Letters to the editor, Oct. 6

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Our country’s invisible problem

Three common clichés come to mind in regard to this election season: 1. The emperor has no clothes. 2. The elephant in the room. 3. You can’t see the forest from the trees. Why? Because the number one campaign issue for every presidential and congressional race should be our national debt! It’s somewhat of an invisible problem, so perhaps that’s why it doesn’t get more attention. Or, maybe it doesn’t rate because most politicians incorrectly associate it only with cutting programs and services – which is never popular with their voters.

Let’s consider just some of the ramifications of our 19 trillion dollar national debt:

A. In order to fund the national debt, the U.S. needs to print money or borrow from other countries. If we continue to print money, that devalues our existing dollars, resulting in inflation. If we continue to borrow from other countries such as China and Japan, our credit risk will eventually rise; this will require us to pay even higher interest rates until the inevitable day comes when we can’t.

B. Taxes will have to increase to service the national debt.

C. Government services – such as the maintenance of bridges and roads and other infrastructure – will have to be curtailed or eliminated as the national debt grows and becomes a greater percentage of the overall budget. Worse yet, should we need to defend ourselves against a foreign enemy, or recover from a natural disaster such as a major earthquake, we might not be able to afford to do so.

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The Soapbox: It’s (third) party time!

By Kenneth Chanko

I was in Philadelphia last week with my recently-of-voting-age son for the Democratic National Convention. During our march in support of progressive causes, we spotted more than one person wearing a T-shirt with the traditional donkey and elephant logos of our two major political parties emblazoned on it. The line above those logos read:

“Please Don’t Feed The Animals.”

For this presidential general election cycle, I will be following those instructions.

I was a champion of Bernie Sanders and his grassroots-fueled progressive candidacy. But since he won’t be on the ballot in November, for the first time since I came of voting age in 1976, I will be voting for a third party candidate for president.

I don’t think I will be alone.

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