Union Democrat staff

A Tale of Two Presidents

To the Editor:

I read with interest, Domenic Torchia's letter about the "Myth of Reagan's Presidency."

While I would not argue Torchia's facts and figures, since he is the president of the Tuolumne County Democratic Club, I do take issue with his spin on the subject.

His letter brought to mind a comparison and contrast of Ronald Reagan's Presidency and our current administration.

Both administrations have a lot in common in that they inherited an American economy in serious trouble. The two presidents applied expensive and daring remedies. President Reagan passed massive tax-cuts, deregulated industry, promoted monetary restraint and government spending controls. Obama, on the other hand gave us a $1 trillion spending stimulus.

By the end of the summer of President Reagan's third year in office our economy was soaring. The GDP growth rate was approaching 7 percent.

Today we are crawling along at less than 1 percent growth and most economists agree that we are heading for a deeper recession.

When President Reagan's first term ended, things were pretty good in the United States.

Today, things look gloomy and the worst is yet to come.

I am sure that even Domenic Torchia would have to admit that one president did the right thing while the other is still learning, at the expense of the American people.

JB Dugan


Congress disappointing

To the Editor:

My opinion on why the polls show the disappointment of the average voter on the performance of Congress.

Soon we will be coming to the 2012 elections and the Republican Party has become a fractured identity. The elected Congress is not supporting their constituents. Instead, they are supporting a non-elected member of the party, Grover Norquist. This is the same person who was a central figure in the GOP culture of corruption and cronyism that helped Democrats retake control of Congress in 2006. Groups such as Olin and Scaife fund Norquist and his Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) - conservative foundations set up by millionaires and billionaires like the Koch brothers. ATR has also received significant funding from the tobacco, gambling and alcohol industries. They may support the Republican cause but they support their own ends more. Their support of their own goal is to the detriment of the average Republican.

Voters must also examine the impact on the party by the Tea Party members elected in 2010. The lack of knowledge they displayed in the debt ceiling debate. One member still wants to explore the birth certificate question, this is not governance, it is a waste of time. Speaker Boehner is having much difficulty controlling the new members of the House. His difficulties in keeping the new members on the speaker's agenda have cost Boehner credibility with the party and the voters. This 'just say no' house politics and the Senate filibusters have not resonated with the average party members and may be just the problem that allows the Democratic party a chance of overcoming the unemployment problem.

Sanford Conley