Federal spending

Dear Editor:In response to Margaret Hittenger's diatribe about the "Military-Industrial Complex" (Letters to the Editor, 1/2/14), I think it is Ms. Hittinger who needs to "wake up." In fiscal year 2013 (ending 9/30/13) all federal spending totaled $3.8 trillion. Of that, 24 percent, or $912 billion, was spent for national defense. Health, welfare and social security totaled an astounding 56 percent, or $2.128 trillion. Non-military discretionary spending was $760 billion, or 20 percent of the total. The industrial-complex she needs to guard against is the Government-Healthcare Complex, which is variously reported to comprise between 16-19 percent of the total economy. Splitting the different at 17.5 percent, the share of the 2013 economy made up by healthcare comes to $2.843 trillion - which is equal to 75 percent of total federal spending - though a great deal of that is coming from the pockets of the users of healthcare, as they are finding out with the increased premiums and deductibles forced on them by the PPACA. So, Ms. Hittinger, who is it that needs to "wake up" and smell the 21st Century? Drew Kelley Downey

Dear Editor: As I really have no time (or stomach) to read any more of Elsa Van Leuven's diatribes - I mean letters - this will be my last response. Where do I get my information? Here's the trick: more than one place. I read newspapers. The L.A. Times. The New York Times. The Wall Street Journal. I watch the BBC. I watch one show on MSNBC, Rachel Maddow. I tape it and run through the interviews. I can't stand a constant diet of anything, and a constant diet of MSNBC is just as repugnant as a constant diet of Fox. Speaking of Fox, Elsa mentions some liberal commentators appear there. Let me ask her this, how many liberals have their own show? If you said none, you are correct. I am not going to waste my time answering all of her conspiracy questions, because she wouldn't believe me anyway. This is my last thought on the matter: it is the responsibility of every person who loves this country to think for themselves. Think. Doubt. Question. Verify. Investigate. Only listening to one side of any issue is lazy and unproductive. "Two legs good, four legs better." Richard Henry Downey

Dear Editor: Where do I start? After reading last week's letters I can only say two things: go Elsa, and where does Margaret Hittinger get her news, Pravda? President Obama's two election slogans were "Hope" and "Forward." Well, there was no hope and instead of forward the country is going backward. He promised the most transparent administration in history and as Elsa points out, it is the least transparent and secretive. He believes he can make appointments and change laws made by Congress whenever he wants to. It is not all the Democrats' fault, however. We have Republicans with no backbone or ideas. The worst thing they did was pass that budget that screwed our retired military, including disabled retirees, but left a loophole which gives illegal aliens our tax dollars. Now let's get to our local leaders. Dianne Feinstein is 80 years old, Barbara Boxer is 73 years old, Nancy Pelosi is 73 years old, Lucille Roybal-Allard is 72 years old. Three of them are millionaires and Roybal-Allard never met an illegal alien she did not love and want to make a citizen so they could vote for her in the next election. Each one of these individuals has been in Congress for more than 20 years. What exactly have these four women done for California and the country? Absolutely nothing except tax and spend. Pelosi's bill while she was Speaker of the House would have helped plenty of the poor people Ms. Hittinger talked about. However, many of those alleged poor people have cars, cell phones, flat screen TVs, computers and all those other electronic gadgets. There is one thing that Ms. Hittinger said that is 100 percent correct and it is, "Wake up, America." What we need to do now is throw all these clowns out that call themselves congressional leaders and get some new people in there with new and bold ideas that will bring our economy back and put people to work, instead of creating more regulations and hindrances to this great country. George Hofstetter Downey

********** Published: Jan. 9, 2014 - Volume 12 - Issue 39