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December 19, 2012     Feather River Bulletin
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Bulletin, Record, Progressive, Reporter , Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2012 7B COMMUNITY PERSPECTIVE Spending cuts will save us, not doom us To understand the federal budget mess and the so-called fiscal cliff, it's important to re- member three numbers: 39, 37 and 64. Thirty-nine percent is the combined increase of inflation and population over the last 10 years. Thirty-nine percent. Thirty-seven percent is the increase in revenues during the same period. That's despite the recession and tax cuts. Not quite keeping place, but pretty dose. Sixty-four is what's killing us. Sixty-four percent is the in- crease in federal spending in that period. That's nearly twice the rate of inflation and popula- tion over the last 10 years. The spending side of the fis- cal cliff is the SO-called se- quester: automatic cuts in fed- eral spending. To hear some tell it, these cuts will mean the end WHERE I STAND TOM McCUNTOCK CONGRESSMAN of western civilization. Hardly. After a 64 percent in- crease in expenditures this decade, the sequester doesn't actually cut spending at all: it simply limits spending growth next year to about a half a per- cent. I opposed the budget deld that created the sequester last year because it fell woefully short of what Standard and Poor's clear- ly warned was necessary to pre- serve the nation's triple-A cred- it rating. Sadly, that fear was borne out. But now, the se- quester is all we have. It's true that defense takes the brunt of it, but does our de- fense spending today really need to be higher -- inflation- adjusted -- than it was at the height of the Vietnam War, when we faced down the Soviet Union and had 500,000 combat troops in the field? The sequester isn't stepping offa cliff-- it's taking one step back from the cliff. The tax increases, however, are a different matter. Without. intervention, the federal tax burden will balloon 21 percent at the stroke of midnight on New Year's Eve, taking some- where between two and three thousand dollars from an aver- age family. This summer, the House passed legislation to pro- tect our nation from such a calamity, but Mr. Obama vowed to veto it and the Senate blocked it. Instead, Mr. Obama tells us that he will veto any plan that keeps taxes from going up on those very wealthy folks mak- ing more than $200,000, who, he says, need to pay their fair share. (I suppose fairness is in the eye of the beholder. The top 1 percent earns 17 percent of all income but pays 37 percent of all income taxes. But that's be- side the point.) The fine point of it is that a lot of those very wealthy folks making more than $200,000 aren't very wealthy and they aren't even folks: they're 1.3 million struggling small busi- nesses filing under sub-chapter S. Our small businesses pro- duce two-thirds of the new jobs in our economy. This battle is very much for the middle class. The Congres- sional Budget Office estimates that Mr. Obama's tax increase on the so-called wealthy will ac- tually throw some 200,000 middle and working class fami- lies into unemployment. Two hundred thousand. And that's the optimistic estimate. An in- dependent analysis by Ernst and Young puts that figure at closer to 700,000 lost jobs. That's because the presi- dent's taxes would slam 84 per- cent of net small business in- come -- that's precisely the in- come used to support and ex- pand the labor force. In their blind pursuit of an "eat the rich" ideology, Mr. Obama and his acolytes are im- posing a policy that would ut- terly devastate hundreds of thousands of middle class fami- lies who depend on the jobs these small businesses provide. And for what? To wring enough money to fund Mr. Oba- ma's spending spree for a grand total of eight days. It's telling that three-fourths of the new taxes he has proposed would be used to finance the new spend- ing that he has also proposed. Republicans don't want to see taxes go up on anyone, period. We don't want to see this gov- ernment willfully throw hun- dreds of thousands of Ameri- cans out of work by this policy. The president obviously be- lieves that in the llth hour, Re- publicans will have no choice but ultimately to protect as many taxpayers as we possibly ' can, since the only alternative will be tax increases on every- one, including the job creators. He may be right. But that would mean a bleak and bitter new year for all those families who will watch help- lessly a s their jobs evaporate before their eyes. Let us pray the president has a change of heart before setting this calamity in motion. LETTERS to the EDITOK Show your support I am writing this letter to strongly encourage all the folks in the Chester/Lake A1- manor area to attend the Chester Junior-Senior High School concert tonight, Dec. 19, which will be held at Chester Elementary School. This is for those with and without chil- dren in school. It begins at 7 p.m. It is with good