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Letters To The Editor 5/20/2019

May 20, 2019 GMT

Fake populist

Editor: President Trump campaigned as a populist, to represent common people.

He railed against the establishment, including hedge fund managers with their carried interest tax loophole. He vowed to drain the swamp. His rallies were not to enunciate his policies — he had none — but to create a carnival-like atmosphere.

With his denunciation of the “other” he attained a cult -like status among his

supporters and some pundits have likened him to folk heros, such as the Sundance Kid, Bonnie and Clyde and John Dillinger. Those people fought the establishment in devious, destructive and even deadly ways. This characterization is so wrong.


Look where we are now. Trump’s Cabinet choices have been from the establishment, without a populist among them. His signature legislation gave huge tax cuts to corporations and the wealthy and hedge fund managers still have their carried interest loophole. The swamp remains a sanctuary for reptiles.

Seriously though, what self-respecting folk hero would denigrate a U.S. senator and war hero even after his passing, especially if the folk hero had dodged the draft? What folk hero would separate kids from their mothers, put them in metal cages and lose some of them in the process?

Then there is the lying to the folks he champions. He told them wind turbines cause cancer, when there is not a shred of evidence behind it. He repeatedly said his father came from Germany, when he came from the Bronx. He has betrayed folks on these and many other occasions with lies. This person is not a folk, but a folk fake.

Those who challenge Trump must expose his betrayal of the folk, which is his main vulnerability with his base. These folk are not as dumb and gullible as Trump believes and exposing this folk fake by showing his deception will reveal Trump for what he is and is not.





School funding fine

Editor: The Times-Tribune editorial board claims the Scranton school district has been “woefully underfunded” and blames Pennsylvania’s “shameful” ranking when it comes to state education funding (“SSD’s issue not just money,” April 24).

This charge is hard to reconcile as Pennsylvania ranks ninth in the country for per-student funding of public schools. The editorial’s claim is based on a meaningless statistic, the state’s share of education funding.

Across Pennsylvania — and in Scranton — average per-student funding from the state is slightly higher than the national average. The state share only appears low because Pennsylvania schools receive about $3,500 more per student from local revenue than the national average, statistics show. If local districts suddenly dropped funding to the national average, the state share would jump to 48 percent. Would that still count as shameful?


Scranton’s problems are much bigger than the state share of funding. The district has a messy history of wasting millions of dollars through reckless decisions, as evidenced by Auditor General Eugene DePasquale’s 2017 audit and its recent placement in financial recovery status.

Simply put, giving Scranton more money won’t solve anything and blaming the state for the problems is disingenuous. Scranton families need real solutions. Expanding Pennsylvania’s Educational Improvement Tax Credit scholarship programs through House Bill 800 would give Scranton parents an alternative in a district that has failed them.



Editor’s note: The writer is an intern at the Commonwealth Foundation, a Harrisburg policy center that promotes free-market principles.


Ban assault weapons

Editor: The New York Times stated recently that at least eight shootings have taken place on high school or college campuses this year.

They have occurred inside gyms and classrooms, in parking lots and school hallways.

Altogether, at least four people have been killed and another 17 wounded so far, according to law enforcement authorities and news media reports. Two recent shootings — one at a university in Charlotte, North Carolina, and another at a school in Highlands Ranch, Colorado — accounting for the bulk of the toll.

What can we do? Please write your local and state representatives and urge them to outlaw assault weapons. This is the least we can do and this is what we must do or the blood also will be on our hands.




Healing needed

Editor: President John F. Kennedy told us, “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”

It seems we’ve forgotten that advice, or at least our leaders have forgotten it, if they ever knew it. Why is that? It’s a simple statement. It says we must love our country more than our parties and more than politics. But our leadership today cares more about power.

It’s time to exchange our leaders for more patriotic people, those who will fight for our country and lead it toward greatness. We were a good country until two years ago, but we needed to be great. The promise fell through. Now it’s time to pick up the pieces and put our country back together again.

We need leaders who will work together across aisles and divides and do it for the benefit of all Americans, who need to support those leaders. That’s when all Americans will prosper, each in their own way.

In 2016 greatness was promised to our country by a charlatan. He has torn the country apart. We need to heal ourselves. No outsiders are going to do it for us. It’s up to us. We need to ask what we can do for our country and then do it. JFK was a smart man. He knew what our country needed then and now.




Hungry Democrats

Editor: Question: Did you hear about the new Democratic diet?

Answer: You let Trump eat your lunch every day.