Simple debt steps
We must reduce the federal deficit by $4 trillion in the next decade. This can be done; it’s as easy as 1-2-3.
1. Eliminate nonessential government services and strengthen those essential functions that promote economic growth and the general welfare.
2. Eliminate counter-productive corporate subsidies and tax loopholes while adopting tax policies that promote capital formation, investment and sustainable economic growth.
3. Raise taxes on the rich, and thus even out just a little the dangerously skewed distribution of wealth in America.
These steps will benefit all persons, be they rich or poor, employer or employee, investor or entrepreneur.
How best to promote prosperity in America? Persons of good will can disagree on the answer, but we can all agree on this: Playing chicken with the federal debt limit is dangerously irresponsible. Electioneering must be put aside; now is the time for leadership.
If my congressman seeks to represent me — and the majority of his constituents — he will act now on our behalf.
As an independent, I am equally annoyed with politicians from both parties. My representative in Congress happens to be Kevin McCarthy, a Republican. He must compromise with his Democratic colleagues and urge his Republican colleagues to do the same. Should he fail to do so, he must be held personally responsible for the disaster that ensues.
A recent article by Lauran Neergaard of The Associated Press points out the Institute of Medicine states that the health care system does a poor job of treating a costly problem.
There is no mention of the benefits that medical marijuana could bring to this problem that is growing as much our aging population does.
Here we have a simple, natural solution that is inexpensive compared with addictive pharmaceutical options. Many people do not have medical insurance that would pay for even generic equivalents of pain medication.
People could grow their own, or have others grow for them, as in Oregon.
But still, the threat of the federal government coming in to seize medication and monies and arrest dispensary owners would exist. No wonder people don’t want to pay taxes; money is being wasted by putting people in federal prison for the crime of trying to help others, by making a living in a way others may not approve of.
This county needs to support the legalization of medical marijuana and insist that the federal government not defy our state laws that are humanitarian and practical. It’s time to legalize and regulate marijuana. It could also create jobs.
The right reasons
The Tribune on Sunday had a disturbing article about some cities lifting their restrictions on selling fireworks to raise money, forgetting the reason for the restrictions in the first place (possibility of fires or personal injuries).
If people want to change things, can we at least do that for the “right” reasons? Does it all have to boil down to money? Where have our basic beliefs gone in all of this?
Look who’s hiding
Though not a scientific poll, this is a casual observation worth mentioning about in my neighborhood on July Fourth. The houses that displayed signs for McCain in the last election had flags flying for Fourth of July. The houses that displayed signs for Obama did not have flags flying for Fourth of July.
I guess besides our guns and Bibles, we are also hiding behind our flags.
Support for Adam Hill
I am thrilled we have an elected official like San Luis Obispo Supervisor Adam Hill who is willing to speak out against hate and prejudice and who is willing to challenge those that would use their influence and greed to divide people. Hill has taken an unwarranted amount of cheap criticism from blustering good ol’ boys who just want to cover their private assets and keep their bottom line growing.
I hope all of us, who truly believe that we need strong local leaders, who are not afraid to speak the truth, who believe, as they should, that we are better served by those that respect human dignity, will write in, as I have, to encourage Adam Hill for taking a stand against zealous bigotry and basic frat-boy bullying.
Over the years there has been much speculation over what stores will go in The Annex shopping center next to Walmart in Atascadero.
The Annex is roughly proposed at 120,000 square feet of retail space. One possibility that could happen, according to my reliable source, is Macy’s. Macy’s, which in the past has had interest in the area, could come to San Luis Obispo, then Atascadero. The Annex is centrally located, where it would draw a lot of North County’s shoppers.
Macy’s recently launched a new marketing campaign called My Macy’s, which allows Macy’s managers to customize their merchandise for each demographic, and thus allows Macy’s to be in many different markets, from Hawaii to Montana. The smallest Macy’s store is 100,000 square feet.
The for-sure way to get Macy’s in Atascadero is to let Keith Mathias of The Rottman Group know Macy’s would be a good fit. Also, let the city of Atascadero know there is a strong interest for Macy’s. I believe Atascadero wants high-quality stores and restaurants.
Recent Associated Press stories underscore a sinister problem in our regulation of the nuclear industry. The reports expose the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s habit of easing nuclear plant safety standards to keep nuclear power facilities within compliance. The AP investigation, along with the NRC’s premature declaration that the Diablo Canyon Power Plant is seismically safe before planned earthquake studies have been completed, puts the decades-long pattern of collusion again on exhibit.
Industry-friendly legislators make the passage of regulatory law difficult. Industry-friendly regulators often have leeway in enforcing what laws there are: loosening them, circumventing them or simply applying them casually — or not at all.
Who regulates the regulators? Supposedly, that responsibility falls on the Government Accountability Office, an agency that, with respect to the nuclear power industry, mostly comes to the table late, tiptoeing as to be barely noticed.
Ultimately, we citizens must be watchdogs and pressure Congress to act decisively.
The letters from Jacquelyn Wheeler and Mimi Ditchie on June 28 in The Tribune regarding racism were right on the mark. They both very clearly analyzed the actions and statements by Adam Hill regarding the mindset and behavior of the Coalition of Labor, Agriculture and Business and the group’s supporters.
Wheeler correctly states “If you don’t know it, much of the hatred generated on the right is outright racism.”
For eight years, the Republican leadership in this country has repeated Karl Rove’s method of saying a lie over and over again until it becomes “the truth,” and they just can’t stop. Now, they believe not raising the debt ceiling, or raising taxes on the wealthy and corporations, will somehow balance the budget on the backs of the middle class and poor in America.
The majority of economists can’t understand why they can’t break out of their delusional thinking.
The Republican leaders may be trying to recreate the Confederate states, by bankrupting the nation and turning America into a loosely balkanized coalition of “right to work” states, most likely very poor states. Do we want that?
San Luis Obispo
I want to thank both Robert and Cheryl Tolan of Welcome Home Troops and Janice Somers of The Military & Friends Group for getting the word out regarding returning local veterans and for giving us all an opportunity to show our appreciation for their service to our great country. The recent ceremony celebrating the return of Charles “Dillon” Miller from his recent tour of duty shows this community really cares for our troops. That was not the case in the late ’60s and early ’70s, when troops returning from fighting in Vietnam did not get any welcome-home parades or ceremonies, but instead were spit on for reasons I still don’t quite understand.
Well, two local firefighters from the Atascadero Fire Department, Peter Sotello and William White, are trying to do something about how the Vietnam Veterans were treated. On July 16, they have organized a “Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans American Pride Ride,” giving us an opportunity to show how much we really do care about the Vietnam veteran. Come by Atascadero Lake Park for a barbecue and live music from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
San Luis Obispo