Letters to the Editor - Dec. 15

December 15, 2012

Time for blame game in Washington is over

To the editor:

With all due respect to Mr. Guessford, Mr. Craig, Mr. Buhrer and Mr. Powell, can we stop playing the blame game and actually find some solutions? Spouting Democratic talking points and liberal hyperbole might make you feel better, but the sad fact is both parties have brought this country to its present state. I’ll go first and offer my five-point plan, and you can feel free to do the same. You might say my ideas are naive or simplistic, but it’s usually the simple ideas that take hold. So here goes.

1. Freeze all government spending at 3 percent growth over the next five years. With baseline budgeting, you have some departments growing at 15 to 18 percent each and every year. This would not be a cut, but a reduction in the rate of growth.

2. During those five years, do a top-to-bottom independent audit of every government agency and function to locate waste, fraud, abuse, inefficiency, ineffectiveness and redundancy.

3. Limit Congress members to 12 years total — six House terms or two Senate terms or a combination (provided they get re-elected that many times). Implement 20-year limits on federal judiciary positions.

4. Raise the eligibility age for Medicare and Social Security to 70 for anyone born after 1960 (yes, that would affect me).

5. Institute means testing for all government programs.

Here’s a bonus idea. Scrap the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and replace its 2,700 pages with this one page proposal: “The American people, either through direct purchase, employer participation or government subsidy will be able to obtain the same health care plan as members of Congress.”

The time for blame and political theater is over. I doubt if anyone in Washington is reading The Herald-Mail for solutions, but if we offer them in this format maybe something will actually find its way there. I can dream, can’t I?

David S. Wilkinson
Martinsburg, W.Va.

Young people give us hope for a bright future

To the editor:

Where does the time go? Thanksgiving is over; well the day is, but hopefully not the meaning. One day is just not enough for giving thanks for all we have. Among the many blessings we have are the children and teens.

Take Veterans Day, for example. Our American Legion does a program in the square of Sharpsburg and the fourth- and fifth-graders walk blocks to attend. We also attend a veterans program at Boonsboro High. Every year, the 11th- and 12th-graders attend, and they are the most respectful, thoughtful group. Many thank the veterans or give a balloon to the wives. A nice young man showed us where to park so we didn’t have to walk so far. The band and chorus do a fantastic job with their talents and the chorus even comes to Sharpsburg for our program. What a comfort knowing they will one day run our country. Young people don’t get enough credit. Sure there are bad ones, but there are bad adults, too. Thank you to the parents, teachers and volunteers who encourage them.

As we get ready for Christmas, let’s try to slow down and enjoy it more. Don’t let the rude people or the stress get to you. A smile or nice comment is an inexpensive yet wonderful, lasting gift. I got a great gift when someone wrote in Mail Call once to compliment something I had written. What a kind gesture. Thank you.

Take a walk or drive and see all the pretty decorations, sing some carols, send a card to someone who doesn’t get out much or get many visitors, or attend a children’s church or school program. Our elementary school students walk to the square to decorate the trees with their homemade ornaments. There is nothing like the sound of a child’s laughter.

Please don’t forget those who have an empty chair at their table this holiday season. Say a prayer for them. What a great gift it would be if our military were all home safe and sound. God bless you all and Merry Christmas.

Darlene Hoffman

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