Union Democrat staff

Priorities clear

To the editor:

Your May 20 article, "County facing big budget deficit," said county budget problems were due, in part, to "cuts in state assistance to local governments." This has it backwards. We citizens support and assist the state through our taxes. To say it "cuts assistance" really means it keeps more of our money than it usually does so it can cover its own budget.

And why does the state keep more of our money? Because the federal government keeps more of the money it could, should and used to return to the state. The feds keep more to fund illegal and immoral wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and provide tax breaks and other subsidies to wealthy capitalists who own and control our government. Heaven forbid cutting assistance to the wealthy.

Conservatives like to say the people know how best to spend their money. They say this to promote lower taxes. This idea attracts middle class support, but the actual tax reductions really benefit the wealthy.

I do agree, however, that we the people know how we want to spend our money. Our priorities and desires are being strongly expressed in the protest against cuts in county services. People are saying they want good schools, police protection, firefighters, good libraries, good roads and employment opportunities.

This is how we want to spend our money. There is enough to provide all of these if the federal and state governments would stop taking more of our money than they should. Politicians who do not support our priorities should be voted out of office in favor of those who do.

Phil Nichols


Health care

To the editor:

I've read many letters regarding single payer health care or government health care. My take is that the problem doesn't completely lie within the health care industry or insurance providers, but with the legal problems brought on by lawsuits.

Having the government provide health care is a lose-lose situation. We'll get the efficiency of the postal service and the compassion of the IRS. The government will be in charge of saying who gets treatment and when, whether a person has lived long enough or is worthy of care. We're asking lawyers (elected politicians) to fix the problem of having lawyers bring, not always, frivolous lawsuits. Sure, there are reasons to bring lawsuits, but what is needed is serious tort reform, loser pays. As it is now a person can bring a lawsuit with little merit and should they lose they are just out their time. Vegas doesn't give odds that good! Who pays for that? We do in the form of high insurance costs. Hospitals and doctors pass the high cost of insurance on to the user (us) in the form of higher prices - can you say cha-ching? We have the best health care bar none anywhere. Why is it that wealthy individuals from countries with socialized medicine come to this country for treatment?

What will happen to medical research should government establish limits to profits? What will happen to people with the aptitude to study medicine to earn a good living? If I were a young scholar trying to decide my life's ambition, I'd choose law over medicine. As a lawyer, no one is going to pass a law limiting my income.

George Greenfield


Wonderful event

To the editor:

We would like to thank Tuolumne County Recreation Department for sponsoring the 36th annual Special Athletes' Track and Field Day, Sonora Sunrise Rotary Club for providing an awesome lunch for everyone, Summerville High School for their track, Summerville High student volunteers and Summerville High student April Sisco, for her part in organizing the event for her senior project.

Once again, our athletes had a fabulous time. They shined! They performed their very best at events like the 50 meter and 100 meter races, the wheelchair race, the softball throw and the standing long jump.

Track and Field Day is a wonderful annual event for children and adults with disabilities. At Track and Field Day, athletes are able to improve physical fitness skills and self confidence, demonstrate courage and enthusiasm, enjoy the rewards of friendship, and create positive change in the lives of their families, friends, volunteers, staff and others who cheer them on.

We sincerely hope that this event will continue to be sponsored in spite of these tough economic times.

Christine Ballou, Maureen Peacock, Carita Edson and Bonnie Ellis

Tuolumne County Superintendent

of Schools special education teachers

Poppy days

To the editor:

We members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Sonora Post 3154, held our semi-annual Buddy Poppy Days on May 15-16. We want to thank all of the citizens and visitors to our community for being so generous with their donations during these difficult financial times. These donations are held in our post's relief fund, a fund used only to provide assistance to needy veterans and their families. During the past year VFW Post 3154 has provided much needed financial assistance to local veterans and other veteran organizations.

Ben Teal

Quartermaster, VFW Post 3154