Letters, Letters to the Editor, Opinion

Dec. 26 letters to the editor

Families, average citizens are put last

Two stories in the Dec. 17 issue of The Dominion Post drew my attention for different reasons.

The first reported on a press conference held by Sen. Capito in which one beheld a remarkable display of her priorities.

On the one hand, she opposes the provisions in President Biden’s Build Back Better bill that would provide financial support for working families to cover the costs of child care and pre-K education, claiming that they would double costs for middle-income families (really? subsidizing child care will cost people more?) and wipe out faith-based child care (I have my doubts).

On the other hand, she was not happy that the Biden administration’s proposed budget was lower than what Congress wanted, so she was happy to support adding a mere $25 billion to it, in part because the NETL lab and WVU would benefit from monies to support research on domestic production of critical metals.

Presumably, the ultimate beneficiaries would be corporate America, which would produce these metals domestically (and perhaps the senator’s investment portfolio?).

So, working families, you’re on your own; capitalists, look forward to greater profitability.

The second story concerned Judge Tucker’s ruling that a civilian police review and advisory board violated civil service law. Very well. The citizens of Morgantown now know what they have to do.

Just as after 9/11, people were encouraged to be vigilant about suspicious activity suggesting possible terrorist attacks: “If you see something, say something.” In the present instance, “If you see something [questionable about police conduct], film something [with your cell phones].”

Christopher Wilkinson

Who does Sen. Manchin think he’s representing?

Sen. Joe Manchin has really done it now.

Instead of compromising on some provisions in President Biden’s Build Back Better bill, he has now withdrawn any support for it, which effectively kills the bill. The only way it would pass is if Republican senators came out in favor of it and — since the bill was aimed at the majority of Americans to provide benefits taken for granted in most other industrial countries — that Republican support ain’t gonna happen.

What is worse about this action is that, according to published reports, Manchin lacks faith in his own constituents, the good people of West Virginia.

In recent months, Manchin has told several of his fellow Democrats that he thought parents would waste monthly child tax credit payments on drugs instead of providing for their children, And he “also told colleagues he believes that Americans would fraudulently use the proposed paid sick leave policy, specifically saying people would feign being sick and go on hunting trips, a source familiar with his comments told HuffPost.”

Who does he think he is representing? Does he believe our poorer residents are like corporate CEOs who gladly accepted a huge tax cut and then did not create jobs but bought back their own stock, issued large dividends to stockholders and raised their own pay?

Thanks for nothing, Joe.

David Hammond

GOP says ‘no’ but offers no alternative plans

I had to look it up to see what specifically Republicans, including our own Sen. Capito, objected to in the requirements for day  care centers to receive aid under Build Back Better.

What I found is that they would have to pay a decent wage to the workers, have to provide access to the disabled and not discriminate based, I presume, on race or religion. I don’t know if same-gender parents are included in the non-discrimination clauses.

All of this seems like a good idea to me. There is nothing to stop faith-based centers from operating, they just might not receive federal aid.

The most important question for me is “What is the Republican alternative to Build Back Better?”

Child care is hard for parents now. Many employers don’t provide leave for parents to care for children who are ill, or even maternity leave for new mothers to heal from childbirth. Where are the Republican plans to deal with these issues?

Sen. Capito and other Republicans are good at saying “no” to anything this administration proposes, then they turn around and say President Biden hasn’t done anything. It’s maddening.

Barry Wendell

Supreme Court not broken, but the ‘fix’ is

The guest editorial of Dec. 22 is of a desperate liberal view. In the past decades, the Supreme Court has been considered “liberal” in terms of the supposed views of the sitting justices. During this time, I don’t remember hearing or reading anything about the court being “packed” and that some rule/law needs changed to reverse that. The thought was possibly a new justice would be added when a president of your political view was choosing.

But, now that the court seems to have a conservative majority, many of those of the liberal view are pushing to change something to get it back to a liberal court, not willing to wait for an opening on the court. It is being suggested that adding more justices will remedy that.

Adding more justices will only remedy that for a short time period, because if it were to happen now, it would be expected that Mr. Biden would add liberal justices that would “tilt” the court again toward the liberal vote. However, that would only last until a conservative president added conservative justices to bring it back to a conservative court.

