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Posted October 5, 2012 | comments 28 Comments

Letters to the Editor: Obama offers division, government control

Editor:

President John F. Kennedy admonished Americans, "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country!" Perhaps that admonishment has never been more appropriate than it is now as Election Day 2012 approaches.

Three years later, it is well known that a "spread the wealth" madman took President Kennedy's life and Lyndon Johnson became president. With the help of a Democratic-controlled Congress, the federal government began to borrow from the Social Security Trust Fund. That quickly became a bad habit and now 45 years and trillions in revenue shortfall (unpayable paper I,O.U.s) later, there is no money to cover tens of trillions of already-promised entitlements.

Thanks to another Democratic Congress, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, President Obama inherited a formidable financial crisis. With help from a Democratic-controlled Congress, Obama pushed through, while a majority of Americans opposed, his totally unaffordable health care act. Less than four years and five trillion in deficits later, America has a financial disaster. To continue this path four more years surely will bring calamity and ruin.
With the Middle East, North Africa and other countries in turmoil, the U.N. in session, and world leaders desiring to meet with him, Obama chose only to make a speech, attend political rallies and make appearances on TV shows. That made him more likable to those who are mesmerized by him, but surely cast a longer shadow on his leadership capabilities.

Do you remember reading about Nero who fiddles while Rome burned?
Let us consider more of the president's accomplishments:

• Operating without a budget and offering one that not one member of Congress voted for.

• Gas prices had doubled.

Health care costs are up 15 percent.

• The Keystone Pipeline, with its energy and jobs, is on hold at best.

• Median family income is down nine percent.

• Low and middle income families wonder if they will be able to afford heating oil.

What will you take for America? Alternative lifestyle? Drugs? Free contraception? Please consider it before Nov. 6.

Obama offers division, regulation and government control. Mitt Romney will work to restore prosperity.

Homer Funk, Front Royal

28 Comments |

    Gosh yes, let's all vote for Andy of Mayberry.

    "Mitt Romney will work to restore prosperity." First off I ask you which Mitt are you referring to, conservative or moderate? The one that thinks 47% of Americans are lazy and don't responsibility for themselves? And HOW do you propose he is gong to do this? He can't even tell you exactly how he is going to do this...but he sure looked good at the debates. I am not voting for a stage performance, I am voting for policy, and consistency.

      The ONLY consistency I've seen is OUR DEBT continuing to GO UP & UP & UP.
      Oh, and him campaigning all the time when he still has a job to do now.
      Policy, he's good at TELLING us what he is GOING TO DO but NOT SO GOOD in following through with his HOPE & CHANGE. Not much has changed for the good. Bad yes. Good no.

    So much political propaganda everywhere-Thank God we live in the USA where we can freely express our opinions and argue our points. We all feel our opinions are correct, as I'm sure Mr. Funk does. I'd like to address his point about gas prices, as I am sooooooo tired of hearing the rhetoric that a President (past or present) is responsible in any way for gas prices. Gas prices are determined by speculators on the floor of Wall Street. PERIOD!
    I do believe that much of the financial struggles of working Americans can be placed on the rising prices of putting gas in the tank to get to work and the increased prices of our food and goods due to increased prices of transporting these goods to where the consumers buy them. Gas prices have risen and the American Oil companies have made their greatest profits ever during the last 12 years!
    From 2001-2008, the American Big 5 oil companies PROFITED $656 Billion and set a record profit of $123 Billion in 2007! In 2009, the top 3 made $58.3 Billion, 2010 $77.5 Billion and 2011 set another all time record at $137 Billion on 4% less oil produced! Out of these profits, the average that the Big 5 have reinvested into renewable energy is 4-6%, while they have spent 24% on their Green Energy Advertising. They have also spent $38 Billion in 2011 on repurchasing their own stock to provide their stock holders with greater dividends.
    Oil production is the most subsidized business in the US ; for every $1 (ONE) spent on lobbying by the oil companies have received $30 worth of tax breaks (subsidies)!! This is something that CONGRESS has the power to limit and control!
    I don't have all my sources handy to post here, but the information is out there if you look!!

