Letters to the Editor

Eyes wide open to Republican way

In typical Republican/Tea Bagger fashion Mr. Neil lays out one of the major distinctions between Republican/Tea Bagger and Democrat/Progressive ideals. Mr. Neil wants to take money from the American taxpayer and give it to corporate interests. Mr. Neil recommends that money from the Land and Water Conservation Fund be diverted from purchasing and developing recreational assets to repairing corporate destruction of the American people’s resources.

An examination of Mr. Neil’s editorial is false. Grants from the LWCF are not “earmarks.” The LWCF was established in 1965 by Congress in a bipartisan commitment to invest in our natural areas. This fund has permanently protected places such as the Grand Canyon National Park. Every year $900 million from oil and gas drilling lease proceeds are suppose to be dedicated to the LWCF. But this full funding has only been reached once since 1965. With Republican Congress diverting nearly $17 billion of the fund to unrelated issues.

A quick review of the corporate exploitation of resources that belong to every American reveals that the Republican/Tea Baggers are feeding us a bunch of hogwash and many Americans are buying it! For example, oil and gas drilling leases on our lands are sold for pennies on the hundreds of dollars. The Republican/Tea Baggers tell us that this giveaway is necessary to create energy independence. What they don’t tell you is that this oil and gas taken from our lands isn’t given or sold to us but it is sold on the world markets at huge profits to the oil and gas companies and kickbacks to the Republican Party in the form of lobbyist handouts. Then the American people have to buy this oil and gas at going prices…so much for energy independence.

In similar fashion, logging on national forests is nothing more than corporate welfare. Nearly every allotment sold on national forests loses money for the taxpayer. The taxpayer has to pay for the logging roads into the national forest for the corporations to “take” our forests. There are over 300,000 miles of logging roads in our national forests. This is more than three times the amount of interstate highways in America. This clear-cut logging, especially on steep hillsides, causes massive amounts of runoff and sediments to flow into the rivers and streams. This is one of the reasons that we are having 100-year floods every few years. Mr. Neil wants to take more money from taxpayers, first by giving corporations our forests then using our money to fix the environmental destruction that they caused.

Mining on our land is an even greater disaster. Multinational corporations stake claims on our land for $5 an acre, extract billions of dollars in gold, silver, platinum and other precious or rare minerals and pay nothing to the American treasury in royalties. This mining giveaway has been in existence since 1872 and the Republicans have blocked every effort to update this law. In the process of mining, a tremendous amount of pollution and destruction occur. Mr. Neil proposes that money from the LWCF be used to repair the damage done by these corporate hucksters.

It seems that many Americans can’t connect the dots. If they keep accepting the Republican/Tea Bagger philosophy of anti-regulation, corporate giveaways, dismantling Social Security, Medicare and other foundations of our society, Americans will find itself with a few very wealthy people and nearly everyone else eating cat food in their old age. Hopefully, Americans will open their eyes to the Republican philosophy that has brought ruin to our nation. God bless America.

Chris Quiles

Enumclaw

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