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Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Of Reagan and Seeger

Amherst resident Simon Lesser (“Hail, Seeger!”, Letters, February 20, 2014) must either be very young or very stupid. Maybe both.

He rants about President Reagan, a great American who kept this country safe by stopping the Cold War, and praises Pete Seeger.

Seeger was nothing more than a good songwriter/singer. Politically, he was an ardent Stalinist. From 1939 through 1941, the early years of World War II, he pleaded for peace, but when Hitler invaded Russia he changed his tune (no pun intended) and was all-out for war. He admired Stalin, a brutal dictator who starved millions of his own people.

Lesser should read something about how horrible starving to death is and rethink his thoughts about Seeger.

Obamacare Is Not a Failure

The Republicans always seem to be against the middle class and on the wrong side of history. It is true that with the Affordable Care Act, some people who have stayed in jobs just for the health insurance will no longer have that problem. People who always wanted to start a business of their own will be able to give it a go because health insurance will continue if they leave that job.

Republicans are painting that as jobs lost. It is not. It is jobs now available for the unemployed. Considering that there are three applicants for every open position, these newly available jobs are a good thing. It’s a very favorable side effect of Obamacare and a boost to the economy. It is not a failure of the ACA.

It’s time for Republicans to stop putting a negative spin on a good thing just so they can say that Obamacare is a failure. Obamacare is not ideal, but it is better than what we had. A public option that eliminates insurance company profits would be better, but the ACA is all we got, and it is a step in the right direction.

 

Presidents’ Abuse of Power

Presidents have abused their powers by circumventing Congress with executive orders, which could be unconstitutional in many cases. Presidential executive orders proliferated with Eisenhower starting in 1953, and have become commonplace instruments of presidents. Over the previous 60 years, approximately 3,200 executive orders have been enacted, 1830 by Republicans and 1370 by Democrats.

President Obama is currently using executive orders to circumvent the Republican-controlled House of Representatives. He recently proclaimed, “When I can act on my own without Congress, I’m going to do so.” He ordered an increase in the minimum wage for federal contractors and extended the deadline for the implementation of elements of Obamacare for one year. He lifted a ban that automatically prohibited people who provided “limited material support” to terrorists from entering the U.S.

The Supreme Court plans to review the Constitutional limits of executive power, including the unprecedented number of Obama appointments made when Congress was in recess. Although all presidents starting with Herbert Hoover have used executive orders, Obama is the first president to publicly declare this maneuver an official part of administration policy. The Supreme Court might have to take action to halt our slide on the slippery slope to dictatorship.

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