reasons that you attend: 1) Because many school districts are dropping their music programs due to lack of funding we must show that it is important for Chester's kids to have music in their curriculum; 2) nothing motivates performing artists more than large audiences and applause; and 3) the music in- structor, Mrs. Jane Sylvester Brown, is a 1983 graduate of Chester Junior-Senior High School. While at Chester Junior'-Se- nior High School Mrs. Brown was an excellent student, an all-league athlete, a musician and drum major and a role model for many of the younger students at the school. Not on- ly did she have a positive effect on the kids butshe had a posi- tive effect on the teachers. Cur- rently she is the conductor for the Reno Pops Orchestra. Now she is back. She is high- ly motivated to bring a strong music department and music experience to the high school students. She is not your aver- age music teacher but she can- not do this alone. With your support and the student body's support the program will thrive. There was a time at Chester High School when nearly 70 percent of the stu- dent body participated in the music program in one form or another: chorus, band, jazz band, etc. Many parents and others of you may be too new to the area to remember those days, but it can happen again. Enough said, see you there. R.L. "Gri.ff" Griffith Graeagle Pushing buttons I love to see so many liberals respond to my letters; especial- ly when they openly admit they never read them. It must have been a slow news day last Wednesday. The local bloviat- ing socialists were beside themselves, totally rabid in their retort. You could almost hear the mashing of their teeth; they were in denial. If libs only knew how many of their neighbors consult with me and say that I write the things they "think" but haven't the guts to say. Libs can't believe the whole world isn't as they see it. Friends, the "hate" word they say I used (I must have pushed the right buttons) -- I never wrote it once. They're getting my message; silly hyp- ocrites, they just "hate" the truth. Conservatives would never knowingly rally around this president; he isn't their messi- ah. Dissent is our duty and ex- pected as Americans; it's not a character flaw. I'll give your president the same respect you gave mine; remember? My fellow Americans, sorrowfully, you may live next door to one of these socialists. These so called "neighbors" of yours will never be real Ameri- cans; they're lost or stuck in socialist dogma and propagan- da. What they "hate" to admit (it was on TV) is that 50 percent of the voting public agrees with conservatism; I can smile at half America. We justifiably remain sus- pect as neighbors and divided as a country. We needn't assist you, fraternize or "under- stand" you -- unless we ab- sentmindedly forget who you voted for. To the aforementi6ned writ- ers I say: "God, grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked, the good fortune to run into the ones I do, and the eyesight to tell the difference." Merry Christmas to my "principled" conservative friends; lumps of coal to "those who pervert our Constitution. Ho! Ho! Ho! Trent Saxton Lake Davis Part of the problem Many revelations from the board of directors of the Chester Public Utility District came out during the Dec. 10 board meeting. The board stated they were duped by the former general manager/fire chief regarding the various problems within the fire department. This is the same fire chief that board pres- ident Tonu Plakk has support- ed so vehemently on so many occasions. This demonstrates just how out of touch Mr. Plakk has been regarding the operations of the fire depart- ment. Board president Mr. Plakk also admitted the CPUD has operated without an approved budget for more than six months. No budget for either public entity is not only illegal, but financially irresponsible. How can Mr. Plakk claim that he can effectively "manage" the Chester Public Utility Dis- trict, a claim he made two meetings ago, but cannot "manage" to see the impor- tance of an operating budget as part of decision-making? Board member Ben Thomp- son revealed his complete frus- tration with Mr. Plakk during the meeting. Ben had been ap- pointed by the board to be the interim fire chief to help re- solve the internal fire district issues and rebuild trust and confidence within the depart- ment. Ben has made signifi- cant progress problem-solving and regaining employee morale. However, Ben made it clear that Mr. Plakk was con- tinuaUy undermining and sab- otaging his efforts and provid- ing no support. Other revelations regarding the CPUD financial state- merits, lack of response to pub- lic requests for documents and the general dysfunctional as- pects of the board can be traced back directly to the mis- management and lack of lead- ership on the part of board president Mr. Plakk. Mr. Plakk, when are you go- ing to recognize that you are part of the problem and not part of the solution? Garn Pringle Chester Cheaper gas Kudos and heartfelt thanks to the gas