Democracy in U.S.
becoming a plutocracy
The April 3 editorial, "Reforming state authorities/Take politics out," was right on the money.
Voters need to realize that we are quickly losing our democracy to a government that is more like a plutocracy, under which a small minority of wealthy people actually rule and make decisions that affect the average person negatively.
We should not only restaff the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey with people nominated by public interest groups, we should also put a halt to presidents appointing federal prosecutors because of their ability to raise campaign funds for the president.This is the avenue that gave us Chris Christie as our governor. Voters should know and remember that before becoming governor he was a powerful lobbyist in Trenton who fought regulations on the gas and electricity industries.
Now the conservatives on the Supreme Court have ruled that there should be no overall limits on campaign donations. This is the second recent ruling that blocks any attempt to control the influence of money in elections. Perhaps we should also evaluate how lifelong Supreme Court justices are appointed as well.
Democratic voters need to wake up and vote in every election - the midterms in November and all presidential elections.
The April 1 letter, "Facts show Obama has improved things," must have been an April Fools' Day joke.
The writer states that the auto companies have repaid all of the loans with interest. But in December, the federal government sold the last of its General Motors stock at a loss of $10.5 billion - hardly a great deal for the taxpayers.The writer states the jobs picture has improved, but he doesn't mention that income and wages have stagnated and poverty has worsened under Barack Obama.
Regarding Benghazi, rather than blaming Republicans in Congress for the consulate not being protected, I suggest he do some research. He will discover that when State Department officials were specifically asked whether financial issues played a role in the attack, the answer was "no."
LoBiondo doesn't vote
to help constituents
U.S. Rep. Frank LoBiondo, R-2nd, claims independence yet votes 86 percent of the time with fellow Republicans. His rhetoric is full of support for constituents, but his voting speaks another truth. One of his latest votes helped defeat an increase in the minimum wage, not the first time he has done so.
LoBiondo helped President George W. Bush introduce Medicare Part D to his district's seniors, knowing that the plan had a $3,000 coverage gap, did not use government power to buy drugs in bulk at a discount and prohibited the reimportation of drugs that could save money. He voted numerous times to kill the Affordable Care Act, which would deprive millions of health care while offering no viable alternative. He also has voted to turn Medicare into a voucher program and privatize Social Security.
LoBiondo has morphed from civil servant to party hack, even praising the latest Supreme Court decision expanding Citizens United and giving even more power to the special interests he has come to represent. It is time for him to go.
Circus animal acts
When I saw the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus promos for its wild animal acts this month in Boardwalk Hall, my eyes filled with tears. It's easy to do a little research and see what cruelty these animals endure. They are chained unless performing. Between performances they are forced to ride for hours or days, isolated in hot or cold trailers. Bull-hooks are used liberally to "train" the elephant to do what it would not do, but must do out of fear to avoid the pain.
Elephants are sensitive, highly intelligent creatures, and they feel pain, fear and loss much as we do. Several countries and U.S. cities have already banned wild animal circuses due to the inherent cruelty involved. We can stop it now by not going to this or any other circus where wild animals are forced to perform. Take a stand against animal torture for entertainment.
Dems decreased deficit;
Republicans increased it
The national debt was roughly $1 trillion when President Ronald Reagan took office in 1981; when he left office in 1989, it was almost $3 trillion. His successor, President H.W. Bush, added another $1.5 trillion and left President Bill Clinton the largest yearly deficit in history up to that time - about $240 billion.
Clinton reduced the deficit every year he was in office and had surpluses his entire second term. He left his successor, President George W. Bush, the largest yearly surplus in history, with projected surpluses for the next 10 years. Bush never came close to a balanced budget, doubled the debt to $11 trillion and left President Barack Obama by far the largest yearly deficit of over $1.4 trillion.
Obama has cut the deficit by better than two-thirds during the second worst economic collapse in history. The bottom line is that the Democrats - Clinton and Obama - decreased the annual deficits while the Republicans increased the deficits. These are the facts that the conservative media fail to report or admit.