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White House has little ?control over employment

Reading through the pros and cons about the Romney controversies, I haven't yet seen anyone else notice something I have.

Both candidates talk about job creation, but the employment deciders are dealing with a global economy. I don't think any candidate in or out of the White House will influence hiring until the "investment class" can hire on its terms. This means repealing labor laws and a minimum wage dictated by government. It also means no business tax burdens, including Social Security.

Since the Reagan era, every business that can afford to has been sending labor costs to the world's poorest and politically regressive countries. And the business leaders have been laughing at the vanishing of a viable American middle class; one of their goals. Taxes? In their perfect world, you tax the peasants, not the economic royalty. In their book, that's being a successful American.

Those who dream of that vision will vote for Romney. I will not be among them.

David Snyder



Bethlehem Steel plant? is unwelcome reminder

May I tell the preservationists what the old Bethlehem Steel plant building means to me? It is a reminder of lives lost, families broken, land decimated and a lake so polluted that it is called out in a Dr. Seuss book.

Did anyone keep count of all the men who were sickened and died because they were unknowingly exposed to asbestos and radiation? Or how many families lost their husbands and fathers way too soon? Look at the footprints left behind – miles of ugly, deserted junk. Those of us old enough can remember how awful Lake Erie was, and how vehemently the plant denied having anything to do with it. Look at our beautiful unpolluted lake now.

Yes, by all means, keep the old building as a fitting tribute to all the lives, hopes and dreams gone because of corporate lies, denial and greed.

Mary Kowalczyk

Lake View


Restore subsidies? to Advantage plans

The Sept. 19 feature on Medicare Part D contained a brief discussion of Obamacare's cuts to Medicare Advantage plans, in which 54 percent of Erie County's seniors are enrolled. According to the article, Buffalo area Advantage plan providers say they will continue to offer these plans. But at what future cost to seniors?

We have recently compared area Advantage plans to options in the "traditional" Medicare path, which consists of Original Medicare, plus a supplemental plan to cover the 20 percent of medical costs not paid by Original Medicare, plus a Part D plan for prescriptions. Like most seniors in this area, we chose an Advantage plan because it offers comprehensive hospital, medical and prescription benefits and is still significantly less expensive than the "traditional" alternative. But if subsidies to Advantage plans are cut or ultimately eliminated, what will happen to their premiums and/or co-pays? If they approach the costs of the "traditional" path, many seniors, particularly those with lower incomes, will not be able to afford them. Yes, they could rely simply on Original Medicare, but then they would incur some 20 percent of medical costs as well as almost all prescription costs.

Republicans as well as Democrats have criticized the Part D coverage gap and favor closing it. Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan have pledged to restore the $716 billion to Medicare and Advantage plans that Obama's health law has cut. But Democrats have not offered to restore subsidies to Advantage plans. Indeed, cutting these subsidies, and so jeopardizing reasonably priced Advantage plans, is essential to fund Obama's Affordable Care Act.

Leonard and Janice Aldrich



U.S. must take stand? in support of Israel

The Sept. 18 News editorial condemning Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for his advocacy of a future U.S. government administration willing to draw a "red line" against Iranian transgression is unconscionable. How dare the editorial board suggest that such a plea violates some "internal matter." To imply that voters "might be skeptical of a candidate who draws such red lines cavalierly" is a disingenuous insult to anyone with an ounce of intellect.

Both leader Ayatollah Khamenei and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad have repeatedly denounced Israel as a scourge upon the Earth and have promised to obliterate the country and its people. Further, as if it needs to be stated, it is common knowledge that Iran is close to perfecting a nuclear capability to carry out this desire.

Most of us recall the Dec. 7, 1941, attack on Pearl Harbor and all of us remember the Sept. 11, 2001, acts of terrorism – both events had worldwide consequences. While the Obama administration expresses empty platitudes, Iran prepares for the annihilation of Israel. It is unfortunate that Netanyahu appears to be the sole voice of concern at this most critical time and it is sad that the editors of The News are so blind to this fact and to a history that bears out such infamous acts.

Martin E. Mutka



State should institute? control board in Evans

So far in 2012, a woman received one day in jail for her barking dog. Former Buffalo Common Councilman Brian Davis received one year and one day in jail for stealing $48,000. On Sept. 14, the state comptroller released the audit report of the Town of Evans, and $2.1 million was "unaccounted for." The comptroller made eight recommendations to the town. For some unexplained reason, there were no recommendations regarding finding the missing money or prosecuting those responsible.

The result of mismanagement in Evans is that our town has more debt than 19 of the 24 other towns in Erie County combined! Evans residents tried fighting Town Hall. The "Freeholders" took the town to state court over improper spending. The case was dismissed. Numerous residents have gone to the attorney general and FBI. No one would help.

Now Evans is broke, has significant debt, faces layoffs, significant cuts in services and higher taxes. If no one goes to jail, once the spotlight goes out, nothing will change in Evans. The town is a multimillion-dollar entity operated by officials with little or no formal business background. The State Legislature should step in and authorize a control board with the power to fix problems.
Going forward, one solution would be to require a detailed report of how every taxpayer penny will be spent. It should be made public at Town Board meetings. All financial reports sent to the state should be required to be posted on the town's website. The "need to know" culture in Town Hall must end. Those taxpayers paying the bills "need to know."

Ed Schneider