Nomination of CIA
director a concern
To the editor:
As more details of the DOJ Whitepaper come to light, the memo in regards the legality of drone strikes against American citizens, the little publicized nomination of John Brennan to be CIA director has become a major issue worthy of concern among citizens.
Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) has taken a stand against this encroachment of Constitutional rights, along with five other senators, including Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR). At the time this letter is being written, Senator Paul is filibustering the nomination of Mr. Brennan, to proclaim his disagreement with the Obama Administration's position that drone assassinations of American citizens, while on American soil are legal.
Our Constitution requires that no citizen can be "deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law." Does the Presidential oath of office state that the President is to "preserve, protect, and defend the constitution as long as it is convenient"?
No, the Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the land and does not allow for exceptions to broaden the power of the government to ignore our basic rights to kill American citizens without due process. Where does this end, what if, in five, or 10, or 20 years, an American President decides that all of his political enemies are potential 'threats?' Will the United States become a police state where citizens are assassinated at the whim of the government?
No President or bureaucrat, regardless of party, can ignore our fundamental rights and kill an American citizen without the Constitutionally mandated due process of law guaranteed under the Fifth amendment. The Constitution was written to protect citizens from government. The Eighth Amendment also protects us from "cruel and unusual punishments."
The Supreme Court ruled in Kennedy vs. Louisiana that the death penalty for tried and convicted child rapists is in violation of the Eighth Amendment. Does not that protection apply to the assassination of an American citizen via drone on the mere suspicion of terrorism? If the court would consider something of that order to be "cruel and unusual punishment," one would think that they would surely consider a policy as egregious as this to be in violation of the Eighth Amendment.
I believe so, and I believe that most of my fellow Americans do as well. This policy is in violation of at least two amendments of the Constitution, and thus I applaud Senator Paul for his courage on this issue.
Trumbull Mahoning Columbiana Teenage
Cant' wait until later
to solve nation's problems
To the editor:
Is it ever going to end? The continuous bickering about how to fix our sick economy. After years of doing absolutely nothing they now propose more taxes and practically no spending cuts.
Will those who would advocate higher taxes ever acknowledge that history has proven higher taxes increases the cost of companies doing business, reduces the chances of expansion and the creation of new jobs? Excessive taxes will also reduce needed money from productive circulation.
Why is it that neither party seems to ignore the choking hold the national debt has on our very existence? Could it be they can't see the forest because of the trees?
We must make the necessary cuts and adjustments now, not two or three, five years down the road. We have been passing on this ever growing monster for far too many years and too many administrations. In order to arrive at a stabilized economy the people in Washington must first achieve a balanced budget and they cannot do this until we stop spending more money than they're taking in. Without a balanced budget we will continue to flounder until swallowed up by our complacency and the worthless dollar.
I am sure those people in Washington know what has to be done to start the economy back on the right track. Could it be that they are afraid of antagonizing their constituents because of the necessary and possible painful cuts?
It might help some if our wondering President would leave Air Force 1 on the ground for a while and spend some time in the White House where he might try his hand at leading.
Why do the words "Fundamental Transformation" keep popping up in my head? Are we being sold down the river by a President who desires is to impose his leftist ideology on all the people? His lack of interest in solving the problems that are tearing at our economy is unexplainable and down right scary.
LEON J. WHITE,
Sequester is Obama's
and Obama's alone
To the editor:
On February 25th, Barack Obama said, "But at some point, we've got to do some governing. And certainly what we can't do is keep careening from manufactured crisis to manufactured crisis."
I concur. Let us look at what the politicians and media have proclaimed the most recent national crisis and how it came about.
The Sequester was conceived by the Obama administration. Investigative journalist Bob Woodward, of Watergate fame, writes: the White House has been deliberately disingenuous about its role in the Sequester. The automatic spending cuts were initiated by the White House and were the brainchild of then Obama Chief-of-Staff (now Secretary of the Treasury) Jack Lew. Nothing conceived by the Whitehouse staff is promulgated without the blessing of Barack Obama. Thus, the Sequester is Obama's and Obama's alone.
