Posted September 28, 2012 | comments 34 Comments

Letter to the Editor: How are you better off?


Much was said at both the Republican National Committee and Democratic National Commmittee conventions about what President Obama has done and has not done, and what he will and will not do if reelected. Since the conventions, there has been much debate about how much that was said at both conventions is true, and how much is not true.

A question oft repeated at both conventions was "Are we better off than we were four years ago?" The Republicans gave many statistics showing that, in many ways, the country is worse off than it was four years ago. The Democrats made many attempts to downplay those statistics, and show ways it felt the country was better off.

A better question needs to be asked: how is the country better off than it was four years ago? Another good question that each of us should ask is: how am I better off than I was four years ago? A third question that should be asked is: how are my family, friends, and close acquaintances better off than they were four years ago? Put this way, you may find yourself answering the questions differently than you answered the questions put the way the Democrats and Republicans do.

Before you vote on Nov. 6, ask yourself those questions and answer them honestly. Remember, the deadline to register to vote in Virginia is Oct. 15, and Oct. 16 in West Virginia.

How are you better off?

John Bost, Strasburg

34 Comments | Leave a comment

    How am I better off? That’s a no brainer Bost. All I have to do is look at my IRA. After doubling under Clinton, it lost 15% under Bush. Under Obama it has regained that loss and then some. A vote for Romney/Ryan would be a vote to return to the same failed fiscal policies of the Bush administration that drove the economy to the brink of a recession. That’s the definition of insanity.

    You can B.S. the B.S.'ers, but you can't snow the snowman.....

    IF I wished to make an "unbiased" point and said:

    "The [Good Guys?] gave many statistics showing that..." blah blah blah.

    and followed that with;

    "The [Bad Guys?] made many attempts to downplay..." blah blah blah.

    would you know which political party I was actually rooting for? Sure you would. Can we now guess who John Bost deceptively supports with his opinion piece? Why do radical far right Republicans need to lie about EVERYTHING?

    Over the past few weeks the NVD has become inundated with reader opinions from Republican leaning readers. It is as if they all got the memo from headquarters to beat the drums and write those letters shilling for Mittens. I'll bet if we looked at other small town newspapers in the Commonwealth, we would see the same surge of opinions from Republican leaning readers.

    The polls (even the Fox News poll) unanimously report Obama leading Romney, and some polls say as much as 10 per cent advantage. So what do Republican strategists say? They claim all the polls are inaccurate and controlled by Democrats. (Even the 'fair and balanced' Fox polls?)

    Desperate people do desperate things. Mr. Bost is now allowed to continue the feverish pounding of sand.

    (fair and balanced only as far as my prejudices allow)

    Bwwaaahhh hahahaha

    Romney is falling off a cliff, trapped inside the Bush 43 legacy. Trying to blame Obama for not correcting all the Bush failures is guaranteed to fail the Romney presidential bid. The Republican Party hyping non-existent "voter fraud" to disenfranchise minority voters, taking away their votes, is the final nail in the Republican coffin. Suppression of voting is treasonous anti-democracy.

    Republicans have lost their identity with the American public. Thanks to the takeover by the hard core Tea Party radicals, the Republicans have become totally irrelevant to the needs of our country. For failing as a political party, they deserve to join the other 94 defunct political parties who have failed during the existence of our country:


    I agree with ROFLMAO. Why does today's Republican Party need to lie about everything ALL THE TIME?

    The radical Islamic hard core ultra right wing conservative al-Qaeda is the Muslim world equivalent of the radical evangelical fundamentalists hard core ultra right wing conservative Tea Party of the Christian world.

    Both live in religious bubbles immune to outside influence as the world around them evolves into a future filled with new discoveries about the natural world. Political terrorism is the Viagra for both persuasions.

    Religion poisons everything.

    A question just for Republicans: Do straight people having sex make gay babies or do gay people having sex make gay babies? Once you figure this one out you will be well on your way to solving the anti-gay feelings you possess.

    You liberals are funny!! Always with the smoke and mirrors!! ROFLMAO, And a question for just for liberals, Do you even feel a little remorse when you kill little babies?

