Letters to the editor — Sept. 5, 2018

The importance of the ‘Fourth Estate’

The media (radio, TV) and the free press (e.g., Sequim Gazette, Peninsula Daily News, Seattle Times, et al.) are extensions of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which assures all citizens the right of free speech.

Published letters to the editor are examples of free speech, which are usually edited to be devoid of libel and/or slander and to be factual. The media and free press are sometimes known as the Fourth Estate, which is a vital check and balance to protect our democracy, including politics and politicians, implementations of the rule(s) of Law, protections of citizen freedoms and civil rights, providing unbiased factual information to the public at large (Fox & Friends?), the decisions of the various courts of law and expressing opinions on many subjects of public interest.

We, the people, are deeply indebted to the Fourth Estate to provide these checks and balances on all aspects of our governing bodies, whether local, state, or Federal. Without these checks and balances, the voices of many individuals would be ignored or not heard, and corruption/chaos would be worse than it is.

The federal legislative branch (Congress, representatives of the people) was also intended by our Founders to be a check and balance on the executive branch of our government. For you readers, who may not be pleased with current national governance and international diplomacy, it may be because the current congress is not living up to its responsibilities; i.e., in the past two years, many in the current U.S. Government have pleaded guilty to crimes against the people and USA, and many others have been/are using taxpayer’s money for self-serving purposes. Without the due diligence of the Fourth Estate, we, the people, would not be aware of these happenings.

Moral: Fact check your news sources! Some are unreliable.

Richard Hahn

Sequim

Why vote for Republicans?

In the last two years it appears that Republicans have decided that nothing matters to them except tax cuts, deregulation, and gutting health care laws. They will do anything and say anything to get there. Nothing seems to be sacred to them — traditions, norms, rules, deficits, the constitution and anything else that stands in their way.

Tax cuts for corporations has only led to them buying back their own stock in order to inflate the share price and hand out larger dividends. This has helped stockholders but according to USA Today, 84 percent of all stocks owned by Americans are held by only 10 percent of American households (“Tax cut savings flow to company stockholders, trickle to hourly workers,” April 13). For the most part they did not reinvest those cuts in new equipment and raises for their employees and the individual tax cuts were mostly directed to the wealthy.

Regulations put in place to help prevent another financial catastrophe like the one in 2008 are being gutted. The deficit is now projected to balloon to over a trillion dollars a year in 2019 according to the White House budget office (The Hill, “White House budget projects $1 trillion deficit in 2019,” July 17). And then our president states that he is not going to give civilian federal employees a wage boost next year because the budget cannot support it (CNN, “White House budget projects $1 trillion deficit in 2019,” Aug. 31).

So I ask the average American worker, how are those tax cuts and pay raises working out for you? Hows your stock portfolio doing? How about your affordable health insurance?

With all this in mind, why on earth would you ever vote for a Republican this upcoming November?

Stan Riddle

Sequim

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