Capital Region

Letters to the Editor Wednesday, June 7 – Six, from readers in Glenville, Niskayuna, elsewhere

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Warn Thruway users about tickets

EZ Pass records the time that a vehicle passes a reader.
Divide the distance by the time between readers. Example: There are 94.4 miles between 15 and 23 readers. If a vehicle takes 1 hour 10 minutes, it averages about 80 mph. Add the price of a ticket to the EZ Pass bill.
Rest area stops won’t show speeding, but money will be spent there. Either by tickets or spending, the Thruway gains income. Signs can warn how tickets can be added to their bill. Maybe some people will stop speeding.
Howard Riggert

Term limits not a cure for bad policy

While voters often say, “Throw the bums out,” lame-duck legislators are obviously less responsive to constituents.
So why are Republicans in Washington and Albany intent on limiting legislators’ terms?
House Republicans introduced six joint resolutions to add a term limits amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Typical is H.J.Res.32, introduced by Claudia Tenney (CD24), which “proposes a constitutional amendment prohibiting more than two consecutive terms as a Senator or six consecutive terms as a Representative.”
State Republicans introduced S1439 and S5319 to amend the state constitution and impose term limits for members of the Legislature, and B272 and C184 applying to Congress to call a federal constitutional convention under Article V to “limit the terms of office for members of Congress.”
A constitutional convention would subject the U. S. Constitution to radical changes, and all three measures are an unwise response to corrupt legislators.
In 1787, the Founders rejected term limits. In Federalist #72 Alexander Hamilton said “Nothing appears more plausible at first sight, nor more ill-founded upon close inspection.”
The Founders understood that when combined with the few and defined powers granted to the federal government, two-year terms for House members limited the amount of mischief representatives might indulge in.
Term limits punish the good with the bad, infringe on the voters’ right to re-elect legislators, and tell lame-duck legislators they have nothing to lose, after which uninformed voters elect the next socialist-in-waiting.
Combined with voter education, primaries and general elections are the best way to “term limit” bums.
Robert Dufresne

Biden’s term far outweighs Trump’s

I am responding to Jack Hunter’s letter (“GOP voters need to restore country,”) published in The Daily Gazette on June 3.
Donald Trump is going to be indicted several more times this year in Georgia for trying to influence election officials and in Washington, DC., for inciting the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection and for the illegal keeping of national security documents after leaving the presidency.
He will be simultaneously defending himself in several court venues and trying to run for president.
What did he accomplish in office? Huge tax breaks for big corporations and the ultra-wealthy like himself and selecting three right wing Supreme Court justices.
He refused to put his family business in trust while he was president and profited. He cozied up to Putin and Kim Jong Un. How did that work out?
Our economy is doing well. We now have NATO helping Ukraine fight for its sovereignty. President Biden was able to work with Kevin McCarthy and Mitch McConnell to get our debt limit lifted until 2025, cut some spending and get a natural gas pipeline approved. President Biden has accomplished a lot in his presidency.
Doug McFadden

Hope prayer night leads to more unity

The first Thursday in May is a National Day of Prayer in the United States. This year, nine local churches joined together for a special prayer night in Clifton Park.
We prayed for our local politicians, including three who attended, Phil Barrett, Clifton Park town supervisor; Kevin Tolisen, Halfmoon town supervisor; and Jim Tedisco, who represents the 44th district in the state Senate.
We prayed that they would make good decisions to help those they serve.
We prayed for our schools. We prayed for wisdom for our administrators to ensure that schools are safe and that teachers are supported. We prayed for strength and patience for teachers as they work with students.
We also recognized the efforts of many others who work behind the scenes to help our children to be successful.
We prayed for our local businesses. We want our local economy to thrive. This would enable business owners and their employees to have job security and resources for their families. We prayed for generosity toward those who are less fortunate.
We prayed for our churches. We prayed for our pastors to lead faithfully. Our hope is that a religious revival will take place in the Capital Region and that more and more people will attend church and follow God.
Perhaps this was a start.
The night was uplifting. I believe that uniting fellow believers from local churches in prayer will have a positive impact on our neighbors and friends.
Raymond LeBel

