Las Vegas Sun

March 29, 2015

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Letter to the editor:

Lawmakers need to listen to voters

As reported Thursday, the House of Representatives in Washington is conducting “business as usual.” Even though, as lawmakers will acknowledge, the American people have grown tired of the more than 10-year war in Afghanistan, they voted to continue combat operations, with an overwhelming 303-113 vote. The vote to continue the war was during the debate over the $642 billion defense budget.

So here in America, taxpayers, who obviously want this unwinnable war to end, get stuck with a enormous defense budget, of which a large portion will be used for the war. This also comes as programs in this country, such as Social Security and Medicare, are on the brink of collapse. Obviously, our elected representatives think they’re smarter than those of us who put them in office. If they won’t listen to us, then we must let them know that we are the people of this country and vote them out!

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  1. "Obviously, our elected representatives think they're smarter than those of us who put them in office."

    Don't worry, they are smarter than you. In this case, the defense budget has to plan for the war continuing on past this October 1st which is the first day of the new fiscal year.

    "The bill cites significant uncertainty in Afghanistan about U.S. military support and says that to reduce the uncertainty and promote stability the president should "maintain a force of at least 68,000 troops through Dec. 31, 2014, unless fewer forces can achieve United States objectives."
    The United States currently has 88,000 troops there. President Barack Obama envisions a final withdrawal of U.S. combat troops in 2014. Earlier this month, he signed an agreement with Afghan President Hamid Karzai on the role of America forces in counterterrorism and training of the Afghan military. The president insisted that the U.S. combat role was winding down."

    Read more:

  2. I didn't know there are over 300 Republicans in the House. Everyone knows that no Democrat would ever vote for that bill.

  3. There is a disconnect between elected representatives and those of us who sent them to Washington. This must end. We have to keep throwing out the rogues until we get the ones in there who are responsive.

  4. A few years ago congressional Republicans stopped efforts to withdraw troops from Iraq despite opinion polls showing 2/3 of us favored withdrawl. We should be used to this by now.

  5. Maybe we should get war mongers like old Sheldon to pay for the war; he's spending that citizens united money like it's going out of style.

  6. The war effort in Afghanistan is winding down and we will be out of there in 2014.We had all the right in the world to respond back to Osama Bin Laden. Who has been attacking our country's interests all over the world and finally hitting us at home on our own soil. If former Pres.G.W.Bush had not ventured off into invading Iraq we would have finished off in Afghanistan years ago.For all he did we paid a heavy price in blood and treasure,may god forgive him.

  7. Is Congress getting dumber?

    "Think members of Congress act like a bunch of high school students? You might be on to something. A recent study from the Sunlight Foundation found that members of Congress tend to speak at about a 10th-grade level."

    Some interesting factoids from the Sunlight Foundation's study:

    --"Prior to 2005, Republicans on average spoke at a slightly higher grade level than Democrats. Since then, Democrats have spoken on average at a slightly higher grade level than Republicans."

    --On average, Congress members who are moderate speak at a higher level. Those on the far right and left speak at a lower level.

    --Don't assume you speak at a higher level than your representative. The average American speaks between an eighth- and ninth-grade level.

  8. What is the definition of insanity? Doing the same things over and over again and expecting different results. The really BIG question: WHO are the truly capable and qualified candidates that can be used to replace the useless duds we have in our government?

    Like commenter Bob Jack notes, "There is a disconnect between elected representatives and those of us who sent them to Washington. This must end. We have to keep throwing out the rogues until we get the ones in there who are responsive." And Carmine D sort of frames the insanity of it all with, "First rule of politics, get elected. Second rule, get re-elected. Unless and until American voters realize these two rules, and act [vote] accordingly, Congress and the President will not change their ways. In fact, they will become worse."

    Even with the information age, we are fed so much information and disinformation that one begins to feel a great sense of futility wondering if anyone exists who can truly lead, govern, and direct our country and its destiny.

    I noticed the trend that most young people completely avoid social studies, government, and even student body activities due to the overwhelming frustration they have with current events. That is a real bad sign in my mind. They are our future leaders, workers, and consumers. We have LOST our country when we lose them!

    Blessings and Peace,

  9. Vernos,

    There are stupid people in Congress to be sure, but most of them are anything but stupid. Selfish? Yes. Stupid? No.

    Look at all the things not done and the real reason is always the same, for both R's and D's:

    Nothing done to address SS and Medicare. Deficits not addressed in any serious way. Still involved in wars a majority of the public wants ended. Debt allowed to continue to grow. No action to re-write income tax code. No Real cuts in government spending and no real tax increases on all Americans, etc, etc, etc. For heaven sakes, we get no budgets, we get sequestration because Congress won't do its job. It's rediculous!

    The REAL reason Congress has stopped working isn't due to R's, isn't due to D's, isn't do to the Tea Party, etc. It is simply because doing any of these things is viewed as too hard and unpopular - and would risk the re-election chances of people in Congress. The people we have in there on all sides simply value their position and their party too highly. They will not take the risk of an unpopular action that could not easily be blammed on the other side, so we get what we have.

    We need a President that will have the courage to call out Congress. Bush wouldn't do it. Obama won't do it and I doubt if Romney will do it.... but it needs to be done.


  10. And it's not just the "wars". Why are we supporting hundreds of thousands of American troops in Europe? Asia? Why are Americans paying for the European missile defense shield? Europeans have bought into endless social welfare programs for their citizens while Americans pay for their national defense. Greeks won't accept retirement above age 50 but we keep paying for them? We don't even audit or investigate (for fraud) non-Americans stealing benefits WITHIN the U.S.--alleged anchor babies borrowing cousin's birth certificates to claim they were born here. Illegal parents living off the benefits of birth-right "citizen" kids. If you refuse to defend or enforce your laws, you DON'T HAVE ANY.

