Matt Doheny opposes entitlement abuses

Saturday, November 3, 2012
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Matt Doheny opposes entitlement abuses

The spreading of the entitlement mentality in America is like a cancer. If unchecked, it will have a terminal effect on our financial and moral stability.

George Will’s Oct. 28 column in the Gazette reveals how pervasive the abuse of disability claims has become, and the underlying decay of moral values.

I had the opportunity to discuss this with Matt Doheny during “Meet the Candidates” at Perth Bible Church. He is keenly aware of this critical issue and is committed to curbing entitlement abuses.

To help restore fiscal responsibility, I urge voters in the 21st Congressional District to vote for Matt Doheny on Nov. 6.

Roger Johnson


Charter form of gov’t is the only one for Montgomery County

On Oct. 26, I had the opportunity to attend an informational meeting presented by three members of the Montgomery County Charter Commission. It was an extremely informative meeting, attended by a near-capacity crowd at the town of Canajoharie offices. There was a wide range of questions asked that were very well answered by the three panelists.

There have been meetings such as this presented throughout the county over the last few weeks. For those of you who were unable to attend these meetings, I’d like to offer some of the questions and answers.

One question was: “What are the qualifications required for the position of county executive?” The answer is none, other than residency and age as stipulated in state law. However, I cannot imagine the Democratic, Republican, Conservative or any other party, for that matter, proposing and supporting anyone they do not feel has the necessary requirements to fulfill the duties of the position.

Another question is: “Doesn’t this create another level of government?” The answer is no, because we already have at the town level the town supervisor performing the duties of the town supervisor for a salary. He also performs the duties of the supervisor at the county level for another salary ($10,000 for supervisor, $15,000 for chairman). The thing that the charter does is separate the duties so that each representative can focus on their specific positions.

The question was asked: “What would be the pay for the county executive and the legislators?” The commission does not have the authority to set salaries. If the charter vote is successful, the existing board of supervisors would be charged with determining the salaries.

I would assume the present supervisors would have the common sense to set the new legislator at or below the $10,000 level. There is no viable reason to increase it. Also, by reducing the number of representatives from 15 to nine, it would be a reduction of $60,000 in salaries.

As for the county executive, the example was given of counties of similar size, the salary ranging from $59,000 to $75,000. It was also pointed out that the county executive, in many counties, does not have the highest salary in that county. Examples were given where many counties had 15 to 25 positions that were paid more than the county executive.

The issue of staffing for the county executive was discussed. It was pointed out there are already people performing these duties for the chairman and the full Board of Supervisors. No further staffing would be necessary.

There were references to term limits by the commission members. Both the county executive and the legislators may only serve 12 consecutive years.

Appointments to positions within the county shall be proposed by the county executive, but must be approved or disapproved by the legislators.

I could go on and on, but the truth is, we need a change and the county charter is a change for the better. We need equality on the board, where one representative has one vote and it isn’t weighted. We need one person in charge, responsible for overseeing all county departments. We need one person, not 15, for department heads to be responsible to. We need someone to be working full time administering to a nearly $100 million budget. We need someone to represent us in Albany with county issues.

Statements by people indicating high additional costs with a legislature and a county executive are not accurate. I feel the charter can make Montgomery County stronger and more efficient. That’s probably why 95 percent of the counties outside of New York City utilize this legislative form.

It should be pointed out, the vote for or against the charter is on the back side of the ballot. I am hoping for a positive vote for the charter, but no matter what your choice is, get out and vote.

John R. Vesp

Fort Plain

Farley vs. Thorne: Out with the old and in with the new

The 49th District is fortunate to have Madelyn Thorne running for its New York state Senate seat. In order to meet the needs of New York’s diverse population, the Senate needs new energy and a new perspective.

Sen. Hugh Farley is part of the dysfunctional Senate that is responsible for many of the unfunded mandates causing our property taxes to skyrocket, threatening our homes and the future of our youth. We have no reason to believe that Sen. Farley will do anything differently if he is re-elected.