Drug maker turns back on sufferers

The annual Tour de Cure was held recently in Ballston Spa.
It was a great event that was a huge fundraiser run by the ADA for research on diabetes.
My family has been personally affected by diabetes and we have been involved in the local Tour de Cure for the past six years. As the event has grown considerably, many I speak to find it appalling that companies like Novo Nordisk aren’t national sponsors anymore.
One would have to be living under a rock to know that their blockbuster drug “Ozempic“ has made billions of dollars.
In fact, the company stock has doubled in the past two years. I just don’t understand how they can turn their backs on such a great cause.
Victor Greco

Ellis ER must serve its patients better

I sincerely hope that the administrators of Ellis Hospital took note of the June 1 letter to the editor by Anne Fitzgerald (“Lack of caring at Ellis was disgusting,”) regarding the Ellis Emergency Room. Someone needs to take note.
My sister’s experience recently was as traumatic. She sat in the waiting room in a wheelchair for hours on end with labored breathing, taken for tests then returned to the waiting room — appropriately named.
She finally was allowed a bed after nine hours and admitted after almost 12. And she described the experience exactly as Anne reported. Deplorable without any options.
Thankfully her care on the floor was not a reflection of the care in the ER.
I know working in an ER is a demanding job in all aspects. I know that many abuse its purpose. But I also know Ellis can do much better.
Marilyn Chew


Election Letters:

Letters related to upcoming elections are limited to 200 words.
That includes all local, state and federal elections.
Election letters must be received at The Gazette no later than 10 days before an election.
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Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion, Opinion, Scotia Glenville, Your Niskayuna


Matthew Yglesias makes some very important points in his column on today’s Opinion page. The debt ceiling compromise was just a stop gap measure and did not address the underlying problems of a huge national debt and an increasingly unfair distribution of wealth. The Republicans adamantly refuse to consider tax increases, though their stubborn belief in “trickle down economics” has never worked. Nor will they even consider reasonable efforts to reign in defense spending. The Democrats want no in social spending, especially SS and Medicare.

Why can’t both sides give in a little? The Republicans should be willing to retract the Trump era reduction in taxes on the wealthiest among us. Waste and redundant weapons systems should be eliminated from the defense budget. Democrats should be willing to trim SS benefits and Medicare benefits for those in higher income brackets. Individuals making over $100,000 a year could afford a 25% cut in SS benefits and a co-pay of $50 a day for time in the hospital.

The best long term solutions are publicly financed campaigns and the elimination of PACS through reversal of Citizens United.

Anthony, I agree with most of your ideas but I have qualms about others. See if you agree with me. First, I don’t think the Republicans’ refusal to raise the debt ceiling is the appropriate procedure for making budgetary changes. Passing a federal budget is a long, drown-out affair with plenty of opportunity to voice objections and add amendments. That’s when the fight should have occurred.

Second, social security and Medicare could be placed on a sound footing in the future by removing the income limit on FICA taxes, which is currently around $125K, give or take. Replacing the cap with a flat percentage would do the trick. As things stand, FICA taxes are regressive, meaning lower income people pay a higher percentage of their income than the wealthy. True, wealthier people would never get back what they contributed, but that’s the case now and would also worsen with your suggestion. But that’s too bad; the income distribution is too skewed toward the rich. It’s time we started redistributing the wealth.

Many elderly people rely on social security to stay above the poverty line, which was the objective of the 1935 law. It was never meant to be a full retirement; it is an insurance program intended to protect against penury in old age, not a means-tested welfare program. Therefore, as distasteful as it sounds, the rich as well as the poor are entitled to equal amounts. Even so, I wouldn’t eliminate the insurance feature in favor of a means test. We all know that Republicans have a fondness for cutting any program that helps the poor, which is what SS will become if we subject recipients to a means test.

