Vail Daily letter: Do some research |

Vail Daily letter: Do some research

Katha Hartley
Eagle, CO Colorado

Here’s a challenge to all of us! Do homework, research, evaluate before voting for the candidates that will determine our future in Eagle County, Colorado, and the nation.

The challenge will require time and critical thinking, both of which are sorely lacking in our sound-byte driven, busy working or trying to find work lives. Nevertheless, I throw down the gauntlet because so much is at stake for all of us.

Review the campaign websites of our U.S. Senate candidates, Ken Buck and Michael Bennet – especially under the Issues tabs. The comparisons are stunning and the conclusions, for me, are obvious.

Disappointingly, Ken Buck’s Issues sections tell us nothing about what he will do as a senator. They are bland, content-poor, and filled with 50,000-foot-level comments. Bennet’s Issues sections are robust, more content-filled, and offer fuller explanations. Two examples:

Buck will support the military “with the benefits and care they have earned.” Interesting since this administration has improved the lives of the military more than the past three – restoration of the G.I. Bill, increase in salary, remuneration for “stop loss” service, improvement of Veterans Affairs under Gen. Shinseki, and more. Bennet discusses national security: strengthening our military; strategic decisions about force allocation; renewed focus on the problems weakening us from within our own borders; a new approach to engaging the international community to develop a cohesive response to nuclear proliferation and global climate change.

Buck cautions that “we can’t survive in the unprecedented effort to put Congress and the federal government in total control of our free market system.” He doesn’t bother to tell us that the Frank-Dodd Bill, already law under the new finance regulations, prohibits any further use of TARP money to be spent on financial institution bail-outs. He doesn’t mention that Wall Street is doing well – obviously not under “total control” of the government. The top 25 hedge fund managers, in the midst of our shared recession, each made $1 billion. How did you do?

Buck’s party works tirelessly against regulation and reform and wants to add $700 billion to our debt by institutionalizing the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest 2 percent. So, the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest will be permanent. Has anyone felt a job creating, economy building effect from them yet? Middle class benefits, like Social Security, expanded health care, and working to keep or restore jobs in the United States, will be decreased, “privatized,” or eliminated through Buck’s work if he is elected. Bennet discusses our fiscal problems and their root causes, economic recovery strategies, federal spending, economic benefits of health care reform, entitlement reform, and smart tax policies. I read and learned.

Buck’s party even resists continuing the very successful Extension of Salary Payment Program that even Haley Barbour (governor of Mississippi) endorses and wants extended. If you haven’t heard about the Extension of Salary Payment Program in the Vail Daily, time to do the research.

Read the websites.

Katha Hartley Eagle

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