Ms. Thorne has proven herself to be well-versed in the issues facing the 49th [District] and will do the hard work to get our economy back on track. She will fight for campaign finance reform and an increase to minimum wage, and will address the burden of the cost of Medicaid. She is willing to listen to different perspectives, compromise where it makes sense and make hard choices.

I believe that Madelyn Thorne is the best candidate for our district.

Mary Ann van Alstyne


Candidate Tkazcyk, with Rep. Tonko, will work for the people

My opinion of politicians changed after spending some time with Cecilia Tkaczyk and Rep. Paul Tonko.

I used to think of politicians as narcissistic and seeking power for personal gain or to offset an inner insecurity. I now see that there are some individuals that truly make working for the people their calling in life.

I know Cecilia personally, through our sons who are in the same grade, and I know through experience that she will work tirelessly on the people’s behalf.

My hope is that people will do their research and look at the candidates and make an informed decision and not just vote along party lines. I do not have the confidence that Mr. George Amedore is one of those people that will work tirelessly for the people and we will be held back on growth and improvement for our communities.

We need people like Cece Tkaczyk and Paul Tonko in politics for a brighter future!

Joy Black


‘Trickle-down’ theory never gains momentum for the middle class

Apparently, because most of us are unable to comprehend “wonk,” the actual details of a Republican budget are not even going to be presented prior to the election.

However, from the little I have heard from Mitt Romney and his vice president pick, the basis of their budget plan deals again with huge tax breaks for the wealthy “job creators.” These will be funded by elimination of unspecified tax deductions and cuts to the programs that benefit the poor and middle class, thereby continuing the process of “trickle-down economics” and returning to the policies that were so effective during the Bush presidency that they culminated in the loss of over 800,000 jobs in the last month of that administration.

Here’s my theory on how I think trickle-down works in the real world. Nice large tax breaks are given to all, especially to the top money makers, the so-called job creators. The deficit increases, revenue decreases and budgets have to be cut. At this point the trickle-down begins and we cut government, mostly in the form of jobs: teachers, policemen and firefighters.

The trickle becomes a small stream as these out-of-work Americans now have no income on which to pay taxes, decreasing government revenues. They also initiate their own “austerity programs” and cut back on all those frivolous expenditures like haircuts, oil changes, weekly take-out dinners or dinner out, and anything they can no longer afford.

The stream becomes a river when the hairdresser’s income decreases because several customers no longer visit on a regular basis and the local restaurant and garage close because they have no customers. Now 10 employees are out or work, not paying taxes and going on “austerity programs” of their own, etc., etc., etc., until this river empties into the ocean and then the flow is unstoppable!

Now we have real trickle-down economics!

We have heard about the “job creators” and the necessity for keeping the current tax cuts in place to ensure the creation of jobs for several years, but they don’t seem to be able to produce.

It is time to realize who the real job creators are. We are the job creators. When we have jobs, we shop and we buy products and services. This creates a demand and demand creates a need for more employees to fulfill this demand. That local restaurant adds two employees to cover the dinner crowd; the local hairdresser adds another stylist and a nail professional due to increased business, the garage adds another mechanic.

And of course the bottom line is that more working people pay more taxes, increasing revenues and decreasing the deficit. Is this so hard to understand?

Marcia Sykes


Tonko vs. Dieterich debate: right out of a Hollywood movie

It was a thrilling experience to attend the 20th Congressional District debate on Oct. 23 in Clifton Park [Oct. 24 Gazette]. First let me say that the League of Women Voters did an outstanding job. Secondly, I couldn’t get the image of the late James Stewart out of my mind as the candidates debated.

On one side you had [GOP candidate] Bob Dieterich, wearing an off-the-rack department store suit, answering questions in an open and straightforward, positive manner. He reminded me of Stewart’s portrayal of Jefferson Smith in the 1939 film “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.”