stations in Chester. After months of sky-high gas prices, our rates are now simi- lar to and in some cases lower than Susanvllle's. I believe I speak for all Chester residents who benefit from this change: Thank you, thank you, so much! Roberta Carlson Chester Peay appreciated In attending the monthly meeting of the East Quincy Services District, we learned that longtime board member Bill Peay had resigned for health reasons. We also learned that Bill doesn't want any "hoopla" over his resignation, not even (gasp!) a plaque. Well, Bill, that's just too darn bad because we're extend- ing a public "thank you" for your years of service on the EQSD board of directors. Small community boards re- ly on local residents who are willing to give up their free time to oversee the manage- ment of some essential, but less than romantic and excit- ing, services (water and sewers anyone?). It's because of board mem- bers like Bill that we can take for granted the fact that when we turn on the faucet, water happens (free of contaminants, no less, because the EQSD folks check that sort of thing), and when we flush the toilet ... well, we're happy to take that one for granted! So Bill, accept an accolade or two. You should be commend- ed for your willingness to run for election to the district's board all these years, and your time and effort on our behalf are appreciated. Susan Christensen and Bill Martin Quincy Love one another A couple of weeks ago there was an awful letter in the pa- per, saying that Republicans should hate all Democrats and cut off all contact with them.. So I wrote an answering letter to the editor saying basically "I don't care what party you are, if you need help I'm here for yOU." The response has been over- whelming and a bit unsettling as people keep telling me what a wonderful person I am. That's gratifying, but it wasn't the point I was trying to make. And I got this vision of what it must have been like for Jesus who, in my opinion, came to teach us to love one another and not fear death. But instead of taking up the message, most people took up praising, ideal- izing and worshiping Him. They made religions, built huge churches, killed people in the name of religion and to this day still d6n't get it, that if you just love people, the whole world will change. I don't want people to admire me, I want them to start caring about each other, no matter what their differences. Like don't do iny- thing to anyone else that you wouldn't want done to you. Like if you see someone in need, respond to that need without judging. Like learn to celebrate diversity. God didn't make all flowers the same or all animals the same. Why would anyone ex- pect all people to be the same? I've been reading a lot about random acts of kindness. I want to challenge every person to "do something for somebody quick!" Just get the positive vibe out there. Judith Parks-Stevens Quincy Living together When I was a child growing up, there was no segregation, or mention of "rich or poor." We all lived in the same neigh- borhood, side by side. I lived in a rented duplex, right next door to a lovely two- story home. No one even recog- nized, or even mentioned, "rich or poor." We lived as neighbors talking back and forth daily. I remember one Christmas, their teenage girl brought me the most beautiful doll I had ever seen. It was not wrapped and she said simply, "Here, Shirley, this is for you." I replied, "Wow, thank you." That was the end of it. There was, on either Side, no thought of reciprocation. I played with my lovely new doll with happi- ness. It seems a much better way than today, where rich and poor seem to be living apart. What are we doing to our chil- dren? Shirley Fichera Resident, Seneca Long-Term Chester A spending problem While Congress, the presi- dent and filtered media blow lots of hot air about "the fiscal cliff," what they are not reveal- ing are the pending tax in- creases and other economic hits programmed to kick in in January against all Ameri- cans. Per the IRS, the U.S. federal income tax rates will automati- cally increase, especially harsh on part-time workers earning up to $8,700 (from 10 to 15 per- cent). A 3 percent increase on middle income and 4.6 percent increase on top earners, from 35 percent to 39.6 percent. Based on government spend- ing, one hates to think that for every new dollar the govern- ment plunders with taxes Con- gress spends $1.75. They bor- row $4 of every $10 they pay out. We have a spending prob- lem, not a revenue problem. There will be loss of itemized deductions and personal ex- emptions. This will affect small businesses as well as in- dividuals, plus the new 3.8 per- cent "health" care tax. Plus taxes against savers and in- vestors -- from 35 to 43.4 per- cent, a big hit considering most dividend money has al- ready been taked before getting paid out, at state and federal corporate rates. Long-term capital gain will increase from 15 to 23.8 percent. There's more: estate taxes will increase from 35 to.55 per- cent, and the lifetime exclusion amount