      Kind of like the smoke and mirrors of calling people "baby killers"?

      To answer, our savings are in better condition and at this time its not a concern should we end up at Warren Memorial Transport again and they fly our daughter off, we wont be stuck with the bills due to a "pre-existing condition", not to mention our premiums were less this year contrary to the ACA raising rates LIE. The 3 people I knew that lost jobs are working and in better positions. So yes, we are better.

      If only the Republican Party and others could care as much about the baby who is born as they do about the embryo, they might be more convincing. Certainly the thousands of young men and women who die in these illegal wars don't seem to trouble them too much, not as long as their a-- is not in harm's way!

      There are so many, many problems now, better look at the whole picture.

    What are we missing? We cannot see where this letter has anything written regarding anti-gay feelings or religion. If we do get more information on this, we certainly are not looking for a novel form reply. A few facts will be adequate!!! ENOUGH SAID.

    I have never killed anybody, but I have read a few obituaries with great pleasure.

    I am not surprised you missed something. However, I would be more surprised if you understood something. Have you not figured out where gay babies come from?

    Bwwwaaaaahhhhhh hahahahaha

    ROFLMAO: Thanks for the factual information. BLESS YOUR HEART, you kept it short!!!!

    Yeah, the epithet of 'baby killer' is over-the-top desperation, but I've had nicer people call me worse.

    Fewer and fewer Republicans are willing to freely admit they are Republicans. There is not much debate the Republican Party finds itself moving ever farther to the far right extreme of la-la land, disenfranchising centrist, and yes, even liberal leaning Republicans. The shrinking membership numbers leaves the Party more and more desperate to woo and court and win the fringes, the Tea Party misfits, the Libertarian radicals, the loony gun lovers, the evangelicals, the elite super rich 1%'ers, and the low information knuckle draggers, the favorite target of the Limbaugh's and the Beck's and the Hannity's of the Koch Brothers/Rupert Murdoch media broadcast propaganda machine. The long legacy of "Tricky Dick" Nixon, the Plumbers, and Nixon's Special Counsel Charles Colson's orchestration of dirty tricks has come full circle, finally putting an end to this decades long cycle of cheating, deceit, dishonesty, and deception.

    If the political science researchers are correct predicting another major defeat of Republican candidates all across the political spectrum, history may record this election cycle as the begining of the end of the Republican Party as we know it today.

    Good riddance.... watch out for that door on your way into oblivion.

    Am I better off now than I was 4 years ago? Does a hobby horse have a wooden behind?


    Am I better off than four years ago, Mr. Bost? Absolutely----my IRA and 401K looks far, far better! A former co-worker of mine was distraught 4 years ago because she was preparing to retire but couldn't after her 401k took a terrible "hit" and she could not afford to retire at that time. She will tell you she is much better off than four years ago-----with the vast improvement in her retirement accounts, she was able to retire a year ago.

    A family friend with several medical problems had surgery two months ago and due to post-op complication after complication, had to be readmitted to the hospital, has spent an incredible 5 weeks in the hospital with over 3 of those weeks in ICU alone and has finally "turned the corner" and is slowly getting better. As well as being grateful that she is getting better, she and her family are so thankful that thanks to Obamacare, the insurance company will not be able to drop her and the insurance company can no longer put a lifetime dollar limit on her coverage. You better believe this lady and her family have no doubt that they are better off today.

    Forgot about my nephew, Mr. Bost, who is a graduate from a culinary arts school, who is better off today (which makes me better off whenever he calls me on the phone in a happier frame of mind).

    Four years ago my nephew had been laid off from his job as one of the chefs at a very nice restaurant in another state. Four years ago there was a dramatic decrease in people eating out at this restaurant to the point that they had to lay off people such as some of their chefs, like my nephew, as well as some of the wait staff. Now, four years later, the restaurant business is back up again and my nephew who had been re-hired by this restaurant, is happily employed again and certainly better off than he was four years ago.

    He also, at the time he had been laid off four years ago, lost his health insurance from his job and could not afford to buy his own and that was a tense time---with no medical insurance coverage---- for not only him but his parents. If we had had Obamacare four years ago, even though he would have lost his health insurance coverage when he was laid off, being 23 years old at the time, he could have been carried on his father's health insurance plan. Another plus for those people in my nepthew's situation today compared to four years ago.