On the other side was the incumbent, Rep. Paul Tonko wearing an expensive suit, manicured, groomed and tanned, answering questions in an evasive manner typical of a 20th century career machine politician; you know, the other guys in the film. He danced well around the simple question I asked. Mr. Smith proved that a good man or woman, if willing, can have a positive effect in Washington, something I think a 21st century Bob Dieterich will have.

During the debate, Tonko ridiculed Dieterich for providing banking services to our community as an employee of the 1st National Bank of Scotia and even chastised the local bank for having $300 million in assets — and James Stewart was still on my mind. There was George Bailey, husband, father, neighbor and, yes, a banker defending the Bailey Building and Loan in the 1946 film “It’s a Wonderful Life” against the narrowminded Henry Potter who wants to ruin the bank regardless of how much that would ruin the community of Bedford Falls. George Bailey showed how the bank assets were in people’s homes and small businesses very much like those of the 1st National Bank of Scotia.

We also see in the film what could happen to Bedford Falls without a George Bailey; a town renamed Pottersville and in economic decline much like Tonko’s Montgomery County — Tonkoville? — with a 10.3 percent unemployment rate.

We can’t get Mr. Smith to go to Washington, as he was the creation of a great actor. But we do have a real 21st century candidate, Bob Dieterich, in our community who will bring the very best of Mr. Smith to Washington. Please send Bob Dieterich to Washington with your vote on Nov. 6.

Kurt Semon


Sorry NY, Obama only has time for New Jersey

Remember back in 2005, when Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans? President Bush was lambasted in the media for only doing a fly-over the day after, to assess damage instead of being on the ground.

Here it is, [two] days later [Oct. 31], and what is President Obama doing? Making a fly-over of New Jersey!

My sister lives in Lindenhurst on Long Island’s south shore. She swam from her first floor to her second floor and was rescued a day later by the Air National Guard from a second-floor casement window.

The devastation of downstate New York will be in the tens of billions by the time we’re done. Gov. Cuomo has been on the scene and has done a tremendous job, so this isn’t a political comment on my part. I voted for Obama in 2008. But it’s time to pop the protective media bubble around this guy when it come to criticism. He’s aloof, incompetent and not deserving of a second term.

Romney doesn’t give me goosebumps, either, but how can we reward someone whose only attribute as a leader is being a good speaker?

Graham Higgins


Afghan war forgotten in all the campaigning

During this long political campaign, a question comes to my mind. That is, why has the discussion of the war in Afghanistan been almost entirely omitted at all levels of political campaigns? It seems to me that being involved in a war would deserve some attention.

Should not the American people be reminded that 68,000 troops remain on the ground in Afghanistan? That as of Sept. 26 the death toll stood at 3,190, including 2,125 Americans; along with 25,000 to 30,000 wounded — many of whom are amputees and mentally disabled.

Another question was recently raised for me when I read in the Foreign Affairs periodical that on Oct. 19, 2011, the government of Afghanistan (is there one?), acting on the recommendation of U.S. military advisers, granted a license to the China Petroleum Corp. to develop several oilfields in the northern part of Afghanistan. Moreover, three years earlier another Chinese company won the right to develop that country’s copper deposit, one of the largest in the world. The question is why?

I think I have an answer to the first question and it is that America has become hardened to the tragedy of war and it is now treated as commonality. Whatever happened to the fervor of antiwar sentiment evident during Vietnam and Iraq [wars]. Our politicians are avoiding war talk because now it can be a liability to [an] election. There must be a call for the immediate return of our forces. Who will do it?

As to the second question raised, I have formed no answer except to say that to allow China to do business in a country where we are combatants is a policy which borders on treason. China has not sent one soldier to Afghanistan.

It is true that the deficit and unemployment are serious issues and should be debated for the American people during election campaigns. Surely, being in the longest war in our history merits more attention and discourse than has been given by almost all candidates running for office.

Michael J. Palmiotto


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November 3, 2012
5:30 a.m.
wmarincic says...

Graham Higgins

The most honest comment I have ever read from a democrat in this paper. Thank you.

November 3, 2012
6:37 a.m.
newyorker65 says...

