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Letters to the Editor, Jan. 29

We can afford it

On Friday, Jan. 15, at a local meeting, Leigh Madsen of the Ashland Community Resource Center shared eloquent and powerful words about homeless travelers. He made me think of an oft-heard assertion: We don’t have the financial resources to take care of their needs. Wrong.

In 2008, Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz and Harvard scholar Linda Bilmes estimated the eventual total cost of the Iraq War alone at some $3 trillion. A 2013 report by Bilmes revised that figure for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars — it may reach $6 trillion. The two invasions will be the most expensive wars in U.S. history — when the eventual social and economic costs are paid. These staggering costs will dominate federal budgets for decades.

Listed below are the estimated costs of the wars for local cities and Oregon, based on the 2010 census ($19,420 per person). When people state that we don’t have the financial resources to provide real help for the traveler population that includes veterans, and other vital human needs, politely inform them of the facts.

Ashland: 20,100, $390.3 million

Medford: 74,900, $1.45 billion

Talent: 6,100, $118.5 million

Oregon: 3,831,000, $74.4 billion

John Marciano

Talent

Time to clean house

I find the Medford Police Department's purchase of all new furniture for $521,497 to be obscene. Are you telling me that none of their existing furniture could be re-used? Not even one existing desk or one existing chair could be used again? I don't believe it.

While I appreciate the job the police do to fight crime, from a financial standpoint, they're incredibly poorly managed. They waste money on unnecessary purchases quite frequently. Their organization (and the Fire Department) are also top-heavy with overpaid management. Most cities Medford's size don't have a deputy police chief, while Medford has two. Most cities Medford's size don't have an assistant city manager, while Medford has two. There are more abuses.

One-half of Medford is financially poor. Some Medford residents are one step from living on the streets. I don't think that the Medford governmental stooges understand that. They keep raising the tax on our water bills.

We have two Medfords. The one that is struggling financially to survive, and then we have some government employees who are living high on the hog at our expense. This needs to change immediately. Medford needs an entirely new City Council to clean house.

Curt Ankerberg

Medford

Not buying it

Every day in multiple places, the Mail Tribune's corporate-hired pundits proselytize to the great unwashed of the Rogue Valley how radical, extremist and bigoted Trump is. Ditto those pesky Bundys and anyone else who foolishly believes the federal government should actually follow and obey its own Constitution.

Trump had the gall to ask, "What if we had spent that 4 trillion dollars on ourselves instead of blowing up the Middle East?" Our Nobel Peace Prize president has already bombed seven countries. I can only surmise that to the Mail Tribune, ”moderate," "reasonable," "rational," means continuing the endless wars, keeping the borders wide open to "guest workers" while 94 million Americans are unemployed, bailing out the banks with more trillions while they savage more jobs and homes, and enthroning insurance companies to run health care.

Trump also said we have Americans killed in America by jihadists so we should examine our refugee protocols, thanks to our “moderate” wars. I am not sure how much more "moderation" this country can take and still survive. Anyway I for one am not buying the Tribune's pronouncements of either extremism or moderation.

Tom Clunie

Ashland

Letters to the Editor, Jan. 29