Credit where credit is due
Among the many proposed Republican talking points is the idea that Democrats haven’t accomplished anything significant since Joe Biden became president — and certainly nothing that benefits Montanans.
Let’s take a look at this. Are we better off than in 2020? In fact, we’re so much better off that the information can’t be packed into a single letter to the editor — but let’s start with the jobs and the kids.
When Biden took office, unemployment was 6.8%, the economy was shrinking and job growth was weak. The U.S. bailout averted a financial crisis through emergency stimulus checks, rent relief, help for small businesses and other forms of support. It funded the reopening of schools and provided assistance to state and local governments. Montana also used US bailout funds to encourage people to return to work and now has the seventh-lowest unemployment rate at 3.5%.
One of the most effective and popular provisions was a monthly tax credit for families with children. Nationally, it has helped 61 million children. Children’s hunger has been reduced by 25%. In Montana, more than 100,000 families received these payments (which sadly expired in December).
Christina Stoddard, an economist at Montana State University, gave the numbers, meaning, “Kids whose families have more support when they’re young…we see those kids earning a lot more as adults. And so they’re better off, and, and their family’s future is better, so it’s this kind of multi-generational benefit…. Children whose parents benefit from these kinds of programs benefit from it. These babies are born healthier, the children of these families have fewer health problems.
Let’s pay tribute to an administration that stepped up and did a lot of important work, despite widespread resistance. We all benefit because we are all in the same boat.
— Gail Trenfield, St. Ignace
Unmask our children
Seeing children wearing masks – we are not dealing with smallpox. Rather, it is something that most people recover from. Plus, kids are less likely to get it anyway.
The masks, however. Think about what that does to children. It takes away their individuality. It teaches them to hide, to be afraid of something they can’t even see. Then there is the fact that the children are in their formative years. They are supposed to learn to speak and pronounce correctly. But if they are masked and those who teach are masked, how are they supposed to learn properly? They learn not only by hearing but by seeing. Think about it. Our toddlers are learning to talk. Let’s not hide their beautiful faces. Let’s not hide our faces. Your children from 4 to 6 years old, they learn to read. They need to be able to see your mouth to see how different sounds and mixes are created. We need to see their beautiful faces, in order to better teach and encourage them.
Masking takes away their identity. If a child is kidnapped, how is he supposed to be identified?
If a child is required to hide, then he is humiliated when he does not comply. Thus, they are taught that showing one’s whole face is shameful.
I see many flaws in the whole mask requirement. But it’s definitely different when you look at it from a child’s perspective or in the light of our children.
—Andrea Townsend, Polson
Shame on Daines
I was horrified watching the news showing a Ukrainian man kneeling in front of a Russian tank trying to stop it and a Ukrainian woman sweeping the broken window of her apartment due to Russian shelling while singing the Ukrainian anthem. It’s heartbreaking.
What is wrong with you, Senator Daines, that you find it more important to blame our current president than to denounce former President Trump, who sings the praises of Putin? Putin is a monster who sees nothing wrong with the massacre of Ukrainians who only want their freedom.
I’m sick of you being my senator from Montana. Shame on you.
—Suz Rittenhouse, Polson
Rosendale is a disgrace
The United States has successfully led an extraordinary international response among nations in support of Ukraine as it comes under unprovoked attack from Russia. Why support? Ukraine is a democracy. He rejected his former authoritarian government and started a democratic government. The United States and many other countries support democracies.
Not only are many countries defending Ukraine, but many private companies are doing the same, including US companies Boeing, Nike, Ford, FedEx and Harley-Davidson, which have severed trade relations with Russia.
Where is our US Congressman Matt Rosendale in this? He said that the United States should not be involved and that the people of Montana are more interested in protecting our border with Mexico. It is a distraction, a non sequitur. Maybe he’s not multitasking. Rosendale was one of only three members of Congress to vote against a statement of US support for Ukraine. Don’t be fooled. Rosendale does not defend democracy.
— Stéphanie Brancati, strong arm
This is America, our home, our children’s future. We are not watching a movie. Our country and our freedom are compromised by poor leadership.
We need non-partisan approaches and common sense before it’s too late.
Call your representative. Let your voice be heard. Our future and that of our children depends on us.
As parents, step forward and protect your children from critical race theory. They are our children, not the property of the state or the government. School is about learning how to think, not what to think, and learning how to think for ourselves to be better adults and parents.
We are better than that. It is high time to get up and get back on track. Let’s go before it’s too late.
I am a Vietnam veteran and father of four sons, one of whom is in Kuwait.
—Lee Lytton, Pablo