Tea Party hates living room, burns house
It seems to me that the Tea Party is like someone who doesn't like the color of the living room so they decide to burn down the house and start again. Their problem in our democratic system is that they must convince enough voters that we must destroy our economic and political system so it can be rebuilt based on their fringe, ultra-conservative rules.
To do this, they must demonize anyone who stands in their way and viciously attack all government programs to make their hard-line system appear to be the only way to “save” America.
No system is ever perfect. The purpose of government is not to destroy and rebuild but to do what is necessary to iron out problems to make our system more fair and effective.
I hope there are enough reasonable people to save us from those who hate our system so much they don't care whom they hurt as they destroy it. It is long past time for the wacky Tea Party fringe to be thrown on the trash heap of history.
David W. McCord, Omaha
Where was Sen. Johanns back then?
I agree with Sen. Mike Johanns that something must be done about the national debt. I'd just like to ask him why he wasn't concerned about that during the Bush administration.
Andrew R. White, Kearney, Neb.
Fortenberry marches with Tea Party
Can you believe the insane Tea Party radicalism and extremism of the Republican Party? Sadly, I can.
Last week, during a telephone “town hall” with Rep. Jeff Fortenberry, it was there. He went on and on about how terrible the shutdown was, how he wanted it to end, how his staff was shorthanded. It struck me he was portraying the shutdown like some “act of God,” some natural disaster he had to endure with the rest of us.
Fortenberry has talked somewhat moderately in the past. But he's marched lockstep with the Tea Party radicals to damage the government and the people with the shutdown. And he's going to insist on these short-term bills that bring about fiscal crises every few weeks, which cost the American taxpayer billions of dollars in damages.
Fortenberry earned my third-ever contribution in 45 years to a political campaign. For his opponent!
David Gary Holmes, Bellevue
Park Service's behavior in shutdown odd
Am I the only one who is wondering why National Park Service employees cannot assist people to enjoy our national parks and other sites, such as the World War II memorial and the Statue of Liberty, but can be available to keep them out? How can they make up signs and put up barricades if there is no money?
The World-Herald editorial of Oct. 15 says “the public deserves to know who in the Obama administration imposed the nonsensical rules that imposed these roadblocks and needlessly turned the Park Service from a help to a hindrance.” I have wondered the same thing, but I am not going to hold my breath until we get an answer.
And it is all the Republicans' fault?
Bill Holling, Omaha
Pipelines are the environmentalist path
Regarding Jim Anderson's letter (“Don't put pipeline profits ahead of safety,” Oct. 11 Pulse): The fact is, pipelines in Nebraska have long proven to be the safest form of transportation of petroleum products and are far more efficient and environmentally responsible than the use of trains, trucks and tanker ships. In fact, Fortune magazine has just reported that the delay in constructing the Keystone XL pipeline has directly led to an increase of 300 to 500 additional semi-trucks on the roads in North Dakota, adding to air pollution and traffic accidents.
When built, the Keystone XL will be one of our nation's safest pipelines. It will be built with the latest, state-of-the-art technology. It's the safest, most environmentally responsible path to take.
William Taylor, Bellevue
Put market to work against emissions
Because of political gridlock, President Obama has chosen the EPA to take the lead role in regulating carbon emissions. There is a better way, endorsed by Republicans George Schultz, Arthur Laffer and others: It is a revenue-neutral carbon fee.
Revenue-neutral means that taxes on the American public would not increase, because the revenue raised would be returned to individuals rather than being kept by the government.
Many economists think that market forces can be more effective than government in allowing prices to reflect costs. But that fails if there is a distortion in the cost. In this case, carbon pollution has been dumped into the atmosphere for free, ignoring the costs of poor health, environment and extreme weather. A gradually rising carbon fee, collected at the well, mine and port, would provide a price signal that would flow through the economy. It would favor green over carbon-based technology by raising the price of carbon in predictable steps. The disparity between domestic and foreign carbon regulations can be adjusted through import fees.
Because we care about the world we live in, we urgently need to get beyond business as usual. A carbon fee-and-dividend system is one way to get started.
Mark Welsch, Omaha