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Letters to the Editor

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Wants More Fiscal Responsibility from Gov’t

Dear Editor:

Some Valentines Day gift from Washington. First it was the Democrats who doubled our national debt from $10 trillion to $20 trillion over eight years under President Obama. Now it is the Republicans under President Trump who have added $2 trillion more over the past two years.

Will we ever learn from past mistakes and attempt to reduce both borrowing and long-term debt, instead of allowing them to grow yearly? The new $22 trillion federal debt is only going to continue growing by $1 trillion per year. This inheritance could bankrupt future generations.

Uncle Sam needs to do a better job with an annual four trillion dollar budget already available, rather than pick the pockets of taxpayers for even more. It is time for a return to passing annual fiscal year budgets on time by Oct. 1, rather than a series of continuing resolutions to keep Washington open.

Return to pay-as-you-go budgeting, means testing for all government assistance programs, real balanced budgets without smoke and mirrors. Stop hiding spending under so-called independent authorities whose budgets are offline with little or no oversight along with actual surpluses and down payments to reduce long-term debt for all levels of government.

Everything needs to be on the table, including the infamous “third rails” of American politics — Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security along with military spending. agricultural subsidies and corporate welfare bailouts. How ironic that after winning the Cold War against the evil empire of communism, it may be mismanagement of our economy that defeats us in the end.

Unless we change our ways, America is on the road to losing our status as the world’s No. 1 superpower. Just like mighty ancient Rome before the collapse, we are going down the path to become the world’s super debtor.

Sincerely,

Larry Penner


Sad Goodbye to “Payless Shoes”

Dear Editor:

I can’t believe that another retail store looks like it’s biting the dust. I was saddened by your article “All Payless ShoeSource Stores Shuttering Following Bankruptcy.” I’m so used to seeing them almost everywhere, so I guess now these images will just become distant memories like that of Blockbuster and KB Toys.

I wonder how healthy our local economies can be if brick-and-mortar businesses continue to struggle so much, mostly the retail industry that has to compete with online giants like Amazon. Even companies like Wal-Mart become big competitors to the smaller and local retail stores because Wal-Mart has expanded its online presence and can utilize it in a way that a small business couldn’t. Wal-Mart found that once customers were in the store to pick up their pre-purchased items, they were more inclined to buy more because they were already in the store.

A place like Wal-Mart is massive, stacked with a huge variety of items, and is able to offer all sorts of discounts and good deals. So a place like Wal-Mart can not only use its online presence to suck away some business from the local mom-and-pop shops, but it can also suck people into its big stores and have them purchase more and more, almost like a casino or resort.

There’s certainly a place for online retail, but I fear that so much of the money and jobs get sucked out of local economies and just go to the very top. There needs to be some sort of balance. I also feel like there could be a future that traffics mostly in online retail, but I don’t think we’re ready for it yet. We’re not necessarily unprepared for the technology and user experiences, but I don’t think we yet know how to regulate and tax these methods of commerce and ensure that local tax bases and job markets don’t take a huge hit.

Sincerely,

Mara Cliffe


Was Amazon LIC Deal Shady??

Dear Editor,

I was happy after seeing “Amazon’s Exit Could Scare Off Tech Companies From New York” printed in your paper. I can definitely see how the headquarters could have been good for the city, and I definitely don’t think that it would have led to any disaster consequences if the deal did go all the way through to completion. I still think the people of New York avoided a scam though.

A look at the residents of Seattle suggests that Amazon is no friendly neighbor. The deal was shady from the very beginning, being announced all of a sudden and with little details made public initially. Many of the city feel like they were sold out, that they’d been had.

Amazon could have boosted the city’s standing with tech companies and students looking to come to a city to study technology. I still find it hard to imagine that all of the tax incentives would pay off in the end for the city and wouldn’t instead just be a giant giveaway to one of the biggest corporations ever.

Even if we could get our politicians to make Amazon agree to certain stipulations, like helping to fund public projects, how would we have any guarantee these things would ever happen? I could totally see these promises being made in a fancy press conference, and then a year later when nothing’s happened, everyone’s already forgotten about it. Those who do call out people like the mayor would probably just get an “oops, sorry,” response. Even if our politicians said that Amazon would absolutely have to abide by these stipulations, if Amazon refused to do its part and be a good member of the community, could you ever see the mayor or governor telling Amazon to pack their bags and leave, after months or years of construction and residency in Long Island City?

I’m glad Amazon’s gone. New York is still an amazing city. Technology companies will still want to come here because New York has about everything any place on Earth could offer, it’s accepting of all people, and if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere.

Sincerely,

Jacob Jensen

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