That said, the question is whether the current system fulfills its original objective. In today’s dollars, it falls short and needs to be raised, especially for those who take the earlier retirement option because their bodies are worn out from a lifetime of hard physical labor. In addition, people are living longer. Even those who had a secure retirement when they stopped working, say, 25 years ago, are less financially secure now because inflation has eaten into their real income. Social security is needed to fill the inflation gap.

Enough said – for now. Your thoughts?

I agree with your first point. There should not be a debt ceiling. Emphasis should be on negotiating a reasonable balance between tax revenues and spending.

I agree with point two and have repeatedly called for collecting FICA taxes on income with no ceiling.

On point three, you are right again.

What I was suggesting was some kind of compromise, sacrificing some of my own and Democrat’s wishes.

I favor a wealth tax to address income inequality.

christophe Stalka

Mr McFadden excellent letter. Great to hear so many positive factual voices .

Mr Santo drama serves as a great distraction for the Republicans there is no desire to ‘solve’ a problem as we saw Monday voting on a gas stove bill takes priority they have begun turning on each other.

Bill Marincic

How about stopping the SSI loopholes for drug addicts and alcoholics? They all know the game, all they need is proof they have the “disease” of drug addiction or alcohol and they get several thousand dollars in back SSI payments from the time of the original filing plus they get that never-ending monthly check. I have a relative that I helped get into rehab some 30 years ago, she learned all about SSI and how to get it, and what to say and do. To this day after several overdoses, she is still using and has not held a job in decades but every month she gets that SSI check for her “disability”. And this goes double for anyone with permanent resident status.

christophe Stalka

Big Bm aka Zach if what you are saying is true I suggest you report your relative
To the authorities with the supporting medical evidence proving your point I guess you’re more qualified than the doctors that evaluated her disability. I’m pretty cautious to not make assumptions about someone’s illness

“How about stopping the SSI loopholes for drug addicts and alcoholics? They all know the game…”

Every single addict is dishonest? The medical professionals who diagnose them are all incompetent or corrupt? Addiction is not a disease?

My take away is the same as Christophe’s; if you know of people abusing the system and have evidence, report the,

Is your relative a12% black transsexual with an Olympic size swimming pool that is an expert on the physics of broken glass, with black grandchildren who believes Gorge Floyd wasn’t murdered because he didn’t surrender?

Bill Marincic

I told you yesterday Restifo, it’s better to keep your mouth shut and let people think you are stupid, I see you prefer people to know.

Robert DuFresne makes a good argument for rejecting proposals for term limits. However, he never mentions the presidency. According to his logic, why shouldn’t the same restriction apply to the rest of our elected representatives and the Supreme Court?

That question needs to be addressed, if for no other reason than a president’s second term, especially the last two years, renders him a “lame duck.” Since he can’t run again, he loses political power and his agenda, as history shows, can be ignored even by members of his own party without fear of losing his coattails.

Bill Marincic

So the swamp speaks in unison again. It must take a low mentality to laugh out loud at that Santo and wiz.

Bill Marincic

It’s no shock that you are a Simpsons watcher, it goes along with your political beliefs and cartoon characters like Biden and his cabinet.

BM: Do you know how much in actual dollars and cents your relative receives from SSI each month? Check it out and report back to us. I think everyone will be surprised.

If your relative is suffering from some disability — say, mental illness that predisposes her or him to drug abuse — s/he probably qualifies for disability, not SSI. Even though disability is a larger amount, I defy anyone reading this page, including you BM, to claim they can live on it.

Incidentally, science is now discovering new evidence that addictions from obesity to alcohol to heroine are related more to one’s blood chemistry than lack of will power. The latest info indicates that the drug Ozempic is enjoying surprising success in treating obesity and, almost as a side effect, treating other addictions like alcoholism.

Maybe it’s time society stops condemning people like your relative and instead views their addiction as an illness like the flu or cancer. If that turns out to be true, would you be willing to take back your complaint about government benefits for the addicted?

Bill Marincic

My relative is living on around $980 a month plus her free apartment that includes heat and hot water along with cable and high-speed internet. let’s add in the food stamps that she gets and now you have her making roughly $3000 a month after taxes, not a bad gig for lots of people, I have people that have worked their whole lives and their retirement is half that.

