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Spare global anti-poverty programs from budget ax


Published: Sun, April 16, 2017 @ 12:00 a.m.

Spare global anti-poverty programs from budget ax

The White House is proposing drastic cuts to global development programs in our national budget. This would be disastrous.

Currently, millions of kids are able to go to school and get vital medical treatment because of anti-poverty programs supported by the U.S. government. Healthy, educated children become healthy, educated adults who can contribute to their communities and economies in a myriad of ways. This benefits all of us.

It’s been said that the national budget is a moral document, reflecting our values and priorities. I strongly urge our representatives to reject any cuts to global anti-poverty programs. I believe our country is at its best when we make sure everyone has the foundation for a bright future.

Sherry Massaro, Canfield

Americans can’t ‘pile on’ President Trump enough

Regarding a letter last week titled “Editorial that piled on Trump was ill-timed”: No editorial that piles on Trumplestiltskin can possibly be ill-timed, as the man is raising incompetence in the Oval Office to heights even George W. Bush failed to climb.

What in the world led members of the Wrong Wing to believe that a New York City contractor, who was such a poor businessman he couldn’t even make casinos work, could possibly be presidential material? Was it just because he wasn’t a woman?

Maybe he fooled them into thinking he was actually a “Rethuglican,” just because he ran as one? (Just like Bernie Sanders fooled so many on the Left into thinking he was a Democrat, just because he ran as one in the primaries.)

Are we all really so dim-witted that we can’t get past labels to see the reality behind them? The reality behind Trumplestiltskin is that his capabilities only run the gamut from A to A. We’ve had a few other presidents who were certified dopes, but most of them at least surrounded themselves with a few advisers and Cabinet members who were more than living, breathing bobbleheads.

Mary Towey, Niles

Our war on drugs needs greater focus on demand

Once again, in a true life or death struggle, our politicians, more often than not those from the GOP, have failed in making meaningful reforms to combat Ohio’s opioid-abuse epidemic.

Gov. John Kasich’s solution, as it was for former Presidents Nixon, Reagan, and George W. is to once again focus on the failed premise of the war on drugs and attack the supply.

While no one can seriously debate the need for something to be done about this crisis in Ohio, the failure of our politicians to learn from the past is astounding.

First, the supply-side fueled drug war has roundly been rejected by experience and empirical data. It doesn’t take Alan Greenspan to figure out that where there is a demand, someone will supply. Attempting to cut supply without drastically curbing demand only results in bigger profits for drug dealers.

Second, hasn’t anyone figured out that a major cause of this epidemic was the wholesale, rapid cutting off of patients from prescriptions after the OxyContin debacle in the mid-2000s? So this will be different? Hardly. This round of ham-handed government interference will only serve to push more law-abiding citizens into the black market without any adequate funding for more treatment, diversion or prevention.

Finally, what are patients with legitimate chronic pain issues where these medications are the only recourse supposed to do? The new rules are too broad, vague and ambiguous for anyone not suffering from acute pain (post-op, fractured bones) or not undergoing cancer treatment or hospice care.

No one thinks illegitimate prescriptions or unscrupulous physicians should not be stopped. Clearly oversight is needed. However, not at the expense of patients’ right to a quality of life missing without these medications and certainly not at the expense of physicians licensed by Ohio to render expert opinions and treatments.

Dave Fasano, Youngstown

Here’s how to expand health care, cut tax burden

I believe there are practical ways to provide a wider range of people access to health care. Economic problems, lifestyles, proximity to health services and just pure luck are all factors that would change health-care cost. Therefore, a wider variety of programs is needed to efficiently cover individuals or families. There, it would be more practical for an employer to set aside money in an employee’s health savings account. Then employees are empowered to take care of their own health care, or to simply buy insurance that best suits them.

Many employers cannot afford to cover the full cost of health care. For this reason, instead of raising the minimum wage, employers should be required to pay at least $2 per hour worked into that employee’s health-care savings account. This would lower the overall cost of health care because more people would have the funds to pay their own bills.

For example, if 20 million people who do not receive money for health care started receiving the $2 per hour, and they averaged 30 hours per week, over $1 billion per week would be set aside for health care. There would be less pressure on Medicaid. Therefore this program would actually reduce the tax burden.

Furthermore, people wanting to donate to an individual in need would be more likely to do so if the money would go straight into their health savings account.

This would be the easiest adjustment and the consumers would have a better understanding of their own health care. I believe the overall health of the workforce and the country would be better because of it.

Robert G. Mossman, Youngstown

Opposition to Syria strike shows US as paper tiger

As I read The Vindi- cator and watch broadcast news around the country on the protesters against the missile strikes in Syria, I wonder where is this country going?

It is no wonder that we are known around the world as the paper tiger; the chemical attacks against innocent people must not be tolerated in a civilized society.

It is past time that we as a nation stepped up to the plate and said enough is enough and that this type of atrocity must not be allowed to happen again.

Jim Eidel, Beaver Township

Politicians and journalists must stop acting like kids

I am writing this letter to express my views on the actions of those people who are to be held in high regard as our elected officials and the journalists that should be telling the truth.

It is disgraceful how those in Washington are acting like juveniles instead of leading our country with the brains and wisdom that they should be using.

Who can we believe? Is there one honest news agency? Why do stories get printed or reported with no confirmation of the facts?

I will make a statement that the increase in illegal drug usage by the younger generation is due to the lack of guidance by their families and the lack of respect of our leaders both local and national. Can I prove my statement? No. Does it have merit? I don’t know, but it is food for thought.

Children have lost respect for their parents, educators, policemen and now our political leaders and journalists. When will this stop?

Possibly, when the above-mentioned role models start acting like adults instead of children.

Nancy Epstein, Boardman


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