Letters to the Editor - March 16

March 14, 2011

Elections have consequences

To the editor:

Newly elected Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker (R) is proposing to cut wages and benefits for state workers and also to limit the power of their unions to bargain on behalf of it members (state employees).

Wisconsin is a test case for the GOP’s ideological agendas. If successful, it will set a precedent that can only be overturned by the courts or the ballot box. As states grapple with budget deficits, you will see more states doing what Wisconsin is proposing.

For those state workers who stayed home on Election Day in Wisconsin, this is one of the consequences of your selfish action. Congressional Republicans are pushing for drastic budget cuts for programs that are popular with the poor and children, while at the same time they are using political tactics to protect their base from the cuts.  

They are looking to cut $756 million from the WIC program, $2 billion for job training programs (with a 9 percent unemployment, $1 billion from Head Start/Early Start, $16 billion from school construction (while we are building schools in Afghanistan) $98 million for school nutrition programs and $96 million for mental health programs, as well as eliminating funding for Planned Parenthood and N.P.R. They are also proposing to cut $1.6 billion from the EPA or eliminate it altogether, but they defend $46 billion in subsidies (tax breaks) to the oil companies with gas prices hovering around $4 a gallon and billions of dollars in profit.

They plan to cut funding for some aspects of the financial regulation bill that was passed in July 2010. That bill will protect borrowers against abuses in mortgages, credit cards and other types of lending. The legislation also gives the government new powers to regulate derivatives and complex financial instruments.  

Sometimes you wonder where there priorities are; the GOP pushed for the extension of the Bush era tax cuts for millionaires, which added $36 billion into the deficit. Now they are looking to take money away from the middle class, the poor and children to eliminate the deficit. The next time you say “my vote does not count,” think about the consequences. The lack of action by the citizenry creates a government that is morally corrupt and dysfunctional.

Alicious S. Phillips
Martinsburg, W.Va.


A pox on the NFL, players’ houses

To the editor:

The article by Dan Thomasson in The (March 10) Herald-Mail, “A year off for NFL not a brain-jarring concept,” should be mandatory reading by every person on the negotiating teams for both the owners and players association.

It should be mandatory reading for all owners and players. With the huge amounts of money being generated every year, the league should be thinking about its fans who make it all possible.

It should be thinking about rolling back the cost of seats or at least stabilizing them. There should be contract provisions that would prevent another fiasco like the Haynesworth affair in Washington this past year. No one player should be worth $100 million.

This is not a sport anymore, it is a business and should be so regulated. The NFL and the players have brought it on themselves, so let it happen.
Jerry Gettler

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