      Thank god Gail had these facts and figures on the Top of her head and didn't need any sources for them.
      BUT there IS a way for the President to get gas prices to go down. It's called allowing a 'refinery' to be built. The newest significant (or sophisticated) refinery began operating in 1977 in Garyville, Louisiana. That's 35 years ago and it was approved during the oil crisis of '73.
      Why hasn't one been approved since then? That's one way to lower prices. Imagine if nothing else had been built to support this country since 1977. You can't supply more gas using a limited number of refineries that were needed but in '77 to supply more cars than there were back then. Around 1980, there were about 150M cars and in 2006 about 250M. In 25 or so years that's an increase of 100M vehicles more but NO ADDITIONAL refineries to supply those additional vehicles SO of course gas prices go up. It's common sense but he has none.
      Deregulation is needed and the President could do so. Safeguards have increased and so has modern technology to improve production and safety of these refineries.

        JOHN: "Around 1980, there were about 150M cars and in 2006 about 250M. In 25 or so years that's an increase of 100M vehicles more but NO ADDITIONAL refineries to supply those additional vehicles SO of course gas prices go up. It's common sense but he has none."

        So, John, you believe it is better to continue building the gas guzzlers vice forcing the auto industry to build more fuel efficient vehicles?

        "HE"? Which president since Carter do you mean? Ronald Reagan (8 yrs), HWBush (4 yrs), Bill Clinton (8 yrs), GWBush (8 yrs), or Barak Obama?

        There were a total of 144 operable petroleum refineries in the United States as of January 1, 2012.

        Capacity has also been added to existing refineries through upgrades or new construction. The most recent examples include:

        In 1998, Orion Refinery massively upgraded and reopened a refinery in Norco, Louisiana, which was a small, simple refinery that originally opened in 1967. (It is now owned by Valero.)
        Valero opened a "new" and very sophisticated refinery in 1983 in Corpus Christi, Texas, on the site of a simple refinery that originally opened in 1975.

        The newest refineries currently operating in the United States are as follows:

        http://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.cfm?id=29&t=6

        Jphn" "Deregulation"? Have you learned NOTHING since Reagan began deregulation?

        John, your reply is a stock answer from Paul Ryan's webpage. It is true that the US has not built any new refineries since 1977 but there's so much more to the story. WHY haven't there been any built? And not only that, but some have been closed; I learned that several months back as I was researching why all of the sudden, we in VA, after enjoying years of some of the lowest gas prices in the country were suddenly paying the national average prices. Three refineries in the mid-Atlantic were closed within the last 12 months. Some of the whys, while I'm sure not all, were found within 30 minutes of searching. The single biggest reason is that refineries are big, dirty, polluting businesses that land owners don't want around their land. There is a refinery "in the works" in South Dakota at this time, but the enviornmentalists are doing their best to block it. http://finance.yahoo.com/news/high-court-asked-throw-oil-refinery-permit-165627298--finance.html
        " Today, national and state legislation requires refineries to meet stringent air and water cleanliness standards. In fact, oil companies in the U.S. perceive obtaining a permit to build a modern refinery to be so difficult and costly that no new refineries have been built (though many have been expanded) in the U.S. since 1976. More than half the refineries that existed in 1981 are now closed due to low utilization rates and accelerating mergers.[21] As a result of these closures total US refinery capacity fell between 1981 to 1995, though the operating capacity stayed fairly constant in that time period at around 15,000,000 barrels per day (2,400,000 m3/d).[22] Increases in facility size and improvements in efficiencies have offset much of the lost physical capacity of the industry. In 1982 (the earliest data provided), the United States operated 301 refineries with a combined capacity of 17.9 million barrels (2,850,000 m3) of crude oil each calendar day. In 2010, there were 149 operable U.S. refineries with a combined capacity of 17.6 million barrels (2,800,000 m3) per calendar day.[23]
        In 2009 through 2010, as revenue streams in the oil business dried up and profitability of oil refineries fell due to lower demand for product and high reserves of supply preceding the economic recession, oil companies began to close or sell refineries. http://www.ask.com/wiki/Oil_refinery
        Sorry I didn't reference all my sources in the previous post, (as I did not in this post), but I did the research and took notes over many hours and cannot even begin to tell you how many sources I used. This subject has been a hot spot for me and my research was for myself and was just sharing some information.
        Here's a bit more: http://holt.house.gov/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=288%3Agas-prices-myths-vs-facts&catid=7&Itemid=3 I have not verified if this information is true or more political rhetoric.
        Again, there's plenty of information out there we can turn to and research-that's my point. The politicians can say and twist things around any which way they want which is what I see when their lips move.

