Wealth concentration

MIKE KERSTETTER

Watsontown

It has been suggested that, to believe that the rich should not be taxed at higher rates so others can enjoy a better standing of living means that you think wealth should be concentrated to a very few people.

Nowhere did that thought or comment appear in anything that has been written, at least that I have read.

What has been said is that, what is mine is mine, and what is theirs is theirs.

Taking from one person and giving it to others to improve their socioeconomic standing is socialism.

It’s a really simple concept.

Not one person who advocates taxing the rich at higher rates would think it OK that the government showed up at their door and took half of their stuff to give to someone else.

But they think it’s OK that it happens to someone else. There is something telling about that mindset. That mindset proves what I have said previously, that liberals are a very generous people, as long as it’s with someone else’s money.

And let me explain it one more time: Water, food, shelter, and clothing are all that one needs to survive.

Anything else is a luxury. If all of the other modern conveniences (utilities, healthcare, education, transportation, etc.) went away, you could still ‘live’ as long as you had those 4 basics. Again, it’s a really simple concept. Yet there are some who say they are confused about it. Are they so dense that they are really confused? Or is it that they fully understand the concept and want us to believe they are confused?

Gerrymandering

ROSE REEDER

Lock Haven

The Supreme Court recently ruled Gerrymandering as “palpably unconstitutional.”

This ruling is a good step toward ending gerrymandering, however, it is not a full solution.

The court has now put forth a standard by which other Congressional and legislative redistricting efforts can be judged.

They have upheld what the Pennsylvania Constitution states, that is, districts must be compact, contiguous and maintain community boundaries as much as possible.

Although partisan data mining should not be part of the process, it appears that it is possible to utilize partisan information even though the map is visually acceptable.

Our legislators have redrawn and submitted a new voting districts map to the governor.

The governor has a team of experts who reviewed the new map. The governor ultimately rejected it.

The problem is that the process that brought us such terrible and unnaturally biased maps has not changed. We cannot know how maps are drawn when a handful of majority political party leaders go behind doors and come up with a map that still demonstrates unfair advantages.

Remember, both parties do this. Whichever party happens to be the majority after the census is in charge.

We must remove politicians and politics from this process. These rulings don’t end gerrymandering. They does, however, slow it down. The courtroom door continues to be open and as long as maps are drawn for political advantage, there will be appeals. This will continue to be costly and slow. Until we have a nonpartisan, transparent committee of citizens, maps will probably continue to be drawn behind closed doors to benefit the party that holds the majority. We must continue our efforts to change the process.

Nothing less than an independent citizens commission will solve the problem of partisan advantage taking.

(Rose Reeder is a member of the Clinton County Fair Districts Pa. Team.)

Gerrymandering ‘fix’ by court

ruling does no such thing

ROBERT ‘PETE’ SMELTZ

McElhattan

Now that the courts have ruled regarding the issue of gerrymandering in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, as they have been or will be doing in other states, it is as they say at the Olympics, “Let the games begin.”

I need to clear the air as to what, in fact, Resolution No. 3 — which was passed by the Clinton County Board of Commissioners — declares in regard to redistricting.

Mirroring proposed legislation, our resolution calls for the formation of an 11-person board as follows: Four Republicans, four Democrats, and three non-partisan individuals to serve on a redistricting commission to set state legislative and Congressional boundaries following the results of the 2020 census. That is a viable solution. I know my fellow commissioners can substantiate this part of my letter. As a matter of personal reflection, I do not support what is now happening via recent court decisions that seem to worsen the problem.

Which is exactly why the board of commissioners – regardless of politics and political power plays – chose to support a legislative solution and to allow it to take effect after the 2020 census.

More broken government! It’s like the courts picked up a piece of broken pottery, a vase let’s say, and said, “we need to fix this.” So they slam it back down on the floor and break it more. Then representatives from each of the two major political parties come along and try to figure out how the pieces should be glued together, with each coming up with their own combination.

In the end, it still doesn’t look like a functional vase that can hold water. May I also remind the people of Clinton County that, if you support the concept of representative government, be aware that in addition to our resolution, every single municipal government in the county approved similar resolutions.

In other words, our action was reflective of the will of the people we work for.

What’s more, I have seen three different redistricting maps of Pennsylvania. They’re all very different and yet each of the drafters feel their version is the right one.

I absolutely do not support any redistricting that draws Clinton County out of our 5th Congressional District represented by Glenn G. T. Thompson. First of all, the 5th District is not a gerrymandered district. It is big only because it has to be to encompass the required population of the sparsely populated land mass it represents. Secondly, just like many for years embraced the benefits of having a senior and seasoned state House representative like we have had in Mike Hanna Sr., why would we not embrace the benefits of a congressman who is high on the seniority charts in Washington to serve our own district?

One of the key reasons I supported a non-partisan end to gerrymandering, if I may remind everybody, is that for Clinton County’s state Senatorial representation over a period of 30 years we went from a Republican out of Bellefonte (Jake Corman), to a Democrat all the way from Johnstown (John Wozniac), to a Republican all the way from Brockway in Elk County (Joe Scarnati). Let’s not be fools for the sake of sustaining political power.

The very political back-and-forth between parties over redistricting grows ever stronger. Our resolution clearly states needs that it needs to stop.

Too cheeky

WILLIAM E. SMEDLEY

Picture Rocks

When the Democrats remained seated on their (you know what) for our President’s State of the Union message, their actions can only be referenced to their party animal. It’s long overdue for a change in our representation

Food stamp boxed food

ROLLANDA DEE FRAZIER

South Williamsport

So President Trump wants the people like me on food stamps to accept government-issued food (that if you look at the list most people would consider the items unhealthy) so it can take one half of my benefits.

This overlooks people on special diets, diabetics, elderly on soft foods … plus nothing fresh in the boxes.

Look at what is offered and believe me this is nothing “non-food stamp recipients” would even consider. Find a better way to control “fraud.” We are not under “depression-era times” where we are forced to accept handouts.

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