If President Obama is re-elected, it will be fascinating to see whom he blames for the economic and foreign policy mess he inherits.
Happy birthday, Clean Water Act
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 Ludwig
Restoring American fiscal stability
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.