        John, I didn't list every source because this is my interpretation of the information that I have collected in hours of research, notes and sources both on the internet and others when I wanted to know why we here in VA were suddenly paying more at the pump than the national average. As song98 stated, the information is out there and really not difficult to find; the time consuming part is to look beyond news sources ect. and look for verification of facts. SInce oil companies are publicly traded, they really aren't hard to research.
        Your reply is interesting, as it is the argument that Paul Ryan's webpage is stating. What he and you indicate is that the only why? answered about no new refineries is because of govt. regulation. What about the rest of they why? The biggest reason is that oil refineries are big & dirty and communities that meet the physical standards needed will not permit them to be built or in the case of the one that has been approved for construction in SD, that has passed all govt. regulations, the enviornmentalists do all they can to block it. The other reason, and probably the most important factor is that the oil companies do not wish to build more refineries as it is not cost efficient. Technology has changed immensely in the past several decades and oil companies are closing refineries and have not even applied to build new ones. Here's some sources for you to check out:
        http://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.cfm?id=29&t=6
        http://www.huffingtonpost.com/huff-wires/20121003/us-hyperion-refinery/
        http://www.globalization101.org/a-refining-challenge/
        Today, national and state legislation requires refineries to meet stringent air and water cleanliness standards. In fact, oil companies in the U.S. perceive obtaining a permit to build a modern refinery to be so difficult and costly that no new refineries have been built (though many have been expanded) in the U.S. since 1976. More than half the refineries that existed in 1981 are now closed due to low utilization rates and accelerating mergers.[21] As a result of these closures total US refinery capacity fell between 1981 to 1995, though the operating capacity stayed fairly constant in that time period at around 15,000,000 barrels per day (2,400,000 m3/d).[22] Increases in facility size and improvements in efficiencies have offset much of the lost physical capacity of the industry. In 1982 (the earliest data provided), the United States operated 301 refineries with a combined capacity of 17.9 million barrels (2,850,000 m3) of crude oil each calendar day. In 2010, there were 149 operable U.S. refineries with a combined capacity of 17.6 million barrels (2,800,000 m3) per calendar day.[23]
        In 2009 through 2010, as revenue streams in the oil business dried up and profitability of oil refineries fell due to lower demand for product and high reserves of supply preceding the economic recession, oil companies began to close or sell refineries. Direct quote from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oil_refinery
        Oil companies are going to continue to protect their BILLIONS in profits and keep the supply at a level that is efficient for their business; they definetly won't let us get excess supplies to bring down prices when they are in bed with our Congressional representatives that refuse to regulate them. They will also continue to try to convince Americans that they care about renewable energy when in fact their own numbers of what they actually invest in alternative energy show this is not true. It's a fairly simple re-engineering that enables a diesel engine to be converted to run on recycled vegetable oil to power our motor vehicles and this was discovered decades ago, but BIG oil will not let it get to manufacturing -a global issue. By the way, take a look at some of the investment portfolios of members of Congress-especially Paul Ryan-and see where they are making their private money. No wonder the lobbyists are so successful and the oil companies investing in their own stocks. Beware:Politicians are only going to tell as much as what sells what they are pitching and it doesn't matter if they are Republican or Democrat.

