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Queens Chronicle

Letters To The Editor

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Posted: Thursday, August 4, 2011 12:00 pm

Not Obama’s fault

Dear Editor:

The July letter “Keep it down, chief” by Pat Whalen is a total distortion of President Obama’s leadership in the economic battle between Senate democrats and House republicans. Obama’s report to the nation speech was not a lecture. His press conferences reflected serious candid thoughts on various sides on this complicated crisis.

Remember, Ms. Whalen ... Presidents Reagan and Bush 43 raised the debt ceiling a total of 25 times.

You may be tired of Obama. Our president is also tired — tired of the mess Bush 43 left him in 2009: two long wars on credit, a debt increase of $6 trillion, two tax cuts costing $1 trillion and the worst recession since Hoover’s depression, causing a loss of 2.3 million jobs.

A closing throught-provoking question ... how would President John McCain have handled this debt ceiling crisis?

Anthony G. Pilla

Forest Hills

Savings = security

Dear Editor:

While this debt and spending issue has the appearance of an economic and political problem, if one realistically looks at the big picture, it’s a national security issue. As a consequence, party ideologies have to make room for a rational compromise for the good of the country.

Leaders such as Reps. John Boehner and Eric Cantor of the Republican Party cannot afford to conspire to collectively sacrifice our great country for political gain next year. We must look beyond that.

The reality is that our government routinely spends more money than it takes in, and therefore must borrow to pay all its bills. That’s undemocratic. If the responsible politicians are unable to calculate beforehand the drastic possible consequences of their actions first domestically and then internationally, they should look at our Constitution for answers.

I’m from the Vietnam era. We spent almost a trillion hard-earned tax dollars and 60,000 American lives there, and what did the American people get in return? Now we give our so-called ally Pakistan two-thirds of a billion of our tax dollars, and for what? One cannot buy friendship, love or even understanding unless, at a minimum, it’s mutual.

As a great nation we cannot continue to live on loans from abroad and simultaneously export democracy abroad. We have to live within our means first and foremost. Despite our making the Aug. 2 deadline to avoid default, foreign investors will demand higher interest rates for U.S. bonds, in turn raising interest rates for business and consumer credit.

We should have eligibility requirements for Medicare and Medicaid, gradually increase taxes on the wealthiest Americans so they pay their fair share, tax the foreign tourist ships that visit our shores as the Europeans and Japan do, and make them pay more for global stability and security.

We Americans are all in this together. Everyone has to play his or her part. We’re all part of the same country.

Alfred B. Rayo

Forest Hills

Obama caves again

Dear Editor:

I saw the flash on television that we finally have a debt deal on the table that both sides can agree too. Then, why did I have this sinking feeling in my stomach about it before I even read the details in the morning paper?

I had this bad feeling because every time I want President Obama and progressives to fight, they wind up caving in. It’s like backing a boxer that you know won’t win, but he’ll go the distance, lose the fight with a good excuse, and want you to back him the next time. No thanks, I want to bet on a fighter that goes in the ring saying, Dammit, I’m going the win!

Obama has continually disappointed real progressives on the big things that matter. He spoke a good game on healthcare reform. He insisted that a public option be in the final bill. Result? He caved in, and we don’t have a public option. We got good reform, but not the best we could have gotten.

Obama promised that Medicare costs would be substantially lowered by allowing for bargaining for lower drug prices. Result? He caved in to Big Pharma, the drug alliance, and Medicare pays retail for drugs, costing billions.

Obama the candidate said he would back unions and march to support them if need be. Result? Obama basically ignored the union-bashing problem in Wisconsin, and voters there are recalling electeds in order to stop Gov. Walker’s radical agenda.

Obama promised us real reform on Wall Street, but the final bill doesn’t even deal with derivatives, those worthless nasty little trading cards that essentially caused the market collapse. Obama and party caved in to big money.