will revert to $1 mil- lion, a reduction of 80 to 90 per- Cent. This will wipe out farms and rental properties, not to mention personal property, bank and brokerage accounts. In California the tax rate could increase to as much as 36.1 percent (federal and state). And the biggest hidden tax in- crease that no one even ad- dresses is the inflation tax caused by the Federal Reserve monetizing the debt with worthless currency. Your mon- ey buys less and less, while the favored cartels get to spend it for free. What will Americans do about this? Barbara MacArthur Lake Almanor Stalling Even though President Oba- ma was re-elected and his par- with President Obama and his family spending Christmas in Hawaii, but he keeps coming back. During the time that he spends in Hawaii are waiting whether or not the country is going over the fiscal cliff. That issue is already resolved. Six- teen trillion dollars in debt may not be over the cliff but it is over the top, already. Apparently the president doesn't care, doesn't under- stand it, or doesn't see the problem. On the other hand, he has competent people handling the problem. Those are the same people who got us into this mess. He could help nego- tiating a deal, but the problem is that the corporate powers donated fortunes to keep him in office and he does not want any part of a decision which hurts, organizations like Mo- bil/Exxon, Standard Oil, BP, ty has increased its number of etc. senators, Republican senators continue to stall the appoint- ment of judges. For the past two years, Sen- ate Republicans have blindly obstructed the installation of 19 of the president's nominees, even though none of the nomi- nees are in ahy way controver- sial, with all of them receiving overwhelming bipartisan sup- port in committee. In addition, all of the nomi- nees have the support of their home state senators, including those from states with Republi- can senators. It is reasonable to assume that the obstructing senators have a personal animosity against the president, and will oppose him no matter how much it harms the nation. It is unconscionable for a few senators to hold the na- tion's need to carry out its judi- cial business hostage because of personal reasons. Salvatore Catalano Taylorsville Blaming Obama I don't have any problem We really need another war to create an excuse for all the stupid decisions, win .the war and loot the place. That's the way it was done in the past. Realistically, President Oba- ma is not the only one to blame. We just have a habit to always blame the president for all the problems, which is real- ly not always fair, but than again there is always the old adage of the heat and the kitchen. Chief Justice Roberts made it fairly clear. He basically told us that if you don't like it, vote for other people in the Con- gress. It just seems that the majori- ty of the people liked the way the business of the country is being conducted. President Obama won the election and you may not like i t , but he is the boss. We'll live with it, but proba- bly not as well as we were used to in the past. Well, I wish you a merry Christmas and a happy See Letters, page 8B Contact your elected officials... PLUMAS COUNTY SUPERVISORS - 520 Main Street, Room 309, Quincy, CA 95971; (530) 283-6170; FAX: (5,30) 283-6288; E-Mail: pcbs@countyofplumas.com. Individual supervisors can also be e-mailed from links on the county website, countyolumas.com PRESIDENT - Barack Obama, the White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW Washington, D.C. 20500. (202) 456-1414. Fax: 202-456-2461. E-mail: whitehouse.gov/contact / U.S. SENATOR - Dianne Feinstein (D), 331 Hart Senate Office Bldg., Washington, D.C. 20510. (202) 224-384i; FAX: 202-228-3954; TrY/TDD: (202) i 224-2501. District Office: One Post Street, Suite 2450, San Francisco, CA 94104; i Phone: (415) 393-0707; Fax: (415) 393-0710 Website: feinstein.senate.gov. U.S. SENATOR - Barbara Boxer (D). District Office: 501 I St., Suite 7-600, Sacramento, CA 95814. (916).448-2787; FAX (916) 448-2563; OR 112 Hart Bldg., Washington, D.C. 20510. (202) 224-3553. FAX (202) 228-0454. U.S. REPRESENTATIVE, 4TH DIST. - Tom McClintock. 508 Cannon HOB, Washington, D.C. 20515. (202) 225-2511; FAX (202) 225-5444. :mcclintck'huse'gv" DISTRICT OFFICE: 8700 Auburn Folson Rd., Suite #100, Granite Bay, CA 95746; (916) 786-5560, FAX: (916) 786-6364. STATE SENATOR, 1st DIST. - Ted Gaines. State Capitol, Room 3056, Sacramento, CA 95814. (916) 651-4001, FAX: (916) 324-2680. Roseville office: 1700 Eureka Rd., Suite #120, Roseville, CA, 95661. (916) 783-8232, FAX (916) 783-5487; Jackson office: 33 C Broadway; Jackson, CA 95642, (209) 223-9140. STATE ASSEMBLYMAN, 3RD DIST. - Dan Logue, State Capitol, Sacramento, CA 95814, (916) 319-2003; FAX (916) 319-2103. District Office, 1550 Humboldt Rd., Ste. #4, Chico, CA 95928; (530) 895-4217, FAX (530) 895-4219. GOVERNOR Jerry Brown, office of the Governor, State Capitol, Suite 1173, Sacramento, CA 95814. Website: gov.ca.gov/ (916) 445-2841. FAX: (916) 558-3160. i  " ......