Commentary on financial fairness, censorship, and grass huts

Plus, a pun about grass huts.

So Jon, where were you when the Republicans were allowed the ultra-wealthy to pay a lower tax rate than the middle-class when Trump took office (“Forgiving student loans unfair to most Americans,” published May 4)? Where have you been for the last 40 years since Reagan started this fiasco of “Trickle Down Economics” that has never worked and has only made multi-millionaires multi-billionaires? Ultra-conservatives like yourself are perfectly fine with the rich getting richer but when Democrats are in charge and try to do something to help the average Joe, you seem to forget that the preamble to the constitution says “Promote the General Welfare.” The general welfare Jon, not just the richest and most well-off amongst us, but the people that need it most.

I get the distinct impression that you are of the opinion that anyone who can’t do well on their own should just go somewhere out of your sight and die. You remind me of Scrooge in Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” when asked to donate to help the poor. “Are there no workhouses, are there no prisons?” to which the people collecting for the poor say, “Yes, but many would rather die than go there.” Scrooge replies, “Well let them do so than and decrease the excess population.”

That seems to be what people that need help are to you, Jon — the excess population. Our taxes are supposed to go to the people that need it most, that is what our country should be about.

In another letter (“Censorship on any level is anti-American,” published May 4), Brian DiNielli faults Rich Elfers for claiming some censorship is what we need. I’m pretty sure what Elfers is referring to is the willful spreading of lies and disinformation that has been rampant on social media, much of it perpetrated by some of our elected officials — one in particular springs to mind. I’m pretty sure that Brian would agree that our freedom of speech doesn’t include shouting “fire” in a crowded movie theater — your freedom to wave your arms wildly about stops at the end of my nose.

So, while we should all do our best to preserve those freedoms, there should be consequences for those who blatantly abuse that right with harmful intent in mind, be it elected officials or Russian trolls. Just sayin’.

Finally, to end with a pun: In a kingdom in Africa, the people lived in very elaborate grass huts — so elaborate that the king’s hut had a large attic where all of the previous king’s thrones were stored, because every time a new king was crowned he was given his own throne. After several generations of kings and a lot of thrones, the attic collapsed and crushed the king and everyone else in his hut. I guess “people who live in grass houses shouldn’t stow thrones.”

You just had to know that was comin’, didn’t ya? I’ve only got about four more doozies so if you’re enjoying my feeble attempts, send me one of your favorites at

Larry Benson