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Letters to the Editor Friday, June 2 – Three, from readers in Schenectady, Niskayuna and Troy

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Still time for drug price transparency

The headline of your March 22 editorial, “Make drug prices, hikes more transparent,” summed up a very sensible plan. That was over two months ago, and your call for legislators to shine a light on ever-increasing Rx prices went unheeded in the new state budget.
But there is still time for lawmakers to do something. The state Assembly, which resisted efforts by Gov. Kathy Hochul and the Senate to include prescription drug price transparency reforms in the budget, is considering a bill to require disclosure of any proposed Rx price hike of 10% or more.
This would be a smaller step than the governor and the state Senate proposed, but it’s something – and the bill has already passed the Senate.
Legislation like this has led to fewer and lower drug price hikes in other states.
But the clock is ticking toward the end of this year’s state legislative session June 8.
We will be watching to see if the Assembly steps up for the people, who need action to start reining in the cost of necessary medications.
Liz Farrell

To curb debt, let Congress sacrifice

If Congress really wants to cut the nation’s debt, then before they cut services to our nation’s vulnerable citizens, they should set an example and cut their salaries in half.
After all, no one in public service should be raking in millions of dollars between salaries and donations from corporations to do their bidding.
Our citizens deserve more than we’re getting from our so-called representatives, who are lining their pockets with our hard-earned money paying for their lifestyle, while they want to cut out services from our vulnerable people to balance their bloated budget.
Let them cut their salaries; don’t  allow them to vote to increase their salaries; let them cut back on staff, fancy dinners out and all the frivolous things that go along with their jobs. We the taxpayers shouldn’t have to pay for their upkeep.
Robin Zucker

Get the facts right on Trump’s tenure

The beauty of Trump loyalists like Dave Edwards (See his May 24 letter, “Democrats are destroying country,”) is that they neither need nor want actual facts, and, if facts are provided, they call names.
During the Trump administration:
1. Unemployment rose 1.6% to 6.3%;
2. Corporate after tax profits rose 57%; The gap between haves and have-nots increased;
3. The national debt rose almost $8 trillion, with almost $2 trillion of that from the tax break given to the rich;
4. The debt ceiling was raised three times during his administration with little or no fanfare. Yet in spite of Trump’s significant increase of the national debt, he had the gall to tell McCarthy to hold out and cause bankruptcy. Roll back the tax break he gave the rich and tax those corporate profits;
5. The trade deficit he promised to lower increased 40%;
6. Unlike all of his predecessors, he did not put his holdings in trust, and he and his family made millions.
It’s said that he charged the Secret Service as much as $1,000 per night to stay at his resorts to guard him;
7. He and his family have far shadier deals that smack of conflicts of interests, with Russia and China, that would make the Biden boys blush;
8. He cozied up to Putin and North Korea and alienated our allies. A bully who thought he had the power Putin has, his minions failed on Jan. 6.
So please don’t tell me it was better then. Get the facts.
Bruce S. Trachtenberg


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Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion, Opinion, Schenectady, Your Niskayuna


Guy Varoma

Bruce S. Trachtenberg great letter…..But it will fall on deaf ears. People who still support Trump think he walks on water.

christophe Stalka

MR Trachtenberg great letter #8 sums it all up Trump was a massive failure. We all know it.

Thanks for printing the facts it’s going to start a lot of whining but the truth shines bright


Thanks Mr. Trachtenberg:
#9: During the Trump administration, more than 5000 children were separated from their parents with no tracking process that would allow them to be reunited.
This was a cruel policy, yet all I hear from MAGAtts is what a wonderful job 45 did with the border. The pandemic sure helped to drop border crossings, too.
#10: 45 trashed NATO and was planning the US to leave NATO and S Korea.

I agree with Guy and Christophe. I challenge anyone who wants Trump, or someone like Trump in the White House, to refute Mr. Trachtenberg’s facts, point by point, all eight of them.

Also worth reading are the excellent columns by Brumfield and Andrews and Daniel Petris.

Daniel Petris asks a great question about the bipartisan agreement to increase the Defense Budget while slashing discretionary spending elsewhere:

“Why does every other agency have to make priorities while the Pentagon can roll around in a money pit and buy legacy weapons systems that the building’s own budget and policy officials don’t even want?” Of course, we all know the answer. Lobbyists for the defense industry want government contracts, even if not justified by defense needs, to enrich the corporations they represent. We need to begin moving those resources to civilian needs, clean energy, health care, and infrastructure for example.

And please, right wingers, do not conflate wasteful military spending with essential military aid to Ukraine. Only 5.6% of our military spending goes to help the Ukrainians who are fighting against Russian expansion, a serious threat to world stability.

