The middle-class well

has officially run dry

As a member of the shrinking middle class, I would like to let the ruling class and liberal media know the well is dry. Talk of the rich paying their fair share is bunk. It's always up to small business and the working class to pay the bill.

Since the 1970s we have witnessed the greatest redistribution of wealth in history. With the welfare state, endless regulation, free-trade agreements and elimination of the gold standard, we have neutered our ability to compete in the world. Our trade deficits are more than $700 billion yearly. Free trade is good, but when you add self-inflicted competitive disadvantages, bad things happen.

Our grandparents and parents could raise a family on a single income without a formal education. My generation was the first to require two-income families. My children's generation needs two college-educated earners to survive, with a debt load unimaginable a few years ago.

We need to decide. Will we wait for the inevitable trigger that will collapse our free enterprise system, or will we see our self-inflicted wounds for what they are?

We need only to go back to our constitutional roots, faith in God, morality and good old American know-how. Then we can begin recovery from our government's spending addiction by throwing the bums out of office and insisting on amendments to the Constitution for term limits and a balanced budget.

As to the sequester, how is it that over the past four years, with a yearly increase of government spending of nearly a trillion dollars, we have seen a stagnant economy and no visible increase in services? And now with a reduction of spending of just $85 billion, there are warnings of drastic cuts in services and massive layoffs. Some of us are not sheep.



By protecting wilderness,

we can enrich our lives

People grow older, but the Pine Barrens stays the same. Its beautiful trees and enchanting atmosphere make you feel at home. As you close your eyes and stay at peace, you feel the soil beneath your feet, catch the fresh scent of air hinted with pine and sweet cool rain and hear, in the background, a symphony of birds singing a song without a care in the world, as it should be. Trees are not just for paper, rivers are not just for fishing, and flowers are not there just to look pretty. We need the Pine Barrens because it provides a home for wildlife and is an economic driver for local communities.

This wilderness protects watersheds that supply drinking water to cities and rural communities. It also helps improve the quality of air. We can help preserve wilderness areas by using renewable energy, such as wind and solar, which also help stop global warming and provide alternatives to fossil fuel. Protecting wilderness areas preserves habitat and brittle ecosystems from the negative effects of pollution, logging, oil and gas drilling, and road building.

In 1964, the Wilderness Act was signed by President Lyndon B. Johnson. The act created the National Wilderness Preservation System, which manages the nation's protected wilderness areas. Since then, Congress has declared nearly 110 million acres of federal wildlands as official wilderness. We can work with local partners to safeguard unprotected areas from development so their wild character is not lost. Even doing the simple stuff, such as recycling and reducing energy use, can lessen the impact that is felt on the environment and can help wildlife. Our wilderness, the Pine Barrens, is a paradise, priceless and waiting for you.


Galloway Township

Sequester is a failure

of leaders' common sense

Regarding Charles Krauthammer's March 3 column, "Liberals fear a sequester in which nothing bad happens":

Anyone who did not read this should. Krauthammer really nailed the essence of the sequester debacle.

This is a very sad time in our political history. Ben Stein's commentary on the March 3 CBS television show "Sunday Morning" was very good too. Stein said Congress and President Barack Obama should get back to work and come up with a compromise to avoid the stupidity of the sequester.

Hopefully our political leaders will take heed and exercise the common sense the American people deserve.



A.C. wrestler's story

was inspirational

Regarding the March 1 story, "A.C. teen pins adversity":

Thank you for the story on Atlantic City High School wrestler Cesar Balmaceda. It was truly inspirational to see how a young man who had such a challenging start has changed his life around.

He is lucky to have such supportive family members, friends, coaches and mentors to help and encourage him.

It is impressive that Balmaceda has been able to focus on his sport, turn his educational life around and set goals for himself. He sounds like a remarkable young man and one who will find success.


Ocean City