Letters to the Editor

BY DI READERS | AUGUST 20, 2012 6:30 AM

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Don’t let chickens in

Just how far are these chickens supposed to be from downtown and resident areas?

I don’t think it is a good idea. I don’t care what Cedar Rapids or Ames are doing, they don’t pay any of our property taxes to have that smell or noise.

Bad idea.

I wonder what next they can come with — maybe they all need something better to think about like how we can make more money or some having jobs.

Arlene Brenneman
Iowa City resident

Romney ad bad

Gov. Mitt Romney’s latest political advertisement about welfare reform is an outright lie, and, oh, by the way, a position Romney used to endorse.

The new attack focuses on the Obama administration’s July decision to grant waivers to states under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families law.

The waivers are designed to let states experiment to improve “welfare to work programs.” As the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities explains, they will actually strengthen welfare reform by shifting the focus of employment programs “from ‘process and bean counting’ (whether recipients participate in programs) to’ outcomes’ (whether they actually find and keep jobs).”

As Steve Bensen of MSNC states:  “The law hasn’t been “gutted”; the work requirement hasn’t been “dropped.”  

Stations that air this ad are disseminating an obvious, demonstrable lie.

As voters and taxpayers, we need to hear the truth. Shame on Romney and his minions for airing a blatantly false ad.

Ursula Penix
Muscatine, Iowa

Military spending crossed into immorality

The House of Representatives approved HR 5856 on July 19, appropriating $606 billion for the Pentagon. This includes $88 billion for our 11-year war in Afghanistan but does not include other war-related expenses, such as VA services for 400,000 PTSD-afflicted veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan.

The country with the next-largest military budget, China, recently announced a military budget of $106 billion, though the Pentagon says it’s really $160 billion. Well, let’s take the Pentagon’s word for it. After all, it must be right, because it’s the only federal agency that’s never been audited.

So, every man, woman, and child’s share of the military budget will be $1,931 per year, and that’s too much.

My proposal is, let’s have a military budget that’s TRIPLE the size of China’s — $480 billion. We would save $126 billion and still spend $1,530 per capita on military, versus $119 per capita in China.

Our military spending does not buy us national security, and it has crossed into immorality. Setting those two concerns aside (as it seems we have been all too willing to do), we cannot afford to throw money down the drain like this anymore. Tell Sens. Tom Harkin and Chuck Grassley to vote no when the Pentagon spending bill comes to the Senate.

Ed Flaherty
Iowa City resident

Protest Paul Ryan

Nearly two dozen members of Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement Action Fund disrupted GOP vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan’s speech at the Iowa State Fair on Aug. 13 to protest the Romney/Ryan budget plan that would privatize Medicare and cut spending in order to pay for even more tax cuts for corporations and the super-rich.

Two members unfurled a giant banner that read “communities before corporations” and held it in front of the stage before being removed from the area by Iowa State Patrol.  Other members stood up and confronted Ryan on his bad budget proposals and told him to stop the war on the poor and middle class.

“Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are on a personal crusade to balance the budget on the backs of everyday people and hardworking families so their buddies on Wall Street can rake in even more corporate profits that they don’t need,” said Cherie Mortice, a retired public-school teacher from Polk County. “Romney and Paul want to cut Medicare, Medicaid, and other social programs so corporations and the super-rich can get more tax cuts, and that ain’t right.”

“Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement Action Fund members aren’t going to let that happen.  We will stand and fight with our brothers and sisters across the country for a more just and democratic society that puts communities before corporations and people before profits.”

Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement Action Fund members fight for a fully funded, strong, and effective government that puts the interests of everyday people and hard-working families ahead of big-moneyed corporations.

Adam Mason
Statewide policy organizing director,

Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement

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