Observations and thoughts

I get so tired reading the many letters from individuals spouting political rhetoric and the usual talking points to substantiate their views. Usually nothing is ever laid out to back their over-stated leanings.

Some miscellaneous observations and thoughts:

I just read in today’s newspaper the dilemma the Wood County Commission is facing over the ever-increasing health insurance premiums. A 10.7 percent increase is facing them this year. It appears this is on top of a 12.6 percent and a 17 percent increase the years before. As many recall from the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act promise, premiums were actually supposed to drop when the mandate was put into law in 2010. Many reports from reputable sources are stating that even larger increases are on the horizon.

Another article in today’s newspaper addressed the federal minimum wage hike that has been proposed and the implications it would have on a local business. This is not conjecture or rhetoric, but a known direction this business will have to consider if wage controls – minimum wage – is further advanced. It does not forbode well an optimistic labor picture.

Some recent events around the country regarding very young school-age children being suspended for being children is spiraling out of control. There have been numerous news stories on an overzealous educators’ war on guns and many very innocent actions by youngsters have resulted in over-the-top actions. It is insane. Five- and 6-year-olds are only kids. They pretend and play innocent games. It seems like common sense has been thrown out the window. I certainly hope our local school boards have a handle on this and do not start knee-jerk reactions to continue the insanity. I don’t know what our country is becoming.

Federal tax revenues for 2000 amounted to approximately $2 trillion. Outlays amounted to $1.8 trillion. There was actually a small surplus. Total debt in 2000 was $5.8 trillion; 2006 saw revenues increase to $2.4 trillion and outlays to go to $2.7 trillion. Total debt increased to $8.2 trillion. In 2012, revenue increased to $2.5 trillion and outlays jumped to $3.8 trillion. Total U.S. debt now stands at $16.5 trillion dollars. We now have all-time highs for tax revenue, but expenditures have more than doubled since 2000 and the debt has tripled. Is this sustainable?

Voters need to be a well-informed public, but I am concerned this may not be the case.

Larry Reed