing the country a service if they don’t give in and get spending cuts to help reduce government intrusion. Of course, the mainstream news media won’t tell the country that default is nothing to be worried about because they don’t want to blow Obama’s cover.

James D. Boyd, Ph.D.


Minnesota speecha ‘judgment error’

Editor’s note: This letter first appeared in the Journal & Courier of Lafayette.

I read carefully the Journal & Courier editorial about a speech I gave recently, along with similar critiques from others, and I find them persuasive. Accepting this particular invitation was a close call, and I conclude that better judgment would have been to decline.

I would like to assure those concerned that I gave a scrupulously nonpartisan speech, as I had told the hosts was a requirement of my acceptance. Its themes were how to deliver basic services effectively, how to bring people together across political lines, the importance of civility in public discourse, and the centrality of social mobility and opportunity for the yet-to-haves in our society as goals of public policy.

I complied with every rule of university policy and with every rule of my contract. For what it’s worth, I will use the honorarium to help fund the two full tuition scholarships that Cheri, my wife, and I are providing to Purdue students in each entering class.

But facts and rules aren’t the determining factor here. Perceptions, and understandable misperceptions, matter even more.

At least for now, I am receiving an extraordinary number of opportunities to bring Purdue to the attention of important and influential audiences like the one in Minneapolis, and I consider that a significant part of my job. I try to weigh in each case the opportunity vs. any downside as to appearances, and have turned down dozens on that basis.

On reflection, this invitation should have fallen on that side of the line. I accept the validity of the criticism and will try to avoid similar judgment errors in the future.

Mitch Daniels

Purdue president