    Don't like either party, but you ask if I'm better off than 4 yrs ago...in some ways yes, in others no. But, if you would have asked me the same question 4 years ago about the previous 4-8 years, you would have received a very adamant "He** NO!" Our investments are starting to recover lately, but the ramifications of gas prices rising 252% during the Bush years are still being felt in the HUGE prices we are paying at the pump, grocery store and every retail transaction made.

    Mr. Bost, Why not ask our veterans if they believe their lives will be better if Romney becomes the Commander-in-Chief.

    "...SENATOR JIM WEBB criticized Mitt Romney for not thanking, or EVEN MENTIONING MEMBERS OF OUR ARMED FORCES AND VETERANS in his RNC convention speech.

    “If nothing else, at least mention some word of thanks and respect when a presidential candidate who is their generational peer makes a speech,” said Webb, a FORMER NAvY SECRETARY and DECORATED MARINE who served in Vietnam. ... “This was a time when every American male was eligible to be drafted. People made choices,” Webb said. “Those among us who stepped forward to face the harsh unknowns did so with the belief that their service would be honored.”

    "Senator Webb also blasted Romney for suggesting that 47% of Americans feel they are victims who are entitled to federal handouts. Many recipients of federal benefits are veterans who served their country in war, or their families.


    And now....

    "While it is one senator who requested the hold, Mitch McConnell and the Senate Republican leadership had to be notified of his intention to prevent a bill that would have provided a cost of living adjustment for disabled veterans, surviving spouses and children of members of our military who died while serving their country."

    The U.S. hotel industry reported strong performance increases in the three key performance metrics during summer 2012, according to data from STR.

    “We continue to be surprised by the consistent growth in demand for hotel rooms,” said Brad Garner, STR’s COO. “While the rate of growth in rooms sold is likely to taper, the industry continues to move into a favorable pricing position. The higher contribution of room rate into RevPAR should lead to higher profitability for the industry at large.”


    "Analysts said the overall industry results exceeded expectations. The consistent level of demand throughout the year has helped the companies keep inventories stable and sales incentives relatively low.

    "Major automakers reported Tuesday that sales grew 19.9 percent in August despite higher gas prices during the month.

    "General Motors, the nation’s largest automaker, said its United States sales grew 10.1 percent, to 240,000 vehicles, in August. The increase was driven by a strong performance by its Chevrolet passenger cars, particularly the new Sonic subcompact model and the even-smaller Spark minicar that G.M. builds in Korea.

    "The Ford Motor Company said its August sales increased 12.6 percent, to 196,000 vehicles. It reported its biggest gains in the Focus compact car and the new Escape, its smallest sport utility vehicle...Focus sales were up 35 percent compared with the same period a year earlier, and Escape sales rose 36 percent...The overall strength of the American market prompted Ford to announce it will build 725,000 vehicles in North America during the fourth quarter, a 7 percent increase from the same period a year earlier.

    "Chrysler, the smallest of the Detroit car companies, said its August sales increased by 14.1 percent, to 148,000 vehicles.

    "Toyota said that it sold 188,000 vehicles during August, a 45.6 percent increase from the same month last year. Honda reported a 59.5 percent gain, to 131,000 vehicles."


    Romney and Ryan aim to boost business start-ups as an engine of growth. In fact, they're setting more people up for failure.

    "If we make it easier for people to become entrepreneurs, then we should expect many more failures. The failure rate of the people who are induced by new government policies to become entrepreneurs will almost certainly be even higher than the average for the current group of entrepreneurs. This could mean that we would be looking at a 10-year failure rate of 90% or higher among the people who are persuaded to start a business with our new, more entrepreneur-friendly policies. It is not obvious that this is good either for the economy or for the would-be entrepreneurs.
    "Starting with the latter, the entrepreneur glorifiers tell us about people pursuing their dreams. Those starting new businesses often exhaust their savings, take out a second mortgage on a house, borrow to the limit on credit cards and hit up family and friends for the money needed to get their business off the ground. Many leave stable, well-paying jobs with promising career paths. They then work 70-, 80- or even 100-hour weeks. Sometimes, they can go years without a day of vacation or other leave, neglecting their friends, family and health in the process."


