Jan. 16 2013 12:35 AM

Our readers tell us what they think

Stop voting

In your Dec. 26 editorial, you write: "Had Romney been elected, we'd have seen an accelerated shift of wealth to the top strata of society, perilous deregulation, unprecedented military spending, a further dismantling of the social safety net, more institutionalized disregard for science and at least one new right-wing justice on the Supreme Court."

As it happens, that's just what we got during Obama's first term and will get more of in his second. Obama gave bigger bailouts to the rich than Bush did and is now about to give them even more by driving us over a fiscal cliff of his own making [editor's note: This letter was written before the "fiscal cliff" deal.], shifting even more wealth from the 99 percent to the 1 percent. 

As for deregulation, Obama has clearly been on the side of corporations instead of on the side of the people, even breaking the 30-year moratorium on new nuclear plants while we're all still being bombarded with radiation from both Chernobyl, which was never, and cannot ever be, properly sealed, and Fukushima. 

Defense spending increased, probably because Obama not only continued the Bush wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, replacing U.S. troops in Iraq with more expensive private military contractors, but also started new wars in Pakistan, Libya, Yemen, Sudan, Somalia and Syria. Even when these wars are waged with local or CIA-imported proxies rather than U.S. troops, the cost of the drone bombs continues to increase. 

Obama is attacking Social Security and Medicare in ways that no Republican had ever dared. 

Disregarding the science that has proven genetically modified foods to be so harmful that many countries have banned them, Obama appointed former Monsanto Vice President Michael Taylor as his food safety czar. 

And as for that Supreme Court justice, take a look at Obama's pick for secretary of defense, Chuck Hagel. If you think Romney could have found a more right-wing Republican to appoint, you've definitely had too much rum-spiked eggnog. 

The truth is that both parties are funded by the same corporations and have to adhere to the corporate agenda of their major funders or risk losing the billions of dollars that sustain their political party and enable it to compete with the other party. Those billions are what they're competing for. No matter how people vote, and no matter who is elected, we can only expect more of the same. 

I stopped voting and became an election-boycott advocate when I realized that globalization and environmental catastrophe were against my interests and the interests of the planet, and that I could no longer authorize anyone to do such things in my name. When you know beforehand that the only possible result of an election will be more income disparity, more war and more climate change, it isn't really an election, anyway, and unless that's what you want, you really shouldn't vote.

Mark E. Smith, Downtown

Stadiums are a ‘drag'

Alan Schmitt's Jan. 2 letter to the editor regarding Todd Gloria's proposal for new infrastructure funding shows that he is thinking with his heart and not his head.  That's understandable because a shiny new stadium would get people excited, keep the Chargers in town and may host various other events. 

However, any objective study of stadiums built in the last decade or so have shown that the financial effect on a city's economy is either minuscule or has been a drag on the general funds of those cities. One example is in Cincinnati, where funds for local schools and other city services have had to be cut to help pay the debt service on a football stadium. 

These projects always cost more than anticipated, and the taxpayers usually are on the hook. I think Mr. Schmitt needs to realize that a stadium, and keeping the Chargers, who are a civic asset, may just be a luxury that San Diego cannot afford and certainly should not be the subject of any new tax proposal.

Rob Cohen, Kensington

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