      Ok Gail, I looked and here’s what I found. Your information is straight from a progressive left leaning website Americanprogress.org. You didn’t even do the courtesy of siting your source when you took what they said word for word.
      Google “for every $1 (ONE) spent on lobbying by the oil companies have received $30” or “From 2001-2008, the American Big 5 oil companies PROFITED $656 Billion and set a record profit of $123 Billion in 2007” and see where that takes you.
      I also found some other interesting information while looking around – such as what most of the oil subsidies go to.
      “The summary of oil-related subsidies in the U.S. for 2010 totals $4.5 billion. That is a number often put forward; $4 billion a year or so in support for those greedy oil companies.
      But look at the breakdown. The single largest expenditure is just over $1 billion for the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, which is designed to protect the U.S. from oil shortages. The second largest category is just under $1 billion in tax exemptions for farm fuel. The justification for that tax exemption is that fuel taxes pay for roads, and the farm equipment that benefits from the tax exemption is technically not supposed to be using the roads. The third largest category? $570 million for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program. (This program is classified as a petroleum subsidy because it artificially reduces the price of fuel, which helps oil companies sell more of it). Those three programs account for $2.5 billion a year in “oil subsidies.”
      http://www.forbes.com/sites/energysource/2012/04/25/the-surprising-reason-that-oil-subsidies-persist-even-liberals-love-them/2/
      Or how about mentioning the other energy subsidies?
      “The federal government spent $24 billion on energy subsidies in 2011, with the vast majority going to renewable energy sources, according to a government report.
      Renewable energy and energy efficiency accounted for $16 billion of the federal support, according to the Congressional Budget Office, while the fossil-fuel industry received $2.5 billion in tax breaks.
      This is a stark change from a decade ago. The CBO noted that until 2008, most energy subsidies went to the fossil-fuel industry. The idea at the time was to encourage more domestic oil production, especially when the price of oil was low.
      CBO said the $24 billion total is a small fraction of the hundreds of billions the government's various annual subsidies, which take the form of both grants and tax breaks.
      The CBO report said tax credits for the ethanol industry totaled over $6 billion, making it the largest single renewable-energy recipient.”
      http://money.cnn.com/2012/03/07/news/economy/energy-subsidies/index.htm


    Who is Funk to show up here and like Romney/Ryan become the huckster running cheap arguments and pedaling a discredited philosophy that has been overtaken by fact checkers?

    Thank goodness the flip-flopper is finally taking care of the Big Bird problem.

    "The newest significant (or sophisticated) refinery began operating in 1977"-------That's 35 years ago----" So why don't you tell us why you think this is so, John, since we have seen not only Democrats in the White House but also Republicans in that 35 years.

    And "deregulation" as the answer? I think regulations should make sense and maybe more important should be actually enforced, but how fast we all forget things like the BP oil spill just a couple of short years ago in which regulations were just not being enforced and from what I read it was unofficially "self-regulation" by the oil company. Like the fox guarding the hen house.

    By the way, John, Gail is absolutely correct in saying that the information regarding her comments on the oil companies, including their generous subsidies, has been so well covered that it is not difficult to research it with ease. AND she did not say the facts and figures were "on the top of her head"---she said the information was out there if you look. I certainly appreciate it when people do identify their sources, but in the case of something so extensively written about such as this topic, those who "can't find" this information themselves probably, in my opinion, just don't want to.

    I'll take an America where the same Republicans that were passing about Wanted for Treason posters before JFK's death wont try to use his words later to pass along their current set of lies against the current Democrat in office, but hey that's me.

    I'll keep my memory that gas hit its first topple of 4 a gallon under Bush in 2008, I'm no math genius but for that to have doubled, we would be at 8 a gallon. Gas rises, gas falls. In 2008 Fox Spews and other right wing entertainment spent hours and hours explaining its not in GWB's control.....Obama became president and suddenly its all his fault.

    Health costs had been rising EVERY year before Obama, and we really have no idea what the ACA's impact will be other than right lie media's persistence that they know better than the healthcare industry, economisists, numbers...
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-05-21/health-care-costs-rise-faster-than-u-s-inflation-rate.html

    I'd like to shove that pipeline somewhere not really pretty on you liars. I know right wing entertainment would have you believe is tens of thousands of jobs, the company that wants to build it says different. I can read even if you cant. The dirty oil bound for CHINA was first put to a halt by a REPUBLICAN gov. Why? because he has to face election of the people whose water that line was going through.