    What percentage of new businesses fail in the first year?

    The latest statistics from the Small Business Administration (SBA) show that "two-thirds of new employer establishments survive two years, and 44 percent survive four years."

    D. 75%


    Wed Sep 12, 2012 (Reuters) - U.S. retail sales should rise 3.3 percent this holiday season, on what is expected to be the first increase in shopper traffic since 2007, according to a forecast from research firm ShopperTrak released on Wednesday.
    ShopperTrak, a data firm that makes sales projections based on shopper visits to more than 50,000 retail locations around the United States, expects foot traffic to increase 2.8 percent during the peak holiday shopping months of November and December.

    JUL 26, 2012 Starbucks’ net income grew to $333.1 million, or 43 cents per share, for the fiscal third-quarter ended July 1, from $279.1 million, or 36 cents per share a year earlier. Analysts, on average, expected Starbucks to report a profit of 45 cents per share for the latest quarter, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. (Reuters)

    September 26, 2012, U.S. m-commerce sales will grow 99% in 2012 to nearly $21 billion... the growth was driven by the mobile commerce market’s biggest retail, ticket and travel companies, an analysis of data published in the Internet Retailer Mobile 400 shows. The biggest market represented in the Internet Retailer Mobile 400 is the U.S., where 281 retailers grew their combined sales year over year 83.2% to $7.99 billion from $4.36 billion compared with U.S. mobile travel sales (38 companies) that grew 149.5% to $2.57 billion in 2012 from $1.03 billion in 2011 and ticket companies that posted U.S. sales of $288.1 million, up 1701 from $106.3 million in 2011.

    The top 10 companies ranked in the Mobile 400—Amazon.com, Apple Inc., Marriott International Inc., Orbitz LLC, QVC, Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Hilton Worldwide, easyJet, InterContinental Hotels & Resorts and Expedia—accounted for 39.3%, $8.19 billion, of all U.S. mobile commerce sales in 2012, compared with 39.0%, $4.1 billion, for the top 10 in 2011. http://www.internetretailer.com/2012/09/26/big-players-dominate-us-mobile-commerce.

    How Am I better off? I bought my house during the Busch Administration! Everyone said, you need to buy buy! I just do not have to talk any longer on that do I? I bought, and I'm not saying anything about my property value, and not being able to refinance.

    My job that I work now is a good living? But I made a better living at one time!....before they sent my work over to India in the busch administration.

    WB Jane!

    I know there are people who are better off and others whom didn't quite recover and/or are still recovering. The question might be answered personally by each voter but the bigger question is "Is America better off than 4 years ago?" Financially and Foreign relations, yes. Is there more division is the big question? I really don't think we are more divided. (crazy right?) The extreme nutjobs were always nutjobs, it just took Obama's presidency to bring them out in the open. In its sense, its better because the hatred isn't hidden behind closed doors anymore. Righting that and the fight for equality for all has given many a cause, and THAT is better.

    My 2 cents worth anyway.

    WELCOME BACK Jane. I was afraid that you had just given up trying to communicate with some of these "hard heads". Glad you're still hanging in there.

    Got the debates coming up on Wed. Wonder how many people will actually watch?

    I hope Romney can finally give us some insight on his plans for this country beyond mere slogans. Just saying he will create jobs doesn't make it so: he needs to tell us how he will do that.


      According to AARP, Wed night's debate does NOT include questions about Medicare and Social Security if you can believe that one! Please help get those questions included by clicking on this link and passing the word around for others to do the same! AARP is asking everyone to share the link with others! Both Medicare and Social Security are hotly debated topics and we deserve to hear what the candidates have to say about them during the debates!


        Tstar, I believe the three debates will be based on "themes" with the first being about the economy basically. Obama will NOT let Medicare or Social Security go without notice because that has been one of the biggest lies of all (coming from Romney/Ryan).

        Also since Ryan's little take on Medicare is so well known (AARP), I'm sure Biden plans to nail him on that, however, I will check this link out and spread the word.