Graham Higgins... that is so not true! President Obama wanted to visit NYC, but Mayor Bloomberg asked him not to, so he only went to New Jersey! Also, after doing a little research, I found that Suffolk County, where Lindenhurst is located, and where your sister lives, was under mandatory evacuation. I'm sorry that your sister did not heed the warnings to get out before the hurricane hit and had to be rescued, thus creating a potentially dangerous situation to herself and her rescuers. My family also lives in NYC and although they live in Zone B and were not mandated to evacuate, they were smart and got out anyway.

November 3, 2012
9:35 a.m.
tonijean613 says...

Roger Johnson does not mention Corporate Welfare and the BILLIONS in free money that our tax dollars go to PROFITABLE corporations. Whis is where the bulk of waste in our tax dollars is going. He chooses to attack the low hanging fruit, the poor, disabled, the elderly for being given basic human needs. He does not acknowledge that the people he is probably referring to most employers wont even consider giving these people an opportunity to work- because of the color of their skin primarily. If Mr Johnson personally knows of someone who has some how managed to qualify for disability which requires a medical doctor completing and submitting medical records) then Mr Johnson should report that person and name them here. But frankly Mr Johnson is probably making a blanket assumption bec he chooses to stereotype classes of people- as though he really knows anything about the real lives of those trapped in poverty or struggling with a mental or physical disability. He probably doesnt even recognize that many of our returning soldiers are now homeless and mentally disabled. These people may look like able bodied and of sound mind to Mr Johnson, but I can assure you...I have yet to meet any person (mostly conservative in their views) who are willing to hire any of these people. I ask Mr Johnson, where are the employers willing to hire a homeless person or PTSD soldier or a minority with a felony record for a minor non violent drug offense? And how do you suppose the poor without cars or adequate public transportation would even be able to get a job where they are most likely open in the nicer suburbs? Mr. Johnson. I hope you and others who like to blame those trapped in a cycle of poverty, show us the job openings in these impoverished communities that they are qualified for and employers willing to hire them - at a living wage - I might add. I also invite you to look at the Green Party solution of a a Green New Deal- which would create an EMPLOYMENT LINE, not an UNemployment line.
Such an agency would be converted to giving every single person who wants a job with dignity - would be handed one- and the GOVERNMENT/Your taxes would go to pay for them to work for those employers willing to hire them.

November 3, 2012
12:43 p.m.
gina99 says...

Anyone that thinks Taxin Tonko is a great Congressman should not endorse anyone else. Tonko acts as if he is representing the Upper East Side. He never saw a tax or fee he didn't want to hike. He supports cutting $700 billion from Medicare from our seniors. He endorsed every Democrat on the ballot whether qualified or not like horrible Mayor McCarthy. Hopefully more will realize Taxin Tonko is the problem never the solution.

November 3, 2012
1:36 p.m.
janesjoys says...

Thank you tonijean613 - I have just one thing to add - who created so many of the desperate needy when their jobs were sent overseas and our soldiers were sent into combat with the "Army you have, not the one you want". I wonder what the Republicans will do with the additional uneducted, uninsured and unemployed Americans that they create when they abolish Obamacare, illegalize contraception with a personhood amendment, privatize education and return to the same policies of the last Republican administration that cost millions of jobs, deicmated peoples savings, and crashed the value of their homes. What will they do????????? I guess we will find out if Romney/Ryan win this very important election.

November 4, 2012
3:56 p.m.
wmarincic says...

janesjoys and tonijean you both have no clue. I have worked with the uneducated the disabled and the single mothers, I also have a son and daughter active duty Army. What's your point besides liberal lies and talking points. Let's be absolutely clear. Do to human nature, if you took all of the money from rich people, bankers and corporations and made every person over the age of 18 equal financially with the same money, house and car it would take less than 5 years for everything to be exactly the same as it was before. You are always going to have those smart people that take risks and become rich and you are still going to have the lazy people that will throw it all away. See that is what Obama and people like you don't realize.

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