So, since Obama owns the Sequester, why would he hype it as a disaster in the making? Obama said, "Severe budget cuts have already started to inflict pain on communities across the country Thousands of Americans who serve their country: border patrol agents, FBI agents, federal prosecutors will lose their jobs We will have let criminals go ... Air traffic controllers, airport security, thousands of teachers and educators will be laid off The longer these cuts remain in place, the greater the damage People will lose their jobs, the unemployment rate might tick up againTens of thousands of parents will have to scramble to find child care for their kids." The sky is falling and it is the Sequester.
Even if the Sequester is implemented to its fullest extent, the federal government will spend more in 2013 than it did in 2012. Let me repeat, the federal government will spend more in 2013 than it did in 2012. According to the United States Office of Management and Budget, in 2012 the federal government spent 3.538 trillion dollars. The 2013 budget is for 3.803 trillion dollars. That is a difference of 265 billion dollars. The Sequester is only 85 billion dollars. Thus, the federal government will still spend 180 billion dollars more in 2013 than 2012. If the federal government was able to provide all those jobs and services in 2012 in an economic environment where, if you believe the Bureau of Labor Statistics we are experiencing negligible inflation, why can it not provide those same services in 2013 with a 5 percent INCREASE in spending?
In a January 2013 poll, 83 percent of American voters think government spending is out of control. This year the Federal Government is planning to spend 901 billion dollars more than it receives. The 85 billion dollar Sequester is a mere 9 percent of the 2013 budget deficit. We are not talking about balancing the federal budget like families and businesses are expected and required to do to conduct their affairs, the government will still borrow 816 billion dollars to feed their spending addiction. If we as a country cannot agree to this meager cut, we are doomed to bankruptcy like past civilizations that spent their way into oblivion.
So the question remains, why is Obama manufacturing this crisis in the first place? It casts a shadow on Obama as this is his program. There must be a reason, an upside, to demagoging this issue.
Obama is in a position to channel the cuts into the least offensive areas of the federal government. Instead, he is proposing to do the exact opposite. Like a spoiled little kid who didn't get his way, he is set to make these cuts as painful to the American people as possible. Make the lines at the airport intolerable, make the southern border less secure than it already is, layoff the most visible of government employees even though they have as much money in their budgets as last year to keep the status quo. He wants the American people to suffer to maximize the impact. Why?
March 1st I was listening to an Obama speech and the answer to the above question hit me like a bus. Obama said, "So every time that we get a piece of economic news over the next month, next two months, next six months, as long as the Sequester is in place, we'll know that that economic news could have been better if Congress had not failed to act."
He is willing to weather the short term heat of owning the Sequester, which he knows the media will sweep under the rug, to lay the groundwork for an excuse that he can use for the next four years to explain away his disastrous economic policies.
Our struggling economy is the President's own creation. His income and payroll tax hikes not to mention Obamacare taxes will take $150 billion out of the economy this year alone. You cannot remove $150 billion from the private sector without real consequences. It means less money for your boss to give you a raise and maintain your benefits. It comes out of your pocket by way of higher prices. It comes out of investment capital that creates wealth and jobs. As Milton Friedman stated, "No one spends other people's money as carefully as they spend their own." The government wastes billions of taxpayer dollars that could be better utilized in the private sector to improve our standard of living. Every dollar we give to the government is a dollar they potentially squander on ridiculous programs. If you don't believe me, how about the 5.2 million dollar research grant given to Princeton University to determine whether fish can teach us how to achieve democratic consensus? There are thousands of programs just like this that could be cut without any perceivable impact on the America people but Obama refuses to do this.
Obama is creating an excuse to explain away the economic havoc his policies have rained upon us. It is the Sequester, it is the Republicans, it isn't his fault. The finger-pointer- in-chief strikes again.