That sounds like she’s receiving disability, not SSI. If so, disability is one of the hazards covered by SS, the same as being crippled or mentally deficient. But that leads me to ask are you certain that a) addiction qualifies as disability, or does she have some other disorder that got her that benefit, and 2) does the government send her or him a check every month without a drug test verifying s/he’s clean?

How long did she have to wait to find long-term subsidized housing? When I checked into it on behalf of one of my own relatives, the waiting list was years long and didn’t include all those amenities.

Bill Marincic

Yes, drugs is the only problem and yes she is getting SSD since she was 23 years old she is now 57 and no there is no monthly or annual test to show you are clean, not that it would matter because they are all on methadone anyways so it would always show positive. That’s what most of them do, they use until they can’t get money by whatever means and then they get back on methadone, and then after a while, they start using again, the never-ending cycle paid for by us.

BM: I did some research on your claim that drug or alcohol addiction qualifies for disability benefits. What I found is that addiction, by itself, to drugs or alcohol does not entitle a person to receive disability benefits. However, if prior use leaves an individual permanently damaged with, say, blindness or severe liver damage, then the consequent impairment is regarded as the qualifying factor, not the addiction. So your relative must have qualified for disability on some other grounds.

I dare say many addicts qualify for disability for those reasons, especially people addicted to opioids. No question, drug addiction is a social problem, but folks like your relative who manage to receive disability as a result of their drug addiction are not living high on the hog (would you trade places with him or her?). Consider the options. Should we throw them out on the streets?

Bill Marincic

Wizard, I’m sure the rules have changed since 1984, and no I would not want her thrown out on the street but I also think someone in Texas should not have to pay the bill either, welfare locally is what she should be getting.

I’m not. You are:

“In 1996, Congress passed the Contract with America Advancement Act—Public Law (P.L.) 104-121—which terminated benefits for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Disability Insurance (DI) beneficiaries whose primary impairment was drug addiction, alcoholism, or both. Individuals whose drug addiction and/or alcoholism played a significant role in their disability are discussed in this note. As a result of the 1996 legislation, those individuals became ineligible for benefits, effective January 1, 1997—an effect reflected in the Social Security Administration’s (SSA’s) SSI and DI rolls.”

Um . . . we New Yorkers pay more into the federal treasury per capita than Texans. We are, according to your logic, subsidizing their drug and disability problems, not the other way around.

Wizard, your post is important and accurate. BM, do you have a response to Wizard’s observation? I mean other than an insult that proves more about your character than it supports your opinion.

Bill Marincic

It was used as an example, according to you we pay more than Texas. That doesn’t mean Texas pays nothing, they just pay less than us.

BM, look it up. It is NOT according to Wizard;it is a statistical fact. The rest of your post has nothing to do with Wizard’s observation.

“It is a simple fact that Canada is experiencing the impacts of climate change, including more frequent and more extreme wildfires,” said Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson.”

Vote blue for fresh air, if nothing else.

Bill Marincic

90% of forest fires are accidentally started by not putting out campfires. Plus you also have arson and lightning. BTW Einstein you never answered my question, do you think that during the 250 million years that our solar system travels around our galaxy that it might have an impact on climate?

Yeah, I was just about to ask, does anyone have an example of a Thruway driver getting a speeding ticket based on entry/exit times?

I’ve driven from NYC to Albany to Utica hundreds of times, as a private individual and commercially and never heard of such a thing. In fact there’s is also a legal minimum speed of 40mph which would easily be calculated if a longish stop at a rest area occurred.

This is the myth of a paranoid (and guilty) conscience.

Bill Marincic

Again we have Varoma with his insults and continuous lies and never anything, of value. He is one of the Daily Gazettes’ versions of the DC swamp that gets to continue his daily assault on people with impunity.

christophe Stalka

big bill aka Zach hearing the facts does not equal hearing the “voices”. At least not for most people. you sound jealous of your cousin. you dont know the challenges shes faced in her lifer. Get over your petty jealousy dude you sound more like a loser with each whine.

