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Oct. 26, 2012: Politicians; citizens; Obama; Clean Water Act; fiscal stability

All politicians are to blame for U.S. woesEditor:I was appalled by the article in The Charleston Gazette that stated, "Congress kicks the can down the road and goes home." It should have added "with their tails between their legs."I wish these politicians would realize that what is best for their political party is not what is best for this great country of ours.Quit pointing fingers at the other party and blaming them for this country's woes. They are all to blame for the mess that this country is in. They must cut out the pork-barrel politics and get down to brass tacks and try to get this country back into the world's eyes as the greatest country in the world.I am proud to be an American. I am proud to be a veteran, but I am ashamed of the so-called leaders of this country. And, come election time, I will do my best to change to what I think is the best course for this nation.Now, I didn't intend to say all this, but I feel a whole lot better now that I've said it. We need to get God back in control of this great country of ours, and until we do, we'll never be able to hold our heads up high and proudly say, I am an American.Al LehmanWebster Springs Still 'responsible' and 'productive'Editor:I took responsibility for my life. I had a newspaper route at 12 years old. I worked at a bowling alley while in middle school and high school, a carryout and a Kroger store while going to college. I was drafted during the Vietnam War. Served my time and got out. I HAD a job that I was able to come back to. I married, worked, paid into Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and paid income tax to help fund roads, streets, schools, education, fire protection, police protection, federal and state governments.I worked for over 30 years and retired, bought a home, had children who are working for their families.I haven't had the misfortune to receive welfare assistance, but I know people who have. My aunt of 92 years got $40 a month in food stamps after her husband died. She was a school cook, and he worked at a construction company, then retired from the state government.
Like them, we had to plant a garden every year to help feed the family. There were eleven siblings. My dad and mom worked and he retired from a chemical plant. My mom retired but, most of her life, she was a homemaker.That's just part of our history growing up. The neighbors around us, they did the same things. Most of all, those neighbor kids I know and my siblings went on to lead productive lives.I'm retired now, leading an active life, still paying my "share" of taxes and Medicare premiums. I file an income tax return where I continue to help finance our government and pay for Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan's health-care benefits, too.Isn't that being "responsible" and a "productive" person?Jerry L. PayneRipley
 Who will Obama blame if he is re-elected?
Editor:If President Obama is re-elected, it will be fascinating to see whom he blames for the economic and foreign policy mess he inherits.Brad AdkinsWinfield Happy birthday, Clean Water ActEditor:On Oct. 18 the Clean Water Act was 40 years old. We can celebrate the fact that, 40 years ago, our legislators did a good thing. Since then, our rivers and streams are cleaner and healthier. We can swim in many of our waterways and not get sick. We can even safely eat the fish.In this election year, many politicians promise to "Fight the EPA." I am waiting for one politician to say he or she will "Support the Clean Water Act." That person would surely get my vote.I don't want to go back to a time when our rivers caught fire and raw sewage was routinely piped into them. We still have work to do in cleaning up our waterways. Let's not take a step backward. The health of our children and grandchildren is at stake.Happy Birthday, Clean Water Act! May you have many more.Lois A LudwigCross Lanes Restoring American fiscal stabilityEditor:Reading the Gazette article about a day with Alan Simpson and Chester Bowles and their commission recommendations to rectify our substantial federal deficits, we should be reminded that, as President Clinton was leaving office, fiscal surpluses were projected for nearly a decade.What happened? Two tax cuts that mostly benefited the wealthy, two long-term wars ensued, often without authorized appropriation, an expensive Medicare drug benefit with no effort to negotiate drug prices, and a bailout of major banks, which generally undermined our economy and our current tax base.Why focus remedy on Social Security benefits? The Greenspan Commission of the early '80s effectively raised the biggest tax increase on the median income-earning American in history to fund the demographic change in the ratio of benefit recipients to workers.I suggest a far more modest foreign imperative, curtailing military deployment, a tax increase on top-margin payers, generate Medicare savings by negotiating for bulk drug prices for seniors as we do for veterans, and a more punitive corporate tax on the now prosperous financial industry that generated our economic malaise and decimated our tax base.Along with hefty taxes on enterprises that outsource existing jobs offshore, restoring fiscal stability by instituting a tax structure historically more in line with times when our country was more prosperous is the way to go.Sam StetsonLoudendale
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