        Thanks. : )

    (Thanks, Katybug and Diane.)

    The Romneys have described their early years as ones of real hardship, hardship they overcame through hard work -- and income from stocks.

    "They were not easy years. You have to understand, I was raised in a lovely neighborhood, as was Mitt, and at [Brigham Young University], we moved into a $62-a-month basement apartment with a cement floor and lived there two years as students with no income ... Neither one of us had a job, because Mitt had enough of an investment from stock that we could sell off a little at a time," Ann Romney told the Boston Globe in 1994. "We had no income except the stock we were chipping away at. We were living on the edge, not entertaining."

    Hey College Students, Doesn't your heart ache for the pain they must have endured while attending college?

    Oops, before I get my hands slapped...above info gleaned from factcheck.com.

    Macy's Inc. plans to hire about 80,000 seasonal workers this holiday season Macy's said Monday that the seasonal workers will be used to staff up not only its Macy's and Bloomingdale's stores, but also its call centers, distribution centers and online fulfillment centers. Many of the positions will be part-time.Macy's employs about 175,000 staffers on a year-round basis.

    Toys R Us Inc. said last week that it plans to hire 45,000 seasonal workers to staff up its pop up stores and help fulfill its expanded customer service, like shipping online purchases to stores. That's nearly a 13 percent jump from the 40,000 seasonal workers the Wayne, N.J.-based company hired in 2011.

    In addition, department store operator Kohl's Corp. said last month it will be hiring more than 52,700 people, up more than 10 percent from last year. Kohl's Corp., based in Menomonee Falls, Wis., also expects to hire 5,700 people for jobs at its distribution centers and 30 people for seasonal positions in its credit operations business.
    (Sources: nbcnews & usatoday)

    "...we found numerous instances of candidate spin in what Romney had to say. For example:

    Romney says Obama “said by now [unemployment] would be down to 5.4 percent.” But Romney is referring to a speculative report issued at the beginning of Obama’s presidency containing projections — not promises. Those projections relied on prevailing economic models that quickly proved to have underestimated the depths of the recession at that time.
    Romney says median family income dropped $5,000 under Obama. That’s an exaggeration. The true loss of inflation-adjusted, median family income was $3,290 during Obama’s first three years. Romney’s figure is based on a report that covers a period that includes 13 months before Obama took office.
    Romney says health insurance premiums have gone up $2,500 under Obama. The actual increase has been $1,700, most of which was absorbed by employers and only a small part of which is attributable to the health care law.
    Romney blames Obama for the cost of gasoline doubling, but that’s misleading. Gasoline prices happened to be unusually low when Obama took office due to the recession and financial crisis.
    Romney cited a Chamber of Commerce survey as evidence that small-business owners are less likely to hire because of the health care law. But experts warn not to place too much weight on the survey because it was an opt-in, online survey.
    Romney said Obama “cut Medicare by $716 billion to pay for Obamacare,” but these cuts in the future growth of spending prolong the life of the Medicare trust fund, stretching the program’s finances out longer than they would last otherwise.
    Romney said the health care law is “killing jobs in small business.” But CBO says the law would have a “small” impact on jobs, mainly affecting the amount of labor workers choose to supply. Those getting subsidies, for instance, might work less hours since they’re paying less for health care.
    Romney said he would bring health care costs down by “finally deal[ing] with malpractice costs,” but experts say medical malpractice doesn’t make much of a dent in health care spending.

    Has anyone noticed the GOP voter fraud all over just about any news service available??? (GOOGLE it!)

    I REALLY hope people are talking to their neighbors, friends, family, anyone that will listen about about the GOP War on America, because that's exactly what it is. Women, Seniors, Veterans, Children, the Poor, the Middle Class, the list is LONG.

    Katybug, Recruiting is the name of their game...

    A tea party group in North Carolina is being criticized by local residents after it held a “machine gun social” to raise funds for conservative candidates.

    WLOS reported that members of the tea party gathered in Brevard on Saturday to fire various machine guns for donations ranging from $25 to $50. The group said that the money raised would go to political advertising. (Rawstory)

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