According to the guest editorial, the number of justices has been at nine for 125+ years. In my opinion, it is working quite well. I don’t always agree with decisions of the court, but I have a deep respect for the work it does.

America is America because our founding fathers had the wisdom of the Lord to set our government up the way it currently is. Is it perfect? Probably not, but way closer than the governments of other countries, as evidenced by the people of the world willing to risk all to get to America.

A cliche that I agree with: “If it’s not broke, don’t fix it.” The Supreme Court is not broken and doesn’t need fixing. Leave it alone.

Roger Vankirk

Not all debt bad, and investing in kids worth it

Sen. Manchin talks frequently about the need for bipartisanship. However, when it comes to dealing with his own party, his unwillingness to engage in honest discussion to reach a compromise is becoming ever more apparent.

To announce his unwillingness to support his own party, on Fox News of all places, adds insult to injury. He clearly also does not understand much about how the economy works.

Just as for a household, not all debts are “bad.” While it is a bad idea to use a loan to pay for a vacation, going into debt to invest into the future is a necessity if you want to improve your life — not a luxury.

Investing in our children is a particularly productive expenditure that will help them be successful, thereby lowering society’s costs in the future, as they will not need our support but, instead, will be able to contribute to common endeavors.

Unfortunately, Sen. Manchin is only familiar with selling the state’s major assets, coal and gas, and seems to know nothing about producing something useful that cannot be dug up. He is a proto-typical rent seeker and a huge disappointment as our representative!

Peter Schaeffer

Of the ‘two Joes,’ one fights for West Virginia 

Years ago, when I ran for magistrate, Kay Murray was comparing my background with Sandy Holepit. Her introduction to the subject was, “And now for the two Sandys.”

My intro here will be similar: “And now for the two Joes.”

 When West Virginia, behind Major Harris, played for the national championship in Tempe against Lou Holtz’s Notre Dame, I took my son to the Fiesta Bowl. As we were walking into the stadium, a group of “Irish” fans looked at my son’s and my feet and said, “Oh, you West Virginians really do wear shoes, don’t you.”

Yes, we wear shoes, and at times they have to be coal miner “steel toes,” because we get them stepped on a lot, especially here lately.

When Joe Manchin ran for a state office some years ago, I visited him and Gayle at their home in Fairmont. I campaigned for him then, and although I have disagreed with him on certain issues over the years, I’ve found him to be a man of his “people of West Virginia.”

In a recent phone interview, he declared that party members wanted to step on his toes, put pressure on him and break him down. In his West Virginia drawl, you could hear his anger with those who said they couldn’t “trust him.”

Well, he is wearing his coal miners steel toes and holding his ground.

For some reason, our leaders with Boston, Chicago, New York and West Coast dialects think that people with southern accents, or from West Virginia, are “stupid.” And to use common vernacular, that just ain’t so.

I applaud “our Joe” for being more than a Democrat (the party that elected the other Joe to the highest office in the country). I’m thankful “our Joe” has a spine, and I think that at this time of year, West Virginians have been given a Christmas present. His ability to stand his ground. You go, Joe!

E. A. “Sandy” Bigelow

‘Cost of doing nothing is more than we can afford’

Hoppy Kercheval’s commentary last Friday (DP-12-17-21) paints a very discouraging picture.

The premature death knell for coal that he describes means a more imminent death knell for life as we know it. The record-breaking heat waves and wildfires in the Pacific northwest, more hurricanes, the first ever rain falling on the highest point of the Greenland icecap, massive tornado systems across Kentucky in December; we are seeing extreme weather events this year that have never been seen before. All this is because we are burning fossil fuels and creating greenhouse gases, which trap heat in the atmosphere and warm the planet. Warmer oceans and air currents throw complex weather systems out of whack.

I am 67 and am truly frightened by what the world could be like when I am an old lady. Do we want to spend all our tax dollars on cleaning up after ever more severe weather disasters? How many billions will it cost to restore what was destroyed in Kentucky two weeks ago?

Doesn’t it make more sense to invest those dollars in switching to clean energy? Why aren’t our senators supporting the Build Back Better Act, which would bring much needed investment to our state? The cost of doing nothing is way more than we can afford.

Betsy Lawson