I’vs always wondered about praying for a victory in politics or sports. Do they really believe god listens and intervenes on the part of the candidate or team? If so, how exactly does he influence the outcome of the election or game?

Bill Marincic

No, he does not, we are given free will and that includes elections and sports and whether we go to Heaven or Hell.

It is your supercilious undeserved arrogance that makes me post this exchange from yesterday. You were wrong and insulting at the same time, as anyone reading the exchanges can tell:

Anthony J. Santo
June 6th, 2023
BM, if, as you state in your post, “to tell you the truth I could care less,” why did you take the time to write the post? BTW, I assume you meant you could NOT care less.

Bill Marincic
June 6th, 2023
Santo you said you were a teacher obviously I was correct when I said you weren’t a very good teacher. I said I could care less if I am attacked which I was immediately. I guess reading comprehension was not on your list of priorities when you went to school.

Anthony J. Santo
June 6th, 2023
“I could care less” means you are somewhat concerned about the opinions of other posters. You have some concern because you could “care less”. Sometimes it is a stubborn student who is the problem, not a teacher trying his best to help that student.

You are not a student but an adult who refuses to accept the possibility he could be wrong. How very sad.

Again, I back up what I say. You flounder and make a fool of yourself.

Guy Varoma

Mr, Bill’s problem is when he says something stupid and he is confronted with his tupidity. He comes back and doubles down on his stupidity. Then he says he is being picked on. He does this to change the subject on which nothing was fact based .He most likely was taught this by Trump in his 4 years as president. Trump is a master at it.

Guy Varoma

He usually says “prove me wrong” …..which means he can’t support his stupid statements with hard facts

And he has been told many times that a person asserting something is responsible for proving it to be true. Asking for proof that there is no extraterrestrial life on any of our solar system’s planets or moons is a meaningless challenge. You can not “prove” there is no life but that doesn’t “prove” there is life in the soil of Mars, on one of the moons circling Jupiter, or another one of the many planets and moons in our solar system. There may very well be, but proving it to be so is a challenging but worthwhile pursuit.

Bill Marincic

Santo, you are a typical Democrat you left out the rest of that sentence. Let me finish it for you. I could care less if I’m attacked. Democrats think everybody’s stupid you leave out and cherry pick what you want not everybody is that stupid. Democrats think everybody is stupid, you leave out and cherry pick what you want which is no different than lying.

I could care less means you do care to some degree. That was my point. What did I leave out? Why can’t you accept that and just let go? Have you ever consulted a doctor about anxiety and hypertension? It might be a good idea.

Infighting within the GOP will lead to its demise. Hopefully, politics in the U.S. will make a significant shift to the left with the Democratic party dividing into two separate parties, the Progressives and the Centrists. What a welcome change that would be. Both parties would agree on what this country’s values, problems, and goals are and would work together with consensus and compromise leading to the best solutions to our problems:

“The American people deserve to know that on that day, President Trump also demanded that I choose between him and the Constitution. I chose the Constitution and I always will.

“Now, voters will be faced with the same choice. President Trump was wrong then and he’s wrong now.

“Anyone who puts themselves over the Constitution should never be president of the United States, and anyone who asks someone else to put them over the Constitution should never be president of the U.S. again.

“I understand the disappointment that many still feel about the outcome of the 2020 election. When Donald Trump ran for president in 2016, he promised to govern as a conservative — together we did just that. Today, he makes no such promise.” – Mike Pence, at a campaign launch event today.

Mike Pence knew this and should have said this long ago rather than saving it for an advantage in his campaign for the GOP nomination. Most Americans are sick and tired of far right Christian Nationalist intolerance, bigotry, narrow-mindedness and arrogance. That is why the percentage of Americans, especially among the young, are designating their religious affiliation as none.

Guy Varoma

Pence is a stooge…..He should of said this long ago ….He comes out with it now because he wants to be president…..His words are factual but way too late…..If he had any morals he should have resigned 2 years into the Trump term…..

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