    Median family income down? Gee you would think we almost slipped into a depression or had a recession ONLY comparable to the Great Depression or something of the sort.

    Low income families can receive heating assistance. I haven't met any middle income families that cant afford heat, maybe that's just me.

    My "long" OPINION.

    Boo Bird: Mr. Funk has every right to "show up here" and express his opinions just like you and lots of other people. GET OVER IT!!!!!!!

    ruh roh, someone has their hand in the cookie jar

    Want to guess which party takes issue with corporate and *foreign* money in our politic and which is perfectly happy to bend over for foreign masters?

    http://www.publicintegrity.org/2012/10/05/11148/canadian-owned-firms-mega-donation-super-pac-raises-legal-red-flags

    http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/10/canadian-foreign-donation-super-pac-restore-our-future

      the *patriotic* party my arse

      Katybug, Romney is messing with fire and doesn't have a clue....

      Adelson presses Romney on Pollard clemency, Israeli Embassy move
      August 6, 2012
      WASHINGTON (JTA) – Sheldon Adelson, a (the) major contributor to Republican Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign, has asked Romney to speak out publicly for the release of Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard.

      Adelson also has asked Romney to state publicly that the Palestinians are not willing to make peace and that the peace talks are a waste of time, according to the Daily Beast article. The billionaire casino owner also wants Romney to come out more firmly and commit to moving the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

      Romney has not come out against the peace talks and has said that he favors moving the embassy, but would do so only after consultation with the Israel government.

      Adelson is considered to be close with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

      http://www.jta.org/news/article/2012/08/06/3102976/adelson-presses-romney-on-pollard-clemency-israeli-embassy-move

    Israel Shoots Down Drone
    This can’t be good. The Israeli military has confirmed that its Defense Forces shot down an unmanned drone Saturday. It is still unclear where the drone originated, although Israeli officials confirmed that it hovered near the Gaza Strip. Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said in a statement that the military is taking this threat “very seriously” and is still considering its response. Soldiers are still searching for the remnants of the drone. ~CNN

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/10/06/us-israel-aircraft-idUSBRE89508720121006

    Mr. Funk, Why is it -- pray tell -- YOU and OTHERS are so illiterate when it comes to the world in which you live?

    The economy of the United States is the world’s largest national economy. Its nominal GDP was estimated to be over $15 trillion in 2011, approximately a quarter of nominal global GDP. Its GDP at purchasing power parity is the largest in the world, approximately a fifth of global GDP at purchasing power parity. The U.S. economy also maintains a very high level of output. In 2011, it was estimated to have a per capita GDP (PPP) of $48,387, the 6th highest in the world, thus making U.S. one of the world’s wealthiest nations. The U.S. is the largest trading nation in the world. Its three largest trading partners as of 2010 are Canada, China and Mexico. About 60% of the global currency reserves have been invested in the United States dollar, while 24% have been invested in the euro. The country is one of the world’s largest and most influential financial markets. Foreign investments made in the United States total almost $2.4 trillion, which is more than twice that of any other country. American investments in foreign countries total over $3.3 trillion, which is almost twice that of any other country.

    http://exploredia.com/10-largest-economies-world-2012/

    Mr. Funk....Among cities of the world, guess which city has the most to offer?

    "New York remains in the top spot according to McKinsey's 2025 projections.

    There are several reasons to believe New York's position atop the global urban hierarchy is secure, at least for the medium-run. For one, it is the world's most open and diverse large city. As its mayor Michael Bloomberg recently noted in the Financial Times , the key to global competitiveness lies in a city's ability to attract the best and brightest from every corner of the globe. "The most creative individuals want to live in places that protect personal freedoms, prize diversity and offer an abundance of cultural opportunities," he wrote.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2012/05/what-is-the-worlds-most-economically-powerful-city/256841/

    Mr. Funk - Given the crisis the world has been through.is still suffering as a result of the past decades of what the US policies have imposed on the world...WHAT IN THE WORLD DO YOU WANT?

    Gasoline prices in selected countries worldwide as of July 2012 (in U.S. dollars per gallon)

    http://www.statista.com/statistics/221368/gas-prices-around-the-world/


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