Skip to Navigation Skip to Main Content

Letters to the editor, October 3

The 47 percent

Mitt Romney believes that the lowest-earning 47 percent of our citizens (those making less than $50,000 per household) are dependent on the government to take care of them. However, no more than 15 percent of the population receives government assistance such as food, housing or health care.

The other 32 percent must be quite surprised to learn that the government is taking care of them.

Most of those who receive assistance and are able-bodied have minimum-wage jobs. Anyone who thinks that you can have decent food, housing and health care at this level of pay should read Nickled and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich.

While Romney complains about people receiving necessities from the government, he has received much himself, including a $10 million government handout to Bain Capital as part of one of its acquisitions. So, who is it that’s taking the biggest handouts from the government?

Romney implies that the 47 percent don’t pay their fair share of taxes because they pay no income taxes.

However, their tax burden includes Social Security, Medicare, sales, gasoline and property taxes (even renters have property taxes passed on to them).

A Citizens for Tax Justice study shows that the bottom 20 percent pay at least 17 percent of their income in taxes, while the next 27 percent pay up to 25 percent.

I am convinced that many of this 47 percent pay a bigger percentage of their income in taxes than Romney.

Romney should be ashamed of himself.

Bob Michaelsen,




Defeat leftist central planners

Believing themselves entitled to make decisions for other Americans they consider inferior, stupid, immoral; and convinced that far-away “experts” can formulate regulations and procedures that will always work most efficiently, leftists promote central planning and management.

Then they grow government power to impose these detailed rules, even in very personal circumstances, such as Obamacare’s meddling with the doctor-patient relationship.

Another option was favored by our founders: site-based management, in which a central authority imposes only broad rules.

Decisions on specific issues are made by those on the scene and therefore more aware of relevant local circumstances.

Thus, the Constitution gives specific powers to federal government. All other powers are left to the states or the people, individually or in local government, which citizens can more easily control.

And the greatest domestic powers, those of police and the courts, are primarily local.

At its most basic level, site-based management means individual liberty. Within the limits of rule of law, as given by the Constitution, state constitutions and basic legal protections, individuals make those decisions most appropriate for them in their own circumstances.

Why would thinking people want their lives to be controlled in their most intimate details by anonymous, impersonal, uninvolved bureaucrats in Washington or state capitols?

Their one-size-fits-all directives cannot take into account the specific needs, capabilities and circumstances of individual Americans or communities.

Let’s all, Democrats too, defeat arrogant, controlling leftist central planners in November and remain free to direct our own lives.

Lee Nahrgang,