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Letters to the editor published in the December 8, 2010, edition of The Explorer.

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Posted: Wednesday, December 8, 2010 12:00 am | Updated: 8:05 am, Thu Mar 24, 2011.

With his vitriol, writer makes left’s points

I hesitate to write this because Mr. Cunnington’s letters have served to emphasize the extremism that is Tea Party politics.

I believe he has unwittingly helped re-elect Rep. Giffords.

Mr. Cunnington, your latest letter (12/1) blasting Democrats as “rude, hateful, vitriolic, deceitful, obnoxious, slanderous …” all fits your rhetoric to a tee. Your letters are obviously written to be controversial and provocative with heavy doses of Fox News buzzwords. Months ago, I did respond to one of them.

I have realized, however, that in making your points — you are actually making mine. Your brand of conservative vitriol makes the left look pretty darn reasonable.

Giffords, a Blue Dog Democrat and hardly a leftist, was definitely vulnerable this year. What put her over the top was the support she received from, of all places, the Catalina Foothills region. This area solidly supported Republicans on the rest of the ballot but couldn’t stomach to vote for your candidate (Kelly).

Thank you, Mr. Cunnington, and please keep up the good work.

Dana Whitson, Oro Valley

Energy will define US as a nation

How we use energy in the next decade and beyond is what will define us as a nation. For this reason, we should discuss the future of oil and two recent reports: The Lloyds 360 Risk Assessment on Sustainable Energy Security for 2010 quotes from sources including the International Energy Agency, US Department of Energy, US Energy Information Administration and the US Chamber of Commerce all discussing how important a prospect of peak oil is.

“A supply crunch appears likely around 2013 … given recent price experience, a spike … of $200 per barrel is not infeasible,” the report said. It continues on alternative fuels, shale, natural gas, alternative energies, climate change policy or lack thereof, interrupting investment decisions and is a recommended read.

The US Joint Forces Command Joint Operating Environment Report 2010 talks about threats our military will face in the coming decades. “By 2030, demand is estimated to be nearly 50 percent greater than today. To meet that demand, even assuming more effective conservation measures, the world would need to add roughly the equivalent of Saudi Arabia’s current energy production every seven years.” Look to Iraq, who’s output could be 12 million barrels per day by 2016.

The JOE report continues to say “By 2012, surplus oil production capacity could entirely disappear, as early as 2015, the shortfall in output could reach nearly 10 MBD.” We are the largest importer of oil, standing to be the most sensitive to any shocks in supply. Domestic reserves, in the Gulf or Alaska, will be a blip in supply and take 10 years to see any benefit. We use 20 million barrels in a day. Domestic shale will not support this level of use, serving only an increase in costs.

This information should be on everyone’s radar, it should inform many decisions.

Dave Hymers, Marana

Yes, those programs are entitlements

I read Mr. Kinared’s letter in which he states Social Security and Medicare are insurance and not entitlements.

His letter is absolute hogwash.

There is no government entity call the Federal Government Insurance Company; this is apparently a make-up entity to add legitimacy to his letter. There are no insurance policies issued for Social Security by any government entity. He used exaggerated withholding percentages for SS and Medicare (FICA), the 12.4 and 2.9 percent used is twice the actual withholdings, which actually are 6.2 and 1.45 percent. The so-called “premiums” he cites are twice as large as what they would actually be if there were premiums. He also states that this fabricated government entity makes a profit, when for those over age 80, who retired at age 60, have already received more income from SS than they put in, and if they have a spouse that did not work who receives SS, they received all they ever contributed many years ago.

The withholdings for Medicare those retirees paid, and premiums paid for supplemental Medicare coverage, does not come close to covering the cost of the services received by a huge majority of retirees.

These are entitlement programs, because you have the right to receive benefits, even after you receive back more than what was withheld. Insurance is a contract in which one party agrees to indemnify or reimburse another for loss that occurs under the terms of the contract, so how can SS and Medicare be insurance when you have not had a loss, in fact you have made a gain because you have received more that you paid?

Greg Steed, Oro Valley

As it asks, so should Congress cut its spending

With the executive branch proposal to freeze salaries for two years, it is now up to the other two branches of government to do their share. How about the senators and representatives of the people’s house doing something?

Many of the new Congress members ran on fiscal responsibility.  Will they do any of these things: not “redo” their new offices, not even new paint (many of us aren’t painting our houses for economic reasons); reduce the numbers of their staff — all of the government agencies will be told to reduce their staff, will that apply to the Congress as well; reduce the salaries of their staff, or at least freeze them for two years; will the members of Congress reduce their salaries by 10 percent? They are responsible for appropriating funds, how about appropriating less for themselves.

The budgets for the coming year have not yet been voted on, so with a continuing resolution to fund the government for a few months, Congress will have time to do what should be done.

Don’t forget the Supreme Court. They should shoulder some of the burden of lowering the deficit by likewise freezing staff salaries.

The dollars saved would be miniscule compared to the overall deficit, but every little bit helps.

They (new members of Congress) can talk the talk but can they walk the walk, or will they be leaving in two years when they show they are above everyone else and not have to sacrifice as the middle class is sacrificing?

Jerry Lujan, SaddleBrooke

Arizona has the resources to create jobs

Arizona has the resources to increase good-paying jobs in our state.

Arizona was built on the 5 Cs: Cattle, Copper, Cotton, Citrus and Climate. No need to reinvent the wheel with big expensive government programs. Just take what is given to us and make it work.

So how to make it work? These action items will put Arizona back to work. We need more tax payers, not more taxes.

Eliminate corporate income tax — be a tax haven for companies that are being strapped by high taxes in other states.

Lower income taxes so that money earned can be spent generating more business instead of more bureaucracy.

Eliminate minimum wages. All jobs are necessary. Get the work ethic revitalized by having people go to work. Also drop the cost of starting a new business.

Enable tort reform immediately. Too much of our economy is stifled by frivolous lawsuits and actions by businesses to avoid frivolous lawsuits.

Reduce / eliminate stifling regulations. These regulations are keeping copper mines closed, shutting down cattle ranchers, and putting cotton and citrus in peril. Why is it easier to get AHHCS than run a business in Arizona?

Become an energy exporter. Palo Verde shows Arizona, the USA and the world that we know nuclear power. Build on that knowledge. Solar and wind may be in the picture in the future, but we can’t wait for them to be cost-effective sources of power. Nuclear is proven and cost effective.

Support the repeal of Obamacare. This is a redistribution of wealth program that increases business costs at the same time forcing businesses to drop health care insurance.

Building employment builds wealth that funds functions of the government that the citizens deem necessary. Without the wealth generation, Arizona is hard-pressed to meet current budgetary requirements. There can be no compassion in government without the wealth produced by the private sector to fund the compassion.

Support your state representatives as they move to reinvigorate the private sector. Will there pain? You bet. What is the alternative? Spending us into oblivion?

Vince Leach, Tucson

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