just gets in the way
Recently I saw two congressmen who disagreed on the possible cuts to entitlements talk it through in a seemingly rational manner and reach common ground. Encouraging, huh? Here's the punch line: They were both Republicans at their convention show in Tampa.
Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan have different views on various topics. But they say they are able to discuss these differences and find areas of agreement. It's a kumbaya moment.
Unless the dissenting voice belongs to a Democrat. In which case, the opposing opinion is demonized with manufactured bluster. Both parties are guilty of this phony baloney theater. Yet, often, both sides are relatively close in their opinions.
Take the issue of health care. If you look at President Barack Obama's insufficient plan and compare it with Romney's plan in Massachusetts, you will see many similarities. Romney says the difference is between a state policy and a federal one. While there is truth to that technical justification, he conveniently ignores the overwhelming fact that, philosophically, the two men are not very far apart. On the campaign trail he appears disgusted at the president's "takeover of the health care system." Do you think if he had those same differences with Paul Ryan he might work through it?
Our politicians care about one thing only: Power.
STEPHEN M. HECK
Ryan's budget ideas
Paul Ryan, the Republican nominee for vice president, has a staunch South Jersey ally in U.S. Rep. Frank LoBiondo, R-2nd.
LoBiondo twice voted for Ryan's budget plan, which would turn Medicare into a voucher system with no guarantees that seniors would be able to afford health care coverage. The plan would cut income taxes on corporations and the wealthy while it pokes giant holes in the safety net for Americans who struggle to make ends meet.
Sure, LoBiondo has tossed a few thousand federal bucks to a fire company here and a rescue squad there - and he made sure that everyone knew about each and every grant. But his voting record shows he does not have the interests of his constituents at heart.
LoBiondo is part of the do-nothing Congress that is focused more on unseating President Barack Obama and helping the rich than in passing legislation that would create jobs for hard-working Americans. This is while New Jersey's unemployment rate is higher than the national average - and the situation is worse in southern New Jersey than in the northern part of the state.
Democratic candidate Cassandra Shober will come to Congress and vote in the interests of the people, not those of wealthy corporate donors. She deserves your support.
Concerts were great,
toilets not so much
The free concerts that took place in Atlantic City all summer, especially those at Gardner's Basin, were beautiful. I have been to them all, with family and friends.
But I always had to stand in a long line to use the portable toilets. Please have someone come in and keep them clean. They are very dirty. Just a big mess.
And we need more of them on the streets. There was only one each for men and women. And please get some liquid soap. I hope by next summer they get more portable toilets.
We need money
on Earth, not Mars
NASA now has launched four rovers on Mars at a cost of billions of dollars. NASA employees were on TV, jumping up and down with glee. Now I read they want a mere $425 million more in tax dollars to explore Mars' core size, composition, temperature and wobble.
Please give us a break. People don't have jobs, are losing their homes, can't feed their kids and don't have affordable health care. Politicians want to cut Medicare and always talk about Social Security going broke.
Where should the priority be placed? With citizens on this planet who pay the taxes.
NASA projects should be put on hold. Mars can wait.
are not equal
Is it really both parties that are dragging our political process to such low levels? The political ads that Democrats have run say nothing false about Mitt Romney. They ask legitimate questions about his gaming the tax system while singing emotional tributes to America. The ads ask a simple question: Isn't it a sign of patriotism, when you are making hundreds of millions of dollars, to pay your fair share of taxes?
The ad so many people objected to asked tough questions about Romney's company, Bain Capital, and its practice of raking in huge profits while some workers at Bain-owned companies were left with no pensions and no health care insurance.
Now consider the television ads that PACs run by Karl Rove or the Koch brothers have spent millions of dollars running. Independent fact checkers have labeled many of these ads to be blatant lies.
These distortions and lies are being produced by the massive corporate-money PACs that are robbing our democracy of a fair election. Ask yourself why large corporations are pouring so much money into the Romney/Ryan ticket and you will then know if Romney will really be good for our economy and the middle class.
Stocks have done well
during Obama's term
Since the economy seems to be the main topic in the upcoming election, I offer the following statistics. These show the difference in the Dow Jones Industrial Average in the last three presidential terms:
Under Bill Clinton (1993-2001) the Dow gained 325 percent.
Under George W. Bush (2001-2009) the Dow lost 25 percent.
Under Barack Obama (2009-present) the Dow gained 65 percent.
While this is only one measure of the economy, I feel it's food for thought.
Egg Harbor Township
Romney, Ryan team
can stop downward spiral
President Barack Obama's biggest solution to our economic woes is "tax the rich."
Say what? Who's going to give us a job? I never worked for a poor person.
I'm worried about the inner-city problems - the druggies, the shootings, the robberies, in his hometown, Chicago, in Philadelphia every night on the news, in Atlantic City and Pleasantville and Camden and Newark. Our country is not only in a downward spiral economically, we are in the midst of a lawless downturn. I worry about the poor who have to live with this underbelly of society.
I believe Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are better suited for this moment. Both have an optimistic future outlook. Don't we need that now? Just in time.