Saturday's Letters to the Editor
Published: Saturday, December 29, 2012 at 3:00 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, December 28, 2012 at 6:44 p.m.
Our paper is back
EDITOR: While recently thumbing through my great-grandmother’s scrapbook, I came across newspaper clippings like the following from 1941: “Virginia W. is up from San Jose where she is attending college. She is assisting at A.H. Bosworth’s Store for the holidays.”
Though I don’t anticipate quite that degree of specificity, I do hope for fuller coverage of local news with the return of the PD to local ownership. Indeed, as I’ve read through various letters to the editor these last weeks, I’ve been struck by the renewed sense of hope among your readers — this sense that we’ve got our paper back.
And thank you, too, for your latest serial story, “Xmas SR ’06.” What a lovely gift to your readers, especially as we struggled with the heartbreak of Newtown. Here’s to a kinder and gentler 2013.
EDITOR: I am deeply saddened by the horrific shooting at the elementary school in Connecticut. Having children of my own, I cannot imagine what the parents and families are going through. I wonder how I can protect my children. I think our nation is having a mental health crisis. I think we are wrongly focusing on gun control, however, not the core issue, which is mental illness.
Yes, gun control should be discussed, but what we need to look at in depth is how we can help those with mental illnesses so this kind of thing doesn’t happen again.
I believe a step in the right direction would be to enact Laura’s Law at the federal level. There may be opposition, but I think we, as a nation, need to see the greater good and do what is right for the majority of the people. This law would give families some control and some way to help loved ones get the medication and professional help they need. Won’t you please join me in writing to our senators to get this law passed?
EDITOR: Here’s a solution to the monstrous killings that have been occurring that would suit the National Rifle Association and other gun supporters: make guns mandatory for all who serve the public, including teachers, doctors, nurses, movie ushers, restaurant workers, etc. And why not arm the kids, too, while you’re at it? Self-defense, they call it. That way everyone has a chance of survival.
But wait. Isn’t that how we got here?
A different path
EDITOR: The tough negotiations by President Barack Obama and the Republicans that has been transferred from the House of Representatives to the Senate needs a different path to succeed.
I believe that the time frame from the Nov. 6 elections to solving the fiscal cliff was too close after a very contentious election. Obama and the Democrats see a mandate while the Republicans see themselves voted back to the House of Representatives with a large margin of 33 seats for the next Congress. Plus the Republicans increased the number of governors in their party and now have 30 governors versus 19 for Democrats.
The federal fiscal year is almost three months old, so here is an easy solution. Pass a temporary one-year $75 billion tax increase with a $75 billion in real spending cuts. That would decrease the projected federal deficit from $1 trillion to $850 billion for the current fiscal year.
The fiscal cliff spending cuts get pushed out. If the president and Congress cannot come up with a long term plan by Sept. 30, 2013 (end of the federal fiscal year), then all of the Bush tax cuts expire and the fiscal cliff spending cuts kick in. Remember those nasty Bush deficits of $400-500 billion? This country would take them in a heartbeat.
Too much austerity
EDITOR: I’m afraid the recent report of the Sonoma County Economic Development board may be overly optimistic in view of the national situation, in which the “austerians” have demanded efforts to reduce the deficit now. The administration has little choice but to comply.
Nobel laureate Paul Krugman, who writes biweekly newspaper columns and the recent book “End this Depression Now” has urged us to remember the lessons of the Great Depression, which, after an early partial recovery, fell back into recession when President Franklin Roosevelt tried to balance the budget in 1936 and was not fully overcome until the massive government spending in the buildup prior to World War II.
The huge deficit that ensued was gradually overcome without much pain in the postwar years as the recovered economy provided increased revenue and the modest inflation reduced the debt. Krugman’s argument to continue stimulus spending until we recover certainly makes sense (to me) but, unfortunately, seems to be ignored nationally.
THOMAS J. VECCHIO
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