Letters: The government is hardly a contributor to L.I. economy


Let voters beware

Business drives the economy by creating wealth. Government drains wealth by taxing that wealth to provide protection, regulation and those services business can’t or won’t provide.

Benja Schwartz wrote that government is the largest contributor to Long Island’s economy. Hardly. It may be the largest employer, but not contributor. You and I pay for government and it does not produce a profit. In fact, government takes on obligations it cannot presently afford and raises taxes to pay those future pensions and health care.

Mr. Katz urges young people to seek jobs allowing retirement in 25 years and “then let the government work for you.” You and I will pay for those benefits; the government has nothing we aren’t taxed to provide. To paraphrase the comic strip character Pogo, “We have met them and they are us!”

The world is in a period of very rapid change and few people recognize the change while it takes place. The pension and health care obligations of the past will change because you and I can’t afford to continue them.

Government pensions are based on expecting 8 percent investment returns and additional taxes to make up shortfalls. Who knows how to earn 8 percent in this economy? Each new tier (revision) of state pensions requires more of new employees and promises less because you and I can’t afford to make up the shortfall of past promises.

Don’t relive the past; prepare for the future. Don’t aim to share my wealth; aim to match my work ethic.

Mr. Schwartz concludes: “In other words, especially distrust those who tell you to just trust them.” He may not fully understand what he says, but I completely agree, and would emphasize that we not trust anyone making promises to deliver in the future.

Be very wary of those asking for your vote with a promise.

Gunther Geiss


Truly breathtaking

Awesome, fantastic, breathtaking. It’s difficult to find enough words to describe the spectacular fireworks display at the North Fork Country Club as we celebrated the birthday of our nation.

Also, congratulations to the club on the celebration of their 100th anniversary.

Joan and John Lademann


A fantastic photo

I would like to comment on the front page of your June 21 issue.

My wife and I thought the photo appearing there was fantastic.

Our compliments to the photographer, Katharine Schroeder.

But, of course, the accolades belong to “Berry, berry sweet” — otherwise identified as Grace Muma.

Louis Williams


School says thanks

On behalf of the Board of Education of the Mattituck-Cutchogue Union Free School District, I would like to thank the many organizations that presented awards to the graduates at our commencement exercises on Saturday, June 23.

The support we receive from all of these groups is deeply appreciated.

Shawn Petretti

principal, Mattituck High School


Keep your eyes open

About letters to the editor, I think the editors should cast a wary eye when local writers get going on national politics.

Some of them are gaming the system by trying to get free publicity for their favorite candidates and their stands on various issues. Others make claims that are dubious and cite “facts” that are fuzzy.

For example, in the June 28 issue Howard Meinke says Republicans, and by extension Mitt Romney, who does not hold public office at this time, have “gutted federal and state budgets.”

But federal spending has increased almost 20 percent since 2008 and is projected to make a similar increase over the next five years. That doesn’t look like gutting to me. Perhaps Mr. Meinke’s definition of gutting is not getting everything you wanted.

I also would note that Democrats controlled both houses of Congress in the first two years of the Obama administration and still control the Senate. They still have considerable say on what goes on in Washington.

Writers on political issues should identify their political affiliations. I’ll bet Mr. Meinke is a card-carrying Democrat. Me? I’m a former Democrat turned independent, a “blank” as the politicians would say.

The Democrats are too beholden to special interest groups to make me happy.

Jack Abele


Equality in doubt

Some readers have claimed that Mr. Bishop is serving the North Fork as equally as the South Fork.

The steady stream of noisy South Fork commuter copters crossing the North Fork in both directions casts some serious doubt upon this.

Bob Gazza


Speak up, Mr. O

When Ronald Reagan took office in 1980, the federal tax on people making $212,000 was 70 percent. When the great Reagan left office in 1988, the tax rate was at 28.5 percent. Since then our country has been in a slow decline economically.

Obviously, trickle-down economics did not work. We must learn from this tax issue quickly. Right now, President Obama is worried about beating Mr. Romney in fundraising, when in fact he should be talking about a clear and concise message on tax reform. He has the bully pulpit.

People are starving for information and they will listen to the lies from the right when the president is so quiet. He needs to explain what Obamacare is all about. Many think that if they have health insurance it’s going to change into something else, not that it will remain the same.

Start naming bridges in need of repair again and again to engage the other party into explaining why they have shot down rebuilding our infrastructure again and again.

Tell everybody that you saved the auto industry. Say it loud and proud. Explain your plans for immigration reform, education reform, Wall Street regulations.

And for God’s sake call the Republicans what they are: obstructionists.

Edward Donohue


Don’t kill Obamacare

After much nervousness, we recently listened to Justice Roberts approve the Affordable Care Act.

Would it be OK to tell everyone to have health insurance or would this be a violation of the commerce clause? Well, with a thoughtful reversal he called the requirement a tax, which is OK.

The pundits howling and the attorneys flying one wild idea after another turned this into a serious brawl. The legalese and distortion of our language and the twisting of logic was outstanding. The Roberts opinion, however, is not in doubt and the Affordable Care Act is safe, at least for now.

However, I could not drive out of my mind the Shakespearean comment from Dick the Butcher in Henry the VI: “The first thing we do is kill all the lawyers”.

In spite of the lawyers, we now have a plan that we need to make work.

Our health results are not as good as many European countries’. We are behind on infant mortality and general longevity, while our costs are almost twice those of many European countries. If we are as smart and business savvy as we think, we should be able to reduce duplicate tests, institute early preventive care and cut the costs of downstream serious health issues.

We should be able to reduce ridiculously high medical malpractice insurance costs. We should be able to send patients to the right medical people where costs relate to the seriousness of treatment. We should be able to make paperwork a simple tracker and recorder of care, and not a major cost-driver.

Instead of promising to kill “Obamacare” on his first day in office, Mr. Romney, who installed an equivalent program in Massachusetts, should vow to demonstrate his vaunted business acumen and reduce the costs and make the program a winner for all those citizens in dire need.

Unfortunately, he does not care or is not smart enough to do it. Does it really matter which is the right description? I don’t think so.

Howard Meinke


Can’t take it anymore

I awakened this morning to what should have been a beautiful day. The rain was ending, breaking the recent heat wave. Subsequently, I feel an aura of apprehension with regard to our present liberal course.

Since the Supreme Court has upheld it, we can kiss small business goodbye.

Unemployment, as a whole, is totally unacceptable. State, county and local municipalities seem to be in a layoff mode. Who feels the Sword of Damocles? The low man on the pole, the actual worker.

I also saw on TV news that this administration was paring back our military. I can only ask myself if we’ve gone totally out of our minds.

Higher fuel prices, coupled with the cost of just about everything, have consumed most of our retirement funds. In addition, our salaries just can’t cover our everyday living expenses.

Time is overdue for changes. We must send Randy Altschuler to Congress. I have the utmost confidence he will work for us. No more failed Obama policies rubber-stamped by Pelosi and Bishop.

The time is now for a positive change. The time has come to send Randy Altschuler to Washington.

Frederick Rogers

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