Obama had a chance to stand up to the Republicans and the Tea Party and just invoke the 14th Amendment over the debt ceiling fight, but he didn’t. He didn’t even threaten to do it. The approval of the debt ceiling has been done matter-of-factly every year, but this year the Republicans connected it to the budget. Result? Obama fell for it and caved in.

I didn’t think I would ever in my lifetime see a Democrat even consider cuts to Social Security. That’s the essence of what we stand for. Yet Social Security is somewhere on the table. Nobody even talks about just raising the contribution levels to make it more sustainable.

I read Obama’s book, “The Audacity of Hope,” before he was elected. I really thought, wow, he’s solid progressive, with a good community activist fighting spirit background. He could turn this country around from all the failed Bush policies and the slide toward corporatism. It was a very hopeful book true to Democratic ideals. I would be delighted if Obama went back and read his own book, and then practiced what he wrote. I’d certainly like to go into these political battles without that sinking feeling in my stomach.

Tyler Cassell


Cut gov’t to the bone

Dear Editor:

The people of Nassau County have spoken, and they don’t want to borrow $400 million for a new Nassau Coliseum.

It is now easy to see what to do. For example, eliminate hundreds of jobs such as superintendents of schools, many clerks, state employees and small-town officials. Eliminate duplicate jobs from town to town, stop fake overtime and eliminate pension padding.

If the right cuts are made, you could build 10 coliseums with no borrowing.

Frank Blainey


Ugly new housing

Dear Editor:

Forest Hills is internationally recognized for its 100-year-old garden community of English Tudor architecture. Unfortunately, newly built residences and restorations do not reflect or respect the prevailing architecture of this unique community.

Sadly, Forest Hills is morphing into a polyglot of Disneyesque structures which become more grotesque with each new one that goes up. These residential circuses can now be viewed on both sides of Queens Boulevard. Step right up ...

Sona Kludjian

Forest Hills

Cheating the taxpayer

Dear Editor:

Did you know that with a SNAP food stamps benefit card you can buy cigarettes, alcohol or a nickel bag of marijuana, and your government doesn’t even care? They actually encourage you to apply for the card.

All you have to do after you buy your food is ask the cashier for $10, $20, $30 or maybe $40 cash, and she will give you the cash. It’s better than an ATM. No fees.

So after the food store, you’re off to the liquor store, and then somewhere else to pick up smokes. Who cares if they’re $10, $11 or $12 a pack? The government is buying them.

William Johnson


Editor’s note: The above practice is welfare fraud, which the city says should be reported to its Bureau of Fraud Investigation via (212) 274-5030 or bfifraud@hra.nyc.gov.

This is our forum

Dear Editor:

I have no disagreement with the expressions contained in Councilman Mark Weprin’s July 14 letter “Welcome immigrants,” withhis concerns about showingtolerance for South Asians in Queens.However, I do take issue ifthese thoughts are politically motivated rather than really original on his part.Considerthe fact that hisexact same letter appeared in many other Queens weekly newspapers over the past three weeks. These are known by original writers as “cut and paste” robo-letter classics.

I, like many of your ordinary regular readers,continue to begrateful that the Queens Chronicleoffersmean opportunity to express my views, along withothers of differing opinions.Thanks to you, ordinary citizens have the freedom to comment on the actions and legislation of elected officials.We do this on a voluntary basis on our own time and dimeon timely topics of the day.

Public officials, on the other hand, use taxpayer dollars to promote their views,via mass mailings of newsletters, news releases, letters to the editorand guest opinion page columns. In many cases, they are produced orwritten by campaign or office staffers paid for by taxpayers.The rest of us have limited timeto submit a letter.

Why not save your scarce space in your excellent Letters to the Editorsection for original submittals by your readers as opposed to canned promotions cleverly submitted by elected officials?Elected officials submit these so-called letters as part of their own public relations campaign. It is an ongoing effortto raise their own individual name identification with voters.They hope it will assist them inwinning another term in office orpromotion tohigher public office down the road.Why not ask them to take out a paid advertisement instead?

Larry Penner

Great Neck, LI

Welcome to the discussion.