Guy Varoma

Anthony ……it is clear as day when the republicans don’t hold all three branches….They only care when a Democrat is president about being fiscally responsible ….When they get control they spend like drunken sailors on leave when they hit their port for the first time in 4 years


Very easy to goggle. Then brings the question why do voters continue to elect Republicans?
U.S. economic performance under Democratic and Republican presidents

View history From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Historically, the United States economy has performed better on average under the administration of Democratic presidents than Republican presidents since World War II. The reasons for this are debated, and the observation applies to economic variables including job creation, GDP growth, stock market returns, personal income growth and corporate profits. The unemployment rate has fallen on average under Democratic presidents, while it has risen on average under Republican presidents. Budget deficits relative to the size of the economy were lower on average for Democratic presidents.[1][2] Ten of the eleven U.S. recessions between 1953 and 2020 began under Republican presidents.[3]

From 1948 through 2023, the party holding the presidency has changed hands ten times. Every time a Republican took over from a Democrat, GDP growth fell. Every time a Democrat took over from a Republican, GDP growth rose.[1][4]


Yes Cynthia, then the dems get blamed, or unappreciated having to dig us out of the hole the gop left behind!

Why do voters elect Republicans?

In a nutshell, my opinion is that average Republicans – not the “White Shoe variety, which is a dying breed – vote against their own economic interests because liberals stand up for marginalized groups (e.g., LBGTQ people, African-, Asian-, Native- and Muslim Americans, destitute homeless people, and immigrants from “shithole” countries), whom they consider beneath contempt.

Besides that, Republican voters, for the most part, believe in “moral clarity.” To them all human behavior is either right or wrong, black or white: example: human life begins at conception and, therefore, any interference with nature’s course through abortion or – if that reasoning is carried to its logical conclusion, birth control – is sinful in the extreme (some may reluctantly agree to allow exceptions for rape or incest or to let the underlying principle behind Roe v. Wade remain the law of the land purely for practical reasons).

Most of us are familiar with Stephen Dectaur’s after dinner toast of 1820: “Our Country! In her intercourse with foreign nations, may she always be in the right, but right or wrong, our country!” That’s an expression of moral clarity the right will always agree with (we commenters of a certain age remember that sentiment expressed repeatedly by hard-hat, burgeoning Republican voters during the Vietnam War). We on the left would instinctively ask, “But suppose our country’s foreign policy isn’t worthy of our blind patriotic support?”

In short, Republicans of this day and age are willing to place cultural issues ahead of their economic interests, and the GOP leadership exploits this fact to win working class support. Good luck explaining to your conservative friends, if you have any, that Trump and his ilk are deceiving them to gain access to political power.

Anyway, that’s my two-cents.

Neal Katyal is among the most accomplished jurists in the country. One of my most pleasant thoughts is imagining the impeachment and removal from SCOTUS of Clarence Thomas, with Neal Katyal appointed to the vacancy.

I also would like to see Adam Schiff replace Merrick Garland as AG.

And more on the former “Loser-in-Chief” and his mishandling of top secret government documents:

The New York Times reports: 6/2

“Shortly after learning that former President Donald J. Trump had been recorded discussing what appeared to be classified material describing military options for confronting Iran, federal prosecutors issued a subpoena to his lawyers seeking the return of all records that resembled the document he mentioned.

But Mr. Trump’s legal team has informed the Justice Department that it was unable to find any such records in his possession, the people said.

It is unclear whether prosecutors have been able to track down the document themselves, leaving open the possibility that the material remains at large or that the famously blustery Mr. Trump incorrectly described it on the recording.”


Wizzard, Thanks for that excellent opinion as a answer to my question. Your last paragraph goes to the Rebublican play book that has worked for them at least since Reagan became president, and with rw scream machines of today works even better. We all think of Fox and it’s clones as the scream machine but little known to many there are over 1500 rw mostly am radio stations around the country pumping this stuff out every day. I hope before I leave this place called America the beautiful the younger generations wake up more to this being played on them.
Florida is working very hard to isolate the younger generations here to rw ideology with DeSantis and his lackeys.

So for our rw posters strictly based on finical reasons only why do you keep voting Rebublican? Have noticed a distinct lack of posters in that category but some of LTE’s certainly make up for lack of posters.


A excerpt from a LTE today locally.
‘DeSantis’ Florida: Love it or leave it’:

In response to the, er, gentleman who suggested in a letter that liberals depart Florida if we don’t like the way our radical governor is running it, I say, ‘Not a chance!’

I’ve been here for 19 years and am sticking around to fight back against the fascism that has pervaded our state since Gov. Ron DeSantis was first elected. I’m fighting for the civil and human rights of women, teachers, students and LGBTQ+ individuals, and I’m not going anywhere.

It is worth reminding the gentleman that DeSantis personally gerrymandered the state and disenfranchised a huge swath of African American and Hispanic voters.”

Legislators followed the law that took several years of court battles to settle, then he did this and was sued, but judge ruled to late to change before 22 elections and let it stand. Added 4 Rebublican seats to Congress as it broke up the one district of black representation as they are the majority in this area of Northern Florida. And we want him as President?

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