I would like to congratulate the Bridges of Hope on the opening of Common Goods, a store designed to not only help residents with their recycling needs, but more importantly, provide assistance to local families. By donating household items, clothing and their time, people in the Brainerd area can make a real difference in the lives of our neighbors who have been hit hard by the struggling economy.
I would like to welcome Common Goods into our community. Neighbors helping neighbors makes us all stronger.
State Rep. John Ward
U.S. solvency is fading
Go to the Internet and type in US Debt Clock.org. You'll find a continuously updating picture of the major U.S. financial facts. The figures are so large it is difficult to comprehend. To simplify I divided all the figures by $1 trillion dollars and came up with easier to understand figures.
The total U.S. income for the first eight months of 2009 was $1.37 trillion. The total U.S. spending and obligations for the same period was ($2.60 trillion spending; $.31 trillion interest on the national debt, $11.13 trillion national debt; $8.52 trillion prescription drug future obligation; $10.71 trillion Social Security future obligations; $39.68 trillion Medicare/Medicaid future obligations) for a total of $72.95 trillion.
The answer to deficits in the past has been to raise taxes, but even if we would double taxes we would barely keep up with our current spending. If we're not creating surpluses every year, how are we possibly going to pay off the $72.95 trillion that we have already committed for. The tipping point will come when the interest on our national debt reaches the point of consuming most of our income and our economy will collapse. That's coming soon.
Instead of Congress spending most of their time figuring out how to spend more money on health care, they should be figuring out how to pay for our prescription drug program, Social Security program, Medicare/Medicaid program, and our national debt so we can avoid bankruptcy. Congress is like the captain of the Titanic after he hit the iceberg, worrying about the next day's breakfast menu. It will take a bipartisan effort to make the program cutting decisions necessary to stay afloat. Hard times are coming. We'd better hone up on our gardening, hunting and camping skills.
Hypocrisy in Washington
Many are admonishing Rep. Joe Wilson for calling out President Obama during his speech to Congress on Sept. 9. I agree it was done in poor taste and violates the rules of the Congress. However, Joe Wilson's comment was made one paragraph after President Obama said, Some of people's concerns have grown out of bogus claims - made by not just radio and cable talk show host, but by prominent politicians. It's a lie, plain and simple.
I guess it's not against the rules for the president to call prominent politicians liars. These prominent politicians were probably sitting in the audience and may have included Joe Wilson. There are several well used phrases that I could use to describe the hypocrisy of the reprimand of Joe Wilson, but I'll let the reader use his or her own example.
Don't hide behind anonymity
Some say that anonymity is the last refuge for cowards. Judging from what I read in the Dispatch Vox Pop column that have been submitted anonymously, I would agree. People hiding behind the screen of anonymity feel the freedom to speak without having to take responsibility for their words.
Whenever I am tempted to write something anonymously because I don't want to be identified, I stop and reconsider. If I don't want my name attached to it, I probably shouldn't be saying it. If I am willing to use my name my motive may be to hurt not to help.
Whenever you are tempted to say something in secret consider why you do not want your name to be identified with your words. After all if you don't want to be identified with your words, God probably doesn't either.
Stand on your own feet
Russia likes unilateral removal of our anti-missile system from eastern Europe. We gave away something without getting something in return
Europe has been dependent on U.S. protection for too long. This specific system was designed to protect Europe from Iranian attack. How much support did we get for our effort? They don't share the cost of protecting them. They don't even provide moral support. Just how much have these countries supported doing more to stop Iran's nuclear developments, when they and Israel are the logical targets.
At least Israel has the guts to say what it thinks. All we get from Europe is criticism and disdain, and a few troops here and there, which are quickly removed at the first significant losses, leaving us to carry the major burden and entire criticism.
Iran must be prevented from attacking Europe, and I don't favor catering to Russia on how we do it. Part of my family came from that area and has been decimated by eternal wars between the larger powers around them.
Maybe a different approach is better at this stage. But we shouldn't cave just because Russia objects. They should have to make a deal for our flexibility. Iran shouldn't have nuclear weapons and if we must, we should forget sanctions that don't work and never have, there or anywhere else, for more direct, if covert, action. However, Israel, the most threatened by Iran, may do it for us.
Being a world power means being strong enough to make our point stick. That may mean withdrawing from areas that don't concern us and giving more support under the table. Being a target and then giving away the game doesn't do it. It is, however, a symptom of just how sick our government is.
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