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An 8-year plan for voters to turnover Congress

Contributed To The Press • Jan 18, 2018 at 12:00 AM

A Community Voices columnist (Kenneth Gough, “Maybe it’s time to vote for ‘none of the above,’ ” Dec. 24)  asked the question: How much good are political parties doing for the nation? He also wrote the parties’ choices of candidates may be a “flawed process.” His third point was that this process may be hijacked by “a handful of extremists” who can impose a candidate on a party, thus proving that “primaries are far from perfect.”

The columnist next suggested that voters be allowed to select “none of the above” for president, thus forcing a new election. While the points are indisputable, this option may be problematic and does not address the issue of our increasingly dysfunctional Congress.

When trying to understand issues of health care, education, infrastructure, immigration and national debt, it is impossible to ignore misinformation and determine factual answers. How then do we force the political parties and their candidates to fairly, equitably and honestly discuss these issues with and for the American public? Would addressing the dysfunction in Congress be the starting point?

To truly “drain the swamp” consider the following: As seats for House Representatives are for two years, Senate for six years and president for four years, perhaps if all electors voted against all incumbents in any given eight-year period, the House would turn over four times, and the Senate and presidency would do so twice. (This would require that Democrats sometimes vote for Republicans and vice versa.) If one believes that facts matter more than unproven ideology, this might be agreeable.

Might corporations, the media and billionaire activists then realize that neither their money nor rhetoric can buy them continued political influence?

DANIEL R. WESTBROOK

Telford

Help all children

Because of my years employed with the Tennessee Department of Human Services, I have seen many low-income families. I worked primarily with the Food Stamp and Medicaid programs (which have now changed dramatically).

The families I saw had no money available for insurance. The Children’s Heath Insurance Program has been helping so many of these families and saved the lives of so many children. I think Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and CHIP are both excellent programs, but CHIP has already expired. I think CHIP is just as important as DACA, maybe more because the lives of our children are at risk.

In my opinion, something should be done by Congress to expedite the renewal of CHIP. It would be so easy to do. In fact, make it permanent so it would not expire, and extending it would not continue to be necessary. Make DACA permanent also for the same reason.

Please help all of our children by making CHIP and DACA permanent.

VIVIAN KRAMER

Johnson City

A bad deal

The good Lord giveth and the government takes it away. As of Jan. 1, Social Security was giving a 2 percent cost-of-living increase. According to AARP, the amount for Medicare would remain the same.

Boy, was everyone surprised when they received their award letter from Social Security. Instead of getting a cost-of-living increase, Medicare took it right back and also allowed our HMOs to also raise our premiums. Therefore, instead of getting a raise we went into a hole.

Is this the way our government treats senior citizens who are hardly getting by? We need to vote members of Congress and the president out of office and elect new ones who care about our aging population instead of supporting illegals, dead beats and unnecessary spending.

I feel the government wants older Americans to die instead of taking care of the ones who have worked all their lives to support Social Security and Medicare.

JERRY CLARK

Johnson City

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