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April 20, 2013

NEWS AND TRIBUNE LETTER — For April 20-21

Floyd GOP chair responds to column

I read with great interest Barbara Anderson’s call to our representatives against sequestration in her Wednesday column. Although the column might accurately quote where cuts will be made, it is a bit uninformed about several things.

First, I would encourage everyone to pay more attention to town hall meetings she says are not being conducted. Rep. Todd Young has within the last two months held town hall meetings in almost every county in the 9th District. Only an uniformed public would not know this since each of these meetings was widely publicized.

State Reps Ed Clere, Rhonda Rhoads and Sen. Ron Grooms hold regular town hall meetings throughout the year. So the usual gripe about “my representative doesn’t listen to me” really means, “I’m far too lazy to find out when I can talk to them and just do it.”

The real complaint of this letter attacks sequestration, which frankly, I have found has no supporters. Of course, we all complain that government spends too much money until it takes some of it away from what we think we need. So, let’s keep this simple.

Two presidents, one a Republican and one a Democrat have attempted to repair our economy by spending more money than we have. This tactic has occasionally produced some short-term benefits.  But history has proven that no nation can solve its economic turmoil by borrowing itself out of trouble. Few really understand how much $16 trillion in debt is and apparently, even fewer fear it climbing to $20 trillion. This type of money management always results in hyper-inflation and devaluation of the dollar. These two evils have been held at bay by the Federal Reserve — but this won’t last much longer if we don’t change our ways.

Now, as it was explained quite simply to me, with our national income as it is (hope you enjoyed April 15) we can afford to pay for either our military defense or our entitlement spending, but we cannot pay for both without driving up the debt even more. And, lest your solution is to just tax those nasty rich people more, I can promise you that there isn’t enough income from all the rich of our nation put together that can significantly affect this kind of debt. We must cut our spending.

For Mrs. Anderson to claim that we have “absolutely no representation” or that representatives vote on “what they are told to do by their political parties” may be popular to say, but it is uninformed, unfair and frankly, untrue. Both conservatives and liberals knew when they agreed to the sequester that they would never come to substantial agreement on what items to cut in the budget, so they obligated themselves to equal cuts on both sides of the political favorites list. Both houses of Congress, both sides of the political spectrum and the president agreed to this proposal. Consensus was not possible, so now cuts to favorites on both sides of the aisle must be made.  

As unpopular as it may seem, the only way our federal government can cut spending is to give the impression that it has been forced upon them. Notice that both military spending and the social programs that Mrs. Anderson listed have been cut. I know it hurts — especially when those cuts affect programs you represent. But the fact remains, we cannot as a nation continue to spend beyond our means.

Complaining that our representatives are not representing us does not fix this problem. Only sound financial planning and spending within our means will work.

— Dave Matthews, chairman, Floyd County Republican Party

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