, Derry, New Hampshire

September 6, 2012

Letters to the editor

Derry News

---- — There’s a clear choice between Obama and Romney

To the editor:

There are many things to consider when voting in this presidential election. The outlook for the economy may have brightened last month (August) since there seems to be improvement in hiring, in greater exports and in home sales.

Under President Obama, government spending has increased 1.25 percent while it increased more than that under presidents Carter, Reagan, Bush I, Clinton and Bush II, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

Under the Affordable Care Act (also called Obamacare) if you lose your job and your health insurance, there will be insurance exchanges that will allow you to buy a policy from insurance companies that have to compete for your choice (with more competitive rates) and they cannot exclude you if you have a medical condition. This year, the ACA provides a 50-percent discount for brand-name drugs in the doughnut hole.

President Obama does not plan to change Medicare but Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney’s running mate, would like to privatize — establish vouchers for Medicare — where people would most probably have to pay high out-of-pocket costs. Paul Ryan has proposed having Social Security be invested in private funds which could expose it to market risks. He also wants to make huge cuts in Medicaid, change Medicaid into block grants — where many needy people would have to compete for the money — cut housing subsidies and cut food stamps.

President Obama wants Congress to increase taxes on millionaires and have them pay their fair share. Some Republicans in Congress and Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan want to increase taxes on the middle class and definitely limit taxes on the wealthy.

Last but not least comes education. President Obama has education and jobs as his priorities. They are tied together. Both Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan have mentioned “alternative education” as a priority. Last April, Gov. Romney talked about poor school performers who could be taught online or through tutors.

Here in New Hampshire, we have seen Republicans who passed legislation to give businesses tax credits if they contribute money to scholarships to entice students to leave public education and attend either private schools, religious schools or home schools.

Sue Kaplan


Several pets a day keep doctors away

To the editor:

I thought your readers might enjoy a humorous piece in the middle of this serious campaign season.

Rescuing dogs and cats is a bit of a habit for us, we now wait on six dogs and three cats. They have a schedule that we live by and it has rather precise timing with predetermined penalties for being late. In addition to the clock, our life also revolves around food. Somehow, the pets know in advance when the trailer truck arrives with their food, when I have Milk Bone crumbs in my pocket and when I get within six feet of the 50-gallon barrel that holds their food.

Oh! I forgot to mention that we have a Newfoundland, two Great Pyrenees and three Aussies. What space the three big ones don’t fill, the Aussies scurry around to try to occupy. We have had multiple dogs, forever, so I have not walked from point A to point B in a straight line or at a consistent pace for over 40 years. I can’t tell you how many times I have been trapped in my recliner because a dog is dead to the world under the foot rest. Don’t even ask about using the stairs! The Aussies take the stairs at warp speed, up and down a few times in their excitement, while the big dogs lumber down trailing a hairy appendage three steps behind. We have a chair lift on order — it’s either that or a broken hip.

Yes, the vet bills can be high but we have an arrangement in which we go there regularly and just pay their mortgage each month. But we save money on clothing. When we got the Newfoundland it meant that white clothes were out. When we got the Pyrenees all dark colors were out. So in the warm weather we can wear bathing suits — the hair doesn’t stick as easily to skin. In the winter, we wear those paper coveralls used for crime scene investigations. Not the most comfortable wardrobe but cheap and easy to clean.

At this time of year the floors are covered with Hitler moustaches and small cumulus clouds. We are considering Tyvek for the furniture but it only comes in one color. We each have a left hand, a right hand and a hand vac. Fortunately, the air lock into the carpeted areas works well.

And forget about privacy. Where we go, they all go. The Norwegian forest cat’s specialty is head-butting the bathroom door open so the rest of his crew can come in to inspect what is going on. Pets don’t let you take yourself too serious or let you go very long without a smile on your face.

We won’t have it any other way, what’s a little inconvenience in exchange for all that unconditional love, entertainment and companionship? Since getting the two Pyrenees and Aussie puppy, I’ve lost 20 pounds and lowered my blood pressure to 106 over 64 with a pulse rate of 52.

So the important question is: Who has rescued whom?

Dave Potter

North Hampton