ANOTHER VOICE: Walden’s ‘no’ vote was admirable

The Hood River County Republican Central Committee unanimously thanks Congressman Greg Walden for being one of the 144 Republicans who had the common sense to say “no” to the “kicking our country’s budget and debt crisis down the road” to be increased again in three months.

Every one of the 435 members of Congress and the Executive branch know that our country has now created a national debt of $17 trillion with more to come in three months.

The government is currently borrowing more than 40 cents on every dollar it spends; a large part of that coming from the Federal Reserve printing more funny money along with the $40 billion monthly to buy back our own debt. The best guess of Federal Reserve debt is at least $8 trillion of this digital funny money, devaluing people’s savings and IRAs.

The “Continuing Resolution,” instead of the lawfully mandated budget, is projected to add another trillion-plus above tax revenue as far as projections are available. We have another $60-$70 trillion in unfunded welfare promises. All of this is unsustainable!

We citizens are not getting the information to see the real picture of what is happening to our country because of the spendthrift mentality of the federal government.

Meanwhile, the mainstream media, instead of just giving us finger-pointing sound bites, ought to be asking the questions of our government officials how they expect to pay for the hundreds of programs that are part of our three branches of government. The media should be asking why we don’t have a national plan to bring our spending under control.

Like any business or family budget we expect that a budget will be written based on what revenue that is expected. We also expect that our tax dollars will be used wisely by each federal department so that we can actually have a national plan to pay down the debt instead of just paying the interest which will soon exceed all the revenue collected by all the levels of government.

The legislation that was passed last Wednesday did not even begin to acknowledge any effort to tackle our national slide into financial oblivion. It actually authorized some more spending than what the legislation called for. We are headed toward making Greece’s financial collapse look like a picnic.

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Tom Yates speaks on behalf of the Hood River County Republican Central Committee.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge



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