Obama erred by putting
health reform first
With Democratic majorities in the Senate and House, newly elected President Barack Obama chose to make health care his signature program for his first term - a rookie blunder. With the nation in the throes of the worst economic recession since the Great Depression, he should have tackled jobs and the economy. We continue to suffer the consequences.
This president is smart but not wise. His vision stretches to Nov. 6.
Obama has stated that his concern is not so much with the current debt, but with the future debt. But if we don't start cutting down the current debt, how can we pay off the future debt? Not wise thinking.
Romney's tax plan
doesn't add up to a cut
I was crushed that President Barack Obama didn't counter Mitt Romney in the first debate when Romney discussed his proposed middle-class tax cut. Romney said we ought to bring the tax rates down, but "in order for us not to lose revenue, have the government run out of money, I will also lower deductions and credits and exemptions, so that we keep taking in the same money."
In my mind, this is not a tax cut. If we lose deductions and credits, we will still be paying the same amount of taxes. The lowered tax rate sounds good, but with the lowering of deductions and exemptions, it's just smoke and mirrors by Romney.
wasn't a winner for me
I am an ardent supporter of President Barack Obama, but there is no doubt in my mind that Mitt Romney stylistically won the first debate. His aggressively uninformative responses were crowd pleasers for his supporters and had Obama playing defense all evening.
However, Romney's lack of specifics was remarkably consistent with his stump appearances throughout the campaign. He often denied positions that he had forwarded on the stump.
Romney should know we who intend to vote for Obama are doing so because of the stands he has taken on Social Security, Medicare, workplace rights and his economic vision for America.
Egg Harbor Township
Candidates don't need
more campaign funds
It takes a lot of audacity by both presidential candidates to claim they need to raise more funds to continue the campaign. Do they not know that most of us are sick and tired of the rhetoric? Does neither party feel the least bit uncomfortable with the amount of money being spent when many of their constituents are homeless and hungry?
Want to help cut the deficit? Easy - take away some of the many benefits our elected officials enjoy while the rest of us have to pay out of pocket for lesser benefits.
Egg Harbor Township
Attack on Menendez
full of misinformation
Regarding the Oct. 7 letter, "We can't afford more of Menendez," from Theresa Lucarelli, the Republican chair of Galloway Township:
When a candidate has nothing to offer, the only alternative is to attack the other candidate. In this instance, misinformation about the Affordable Care Act and the scare tactic of a tax on the middle class was used to attack Sen. Robert Menendez.
The fact is that the 6 million people who will pay the tax are 6 million people who can afford to buy health insurance but refuse to do so, thereby putting the burden for the cost of their health care on the rest of us who have health insurance.
The ACA has numerous exemptions for people who will not be required to buy insurance or pay the tax. That includes people who have incomes so low that they are not required to file income tax returns, members of Indian tribes, people who refuse on religious grounds, or because the premium they would have to pay would exceed a specified share of their income (initially 8 percent in 2014 and indexed over time).
The average American is not going to pay this tax because they are either insured through their employer, are on Medicare, or they already have private-payer health insurance.
On the other hand, the ACA, which Menendez supported, has already bestowed several benefits, with more to come. Lifetime monetary caps on insurance coverage have been eliminated; insurance plans are prohibited from excluding coverage for children or adults with pre-existing conditions; insurers can no longer cancel or rescind coverage except in the case of fraud; dependent children are covered on parents' policies to age 26.
It's one thing to support your candidate. It's another to use misinformation against his opponent.
Elect one senator
from each party
Why do we need two U.S. senators? Does anyone know? Check the voting records of our two senators from New Jersey, and you will find that their records are almost identical. That fact could lead to the conclusion that all the voters in the state think alike. Does anyone believe that?
Ideally, a senator should represent all the voters in the state. But that does not happen because both senators are elected by the same majority of voters (in New Jersey, that's Democrats). There is no reason for the senators to listen to and support minority ideas.
We can make sure our senators represent all of us by electing one Democrat and one Republican. That means voting for a Republican in this November's senatorial election. That would be the fair thing to do.
GERALD P. GLADUE
isn't an abortion pill
Regarding the Oct. 7 letter, "Morning-after pills for students outrageous":
The writer is confused between the morning-after pill, which prevents the release of an egg, much the same way as any oral contraceptive, and RU-486, the abortion pill.
The morning-after pill, also known as Plan B, must be taken within 72 hours of intercourse and prevents conception. RU-486, or mifepristone, can be used up to nine weeks after conception, and terminates an existing pregnancy.
If you want to prevent abortions, then prevent unplanned pregnancies. If you want to prevent unplanned pregnancies, then provide free contraceptives, including the morning-after pill, and provide the education on how to use both.
Retest all drivers,
•ot just the elderly
Regarding the Oct. 6 letter, "New Jersey should periodically retest elderly drivers":
Why not require periodic retesting for all drivers? Let's not forget, driving is a privilege and not a right.
The process would be simple. Since New Jersey driver's licenses are renewed every four years, the requirement would be that every 12-year increment after the initial issuance of a driver's license a person would be required to retake (and pass) a driving test in order to renew his/her license.
However, as the letter writer noted, a person's cognitive awareness, vision and response time diminish with increased age. Therefore, the 12-year retesting requirement could be reduced to every eight years for people between 45 and 65, and then it could reduce again, to every four years, for people 65 and older.
This expanded testing plan would be more fair and equitable. The state Legislature should acknowledge this safety opportunity and take action to introduce retesting legislation.
Latest jobs data
is nothing to cheer
While I understand the Democrats' desperate need for a change in the narrative following President Barack Obama's disastrous debate performance Oct. 3, it is more than odd that they should tout the labor statistics released two days later as evidence of the president's well-conceived employment policies.
Politicians' claims of credit should always prompt focused questions of how any given policy has caused or contributed to any given outcome, and at what cost. But there are more troubling inquiries, beyond cause and effect, engendered by those unemployment numbers.
The data released show an anemic growth in private-sector jobs - only 110,000, a relatively small number derived from the analysis of payroll records. This number does not account for the decrease in the unemployment rate from 8.1 percent to 7.8 percent. The critical datum bringing down the rate was derived from a telephone survey. The telephone survey indicated a remarkable, perhaps unprecedented, growth in part-time and domestic (at home) work. The other relevant fact is that large numbers of folks have simply dropped out of the labor market - a fact you rarely hear acknowledged by the Democrats (or much of the media).
Should this news be celebrated? I doubt it. It is fair to assume that most of the folks who are working at home or on a part-time basis are not doing so out of choice, but because they are unable to find traditional jobs. Does anyone doubt that most of these folks would make different choices, eagerly so, if private employers were producing traditional jobs at the rate of 250,000 to 350,000 per month, the rate economists tell us is necessary to ensure a return to prosperity?
It is troubling that Obama and his supporters received the Oct. 5 news with so much uncritical enthusiasm. Do he and his party genuinely believe that a low-participation labor market that forces folks to work at home is a good thing?
Obama claims that the data prove that his policies are working, and that a Mitt Romney victory would jeopardize all the good work that has been accomplished. I suppose if a voter welcomes these changes in the labor market, he should vote for Obama. Alas, he did promise to be a transformative president.
HOWARD E. DRUCKS