Viewers React to John's Comments
Feb 18, 2013
In last week’s (February 9) commentary about the economy and budgets I find it interesting that you did not use the word ‘spending’. And in not identifying the budget, whether on the national or individual level, for what it really is – a planning guide for expenditures, your argument becomes irrelevant. It doesn’t make any difference if the U.S. budget is not like a household budget: different working life-spans, varying its income, the way it pays debt. (I would argue these are attributes that make it similar to a household budget) The bottom line is it spends more money than it takes in and therefore creates debt.
You state, “To be sure we have a serious long-term debt problem” and I agree. But national debt is not mystifying and is easily understood by equating it to a household budget – when the outgo exceeds the income, debt is going to be created resulting in major economic problems, period!
I also disagree with your comment about controlling health care costs resulting in our economic future looking promising. Even if health care costs were to be controlled we will still be spending more than we take in. And that means more debt and an economic future that is anything but promising.
I am far from a regular viewer of your show -- it comes on before the news on Saturday, so I leave it on. I do live in rural Ohio (Perry Township, Wood County, OH - south of Toledo) and my father had the soul of a farmer (raised on a farm and became a mechanical engineer -- but then what would a boy who spent his time in the machinery shed do?) so I understand how farmers are proud of their tractors and like to rehab old ones (but you wouldn't catch me doing that).
However, I was quite impressed with your effort to see variable viewpoints and I was quite impressed with your rejection of the "Kool-Aid" argument. That argument resembles the "Holocaust" argument (Palestinians rights are important to me) in that it dismisses the other party's thoughts as ridiculous and irrational. We need to discuss solutions in a solemn, sincere fashion, respecting the thoughts of others. That does not mean you have to agree, but perhaps we can both win by finding common solutions.
You have given me some ideas on how to work with those who ridicule my ideas. Thank you for your courageous example.
***I am now off to church -- a theme in common with your show…
Dear Mr Phipps,
I’m not the kind of person to tune into a program about farming. I am concerned about “agri-business” and it’s long term effects on our environment and food supply.
But a year or so ago, I tuned into the station that carries your program a few minutes before the beginning of the Today Show and heard your Mailbag reply to a listener. I don’t remember the content of the letter or your reply....I just remember how blown away I was to hear someone espousing views that seemed to me to be “common sense”. I suspected it was a fluke or I was not listening closely enough to hear the subliminal message hidden in your reply that would pledge undying, patriotic support to the cause of “agri-business”.....so I tuned in again the next week. Just in time to hear the Mailbag.
I was stunned....and hooked. Now I am a fairly regular listener to that portion of your show.
Your intelligence and humanity and wit is admirable, especially when I hear the relentless attacks by your listeners. All I can say is. Thank God you are there, a clear voice of reason and dignity. I sometimes feel like there is no hope for the future of small, sustainable farms that don’t pollute and poison in the face of the Cargill and ADM and those who are killing us softly in the name of “feeding the world” (translated: corn syrup and feed corn)..... But then I think of you, and dig deep for the sense that if one person of your stature can still see what’s true and right. Then, just maybe the rest of them will come to their senses before it’s too late.
I’m grateful. So grateful, that you are there. Your voice is important. Even if it seems like no one is listening. I am. And it gives me hope.