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Letters to the Editor

April 12, 2010

Don't blame all of our problems on Democrats



To the editor:

A recent letter to the editor called for us to vote the Democrats out of office. All of our problems can be pinned on the Democrats, this writer claimed. Boy, someone needs a history lesson.

First, several recent Republican administrations have been responsible for an enormous expansion of our national government. During George W. Bush's eight years, the No Child Left Behind initiative imposed national educational standards on all public schools, a task formerly always left up to the discretion of the various states.

Next, the Medicare prescription drug benefit, signed into law by President Bush in 2003, while necessary in my opinion, will run well over $9 trillion into the red over the next 75 years. In fact, during Bush's administration, federal spending on domestic programs increased more than during any previous administration since Richard Nixon's tenure in the 1970s.

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Next, take a look at the national debt, the total amount our government owes. While many are furious with President Obama and the large deficits being predicted as a result of the bank bailout, stimulus bill, health care reform and other measures, in fact, the largest increases in our national debt have occurred during two Republican administrations - Ronald Reagan's and George W. Bush's.

During the Reagan years (1981-1989), the national debt rose from something under $1 trillion to more than $3 trillion. And during the George W. Bush administration (2001-2009), the national debt nearly doubled, from about $5 trillion to almost $10 trillion. The reason? Reagan and Bush tax cuts, the war in Iraq and the incredible amount of money spent on domestic and military programs.

In fact, the only yearly surpluses in recent years can be attributed to a Democratic president, Bill Clinton. In 2000, his last year in office, the government actually left a surplus of more than $260 billion to George W. Bush. Even Bush's father, President George H.W. Bush, pushed through a tax increase, mainly to deal with the threat of the growing national debt.

Many now condemn President Obama for the continued increase in our national debt. This is of great concern to me, too. We absolutely need to get this under control. But please don't tell me how Republicans are so fiscally conservative. It simply isn't true.

Finally, during the Bush years, we saw an eroding of the international prestige of this great country of ours, both because of the nebulous reasons for jumping into the war in Iraq and the use of torture during those years.

As a registered independent, I am not entirely satisfied with what is going on now in Washington. Perfection simply does not exist in any realm.

But I am proud to have President Obama representing me at our highest level of government. He is doing the best he can during a very difficult period in our history, and if he's nominated to run again in 2012, I will gladly give him another four years to continue putting our country back on the road to economic stability, and re-establishing the United States as the greatest nation on Earth. The Republicans have shown me absolutely nothing to move me to do otherwise.

Jeff Driscoll
Hagerstown




Who are real Americans?



To the editor:

Who and/or what is a real American?

While watching some news footage from a TEA Party gathering in our nation's capital, I saw a sign that one of the demonstrators was carrying that caught my attention, but I didn't think much about it until recently. The sign read, "Don't blame me, I voted for the real American."

While on my delivery route, I started to see similar signs on various businesses such as "American owned and operated," "American owned, clean and friendly" and "100% American owned and operated." This is the sign that started me thinking: "American owned and operated, we speak English."

What are these businesses and people trying to say or imply? If someone can tell me what this all means, please feel free to do so.

I would like to ask the editor of this paper to allow anyone who can give an honest answer to do so. Even if the reply is negative or offensive, please allow them to speak what is true and in their hearts.

America, where are we heading? Speak up. Who are real Americans?

Raymond Young
Hagerstown




Thanks for prayers following Targa's death



To the editor:

I wanted to take a moment to update people on how we have been since our dog, Targa, was taken from us in October.

First of all, we are all doing OK considering what we've been through. We have a new puppy named Oscar, and he has brought much joy back into our home. He will be 8 months old in a couple of days. My cats were none too happy about him at first, but they are getting along better now.

The primary reason for my letter is I wanted to speak to everyone who posted comments on The Herald-Mail's Web site regarding the shooting, the vet bills and everything else. I want you to know that, for me, reading the comments was very therapeutic and comforting. It warmed my heart and actually made it easier to deal with. There was so much support and love conveyed to us that even as I write this, I am tearing up.

We think of Targa every day and miss him terribly, but please know that you made a difference in my life and those of my children. We were able to witness the truly good side of people and it definitely restored my faith in humanity.

Thank you all from the bottom of my heart for your prayers, sympathies, concern and support. God bless you all.

Mary Gesford and family
Hagerstown

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