Originally Published: July 25, 2004 7 a.m.
simply a cruel joke
Yes, Mr. Dean (June 20), a lot of Americans are smarter than politicians give us credit for.
We also have memories. I remember some years ago a document entitled "The tax simplification act," which quickly lost the word "simplification" when it reached 7,000-plus pages. It became "The tax reform act" and wound up putting billions of additional dollars into the federal coffers.
It turned out then as it would now that politicians would rather cut general public services than pork barrel expenditures to entities that help get them re-elected. Can anyone give me a reason to believe tax reform would be any different today? We have the most complicated tax system on the face of the earth.
It is so complicated that a large percentage of the time citizens who present questions to the IRS get incorrect answers. If the IRS doesn't understand the rules, who thinks politicians would understand enough to reform the code correctly?
If you speak to hospital administrators they will tell you that while Medicaid cuts have hurt, it's not nearly so much as the billions of dollars they lose annually treating cashless, uninsured illegal aliens for free.
They then overcharge the insured patients just to survive, and that increases premiums.
Lastly, when did the rules change? When did health care, job training, education and housing become the responsibility of the federal government and not one for local and state governments?
Also, when did providing for the family become the responsibility of any portion of government? I have read and reread the Constitution and find no such mandate.
Perhaps it arises out of the Democratic concept of a big, beneficent government. I agree with programs for certain people who cannot support themselves. But we need to put the responsibility back on the family.
offers an apology
I wish to thank VFW Post 10227 for their help in carrying out the responsibility of marching in the Fourth of July parade on July 3rd.
The VFW was supposed to be in the No. 5 position in front of the parade, but because of an unfortunate administrative mistake we ended up in Position 75.
Because of this mistake, I and other VFW representatives decided not to march. Because this was a veterans parade we thought that being in Position 75 did not fairly represent VFW members in the light we deserved.
After all, we and other veterans like us in other veterans organizations were the ones who provided the freedom that allowed functions like this to happen.
I wish to sincerely apologize specifically to Bill and Yvonne Lee and Wesley Walker for other VFW's not being in the parade. Again, I wish to offer apologies for allowing you folk to be the only VFW veterans in the parade.
District 2 Commander
Meeting Reagan left
an indelible mark
When first learning of former President Ronald Reagan's passing, I, too, was overcome with emotion.
I met Ronald Reagan personally. Not as president but at the height of his acting career. I was 13 and living with my aunt and uncle in Beverly Hills. Having just survived the Long Beach earthquake that demolished portions of Southern California, they decided to put their home up for sale and move to the Bay Area.
My adopted parents were very strict. When they told me to do something, I either complied or suffered a severe punishment. They also liked to socialize. When I tagged along, their motto was "you are to be seen and not heard."
The Sunday I was to meet Reagan they went one step further. About the time Reagan was eyeing all the beauty of the backyard patio of the home, he saw me sitting on a bench, waved and said, "Hi kid, how you doing?"
When I ignored him, he turned to my uncle and said, "Oh, Mr. Haberle, I'm sorry, I never knew your child was deaf!"
That did it! I piped up and said, "I'm not deaf! I was told if I spoke to you I'd get a whipping!" Reagan looked at both my aunt and uncle, moved toward me, put his hand out and asked my name.
I told him, and he said, "Wayne, my name is Ronald Reagan, but I want you to call me 'Ronnie,' OK?"
It took some time after that to realize I'd shaken the hand of someone who was to become governor of California as well as one of the greatest and most popular presidents of modern times.
And yes, you can bet I never forgot his kindness and concern for my welfare at the time.
Wayne Van Gorder