  11. Roberta,

    I wish there were many more people like you that wrote into the Sun and that just were out in the general public.

    Many of the people that write to the Sun are so busy arguing that 'their' side is right and the 'other' side is wrong that they seem not to notice or care that our Congresses (both the R's and D's) do the things you mentioned.

    They approve spending here on the military and foreign aide that allows Europe to spend more on social programs and less on defense. They never tackle illegal immigration in a serious way. The defense budget is so huge because Congress sees it as ok that we are militarily involved all over the world, even in places fully capable of defending themselves.

    We sit here and argue over what to cut and what to tax while Congress (both sides) just wastes money all over the place and prints and borrows more and more.

    I think you see what I see but unfortunately too many Americans believe what the parties tell them, are completely buffaloed and stand by as Congress robs us all blind.



  12. Michael,
    I suspect you realize that I harbor no ill will to Mexicans or Greeks. They put their self interest first and we must also. We must allow, hopefully enable, our economy to turn around in a real way. And, we must keep enabling our economy. Like it or not, human "civilization" is not where we might think it is. We cannot just jump into a world economy and a one-world "nation" just like we cannot expect Afghanistan to leap from small feudal villages and warlords into a functioning republic or democracy. Go figure. So within the time that we are right now, let's make this nation, starting with our economy, whole. And then we can focus on equal rights for all genders, skin colors, and such WITHIN this nation. When we become an example to emulate, other nations may follow suit or they may choose to go another way. This would be so much more valuable than the "foreign aid" with strings attached that we dish out now. While males in Islam thank Allah for not being born a woman, I thank the cosmic I was not born in Iran.... Work with what you got. Let's not stay lost focusing on who is most to blame and who has more than me.... (poor grammar intentional.)
    Yo, and Michael, I get a good laugh when some posters accuse me of being so far right. Guess I'll take the pun as a compliment.

  13. Mr. Owen,
    If you've ever written or emailed a Rep, you'd know that they will answer their constituents. The responses are by staff, for sure. And the responses will explain how the Rep IS doing what is in your best interest whether or not you know it. And, your best interest is complicated and your Rep has to FIGHT all those of another party. I've communicated, sometimes with a Senator who sees the world a whole lot differently than I do. I am curious how so many "intelligent" adults think we can keep giving away the store when the cupboards are bare. I'm very good with numbers, and there is no way we can tax our way out of this.

  14. wtplv: Your dialogue makes the Sun cite stimulating. As individuals, it is imperative that we allow each other the same _____ (liberty, rights, consideration....) that we want or demand.

    I do read other posters--but not usually the blathers that go endlessly. My viewpoint is forever subject to evolution. Actually, I'm looking for that evolution--how to get government to work better and soon. A serious concern is getting people to accept realistic solutions. If we could all, most of us anyhow, walk in the same direction even if our strides are different, we can get this done.

  15. All it will take is a Taliban to blow up something/one in the USA and public support would be back. Just because we don't see it does not mean the threats are not there. I don't know how much money is spent on that war now but I sleep better at night because my tax dollars are at work protecting me. The defense budget is huge, the one just passed includes a 1.7% pay increase for military personal, about 53 billion for veteran health benefits and a bunch of money for planes, ships, etc meaning high paying jobs manufacturing, engineering, technical and more are produced because of it. Then those defense companies sell the products to other countries and more jobs are kept. If you were for bailing out GM you should be for a big defense budget! For the most part it is all stimulus! And we have the best protection possible with some hardware/software/machines/gadgets ending up in the public sector adding even more value.

  16. Roberta,

    For many people that write in to the Sun, if you favor E-Verify or any practical way to get control of illegal immigration, you are a total right wing zealot. That is nonsense of course. If you favor any changes to SS and Medicare, even for just future recipients, you're an uncaring right wing nut.

    I am also good with numbers but it shouldn't take an extremely bright person to realize we are slowly bankrupting ourselves and our debt cannot be eliminated by increasing taxes only on the rich. Since I am not rich, I actually wish the pipe dreams (Tax only the rich more) Obama and so many others put forth would actually work. Unfortunately, my intelligence tells me otherwise.

    Keep up the rational letters. We need them.


  17. Mr. Fritz,

    It is NOT a zero-sum game. Spending on defense does not provide jobs. The revenue wasted on the needless parts would be better spend rebuilding our infrastructure and "creating" jobs there. As for feeling safer, do you recall the cold war? Generals and staff spouted scare stories so we kept spending and they kept spending, until they lost it all. Looks like we're next, right after Greece, Spain, Italy, Ireland.

    Further, much of our forced dominance of every other country results in many thinking like the Taliban--they feel threatened and that offensive action is good defense. Yet, Peter, with the "state of things" we ignore our southern border and allow anybody and everybody to enter the country? We don't track foreigners entry and exit, let alone their location in our country, not even their planned location / residence / destinations. A few billions out of the "defense" budget needs to go into "homeland" security and get a real computer system to enable some tracking. p.s. SS and Medicare can be fixed with adjustments to the specific insurance / tax withholding by raising the income levels affected. Benefits can be adjusted or not paid to affluent and/or adjust the retirement age modestly based on year of birth. We COULD stop paying disability out of SS for those who have NEVER worked. But of course, this would take AN ACTION FROM CONGRESS. Can we get them to do ONE THING for the AMERICAN PEOPLE?