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Future of America doomed by explosive growth in debt

Sunday, July 7, 2013
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Future of America doomed by explosive growth in debt

Was American prosperity over the past 32 years an illusion/delusion?

Reagan tripled a debt which started out at $930 billion; it paused under Clinton, doubled under George W. Bush, and ballooned under Obama to $17 trillion. That is a “gift” from Uncle Sam of $7,000 per year for the average family of four.

Pensions, retirement packages and health care were promised but underfunded; neither the recent wars nor care for the wounded were funded. Americans have coasted on our infrastructure for the past 40 years, taking out far more than we put back in; our infrastructure earns a D-plus from civil engineers, who indicate it will take $3.6 trillion by 2020 to bring it up to par.

Social Security will be solvent by adjusting the cost-of-living allowance and a slight increase in the retirement age; however, both the average boomer couple and their parents will take out of Medicare $220,000 to $300,000 more than they put in. The next generations will pay vastly increasing taxes, experience benefit cuts or a combination of both.

If we balance the budget, our debt “party” and deferral of obligations will result in a professional couple owing $15,000 per year on student loans and interest on the debt — even before taxes are taken out.

Richard Moody Jr.

Schoharie

The recession is over, so they say, but our country doesn’t seem back on its feet to me.

It seems our economy is still weak. That’s why I’m wondering why Congress isn’t moving to repeal the Renewable Fuel Standard [RFS]. The RFS will hurt our economy and cost us jobs. That sounds like a perfect reason to ditch this misguided law.

The RFS is supposed to increase the amount of renewable fuel we use. Unfortunately, it’s having a lot of unintended effects on our economy. Besides the fact that more ethanol in our gas could damage many engines, the RFS implementation could also reduce our economic output.

A study by National Economic Research Associates consultants found that the RFS will lead to a $770 billion decrease in economic activity by 2015. It will also cause a $500 billion decrease in take-home pay for U.S. workers.

Can our economy afford to take this hit? I don’t think so. If Congress and the president want to do something to help the economy, they can start with repealing the RFS.

Chris Bablin

Ballston Spa

Trains need to slow down in urban areas

The most important point of the excellent June 28 article on the CSX train wreck was that no one was seriously hurt. However, if that wreck had happened on the tracks in Fonda, there would have been instant urban renewal with a tragic loss of life.

And just imagine if the accident had involved a passenger train. When one looks at the record of CSX in our area, such a catastrophe is all too real.

At this time, we don’t know the reason for the collision, but it seems obvious that one immediate thing that should be done is to impose a very low speed limit when the trains go through not only Fonda, but any similar urban area.

These trains appear to be moving at 65 mph. Another potential disaster is the specialized mile-long refrigerator trains that start on the West Coast and bring fresh produce to us in the East. An accident involving the weight, or mere mass, of those trains is frightening.

Hopefully, a full report will soon be available to indicate the reason(s) for the recent accident. And, hopefully, such a report will include safety recommendations.

John Griffith

Fultonville

Editorial on July 4 fireworks was a dud

For the most part, when you doze at your desk, I merely chuckle at the results of the lack of editorial oversight. However, I was not amused by, nor can I embrace the rationale expressed in, the July 4 editorial, “Fireworks, legal or not, part of the Fourth.

In reference to the illegal use of fireworks in the state, you suggest: “In fact, rather than fight this rising tide, New York should join” ... “there truly are more dangerous violations of law taking place.”

On that basis, should the rising tides of road rage, speeding, texting while driving, DWI, animal abuse, burglary, and other law-breaking be ignored because assault and murder are more dangerous?

If you feel that fireworks laws can be disregarded, then lobby to have the law legally overturned, rather than just ignored. Or nod off again.

Eloise Hills

Schenectady

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