Taxpayer Protection Pledge necessary
Your May 11 editorial, “No room for pledges in politics,” misses the mark on the value of the Taxpayer Protection Pledge.
Nearly every candidate campaigns in opposition to higher taxes. President Barack Obama verbally pledged to reject all tax increases for everyone making less than $250,000 per year. He broke his pledge by signing eight tax increases into law that directly hit such middle-class families. Every one of those tax hikes funded higher spending.
“Budget compromises” never deal with government’s real problem — overspending. In 1990, congressional Democrats convinced President George H.W. Bush to sign a deal promising $2 in spending cuts for every $1 in tax hikes. Every penny of the tax hikes ($137 billion) went through, but the spending cuts never happened. In fact, Democrats actually spent
$23 billion above the pre-deal spending baseline.
While President Bush has many achievements to be proud of, betraying taxpayers and failing to stand up to Washington spending interests is not one of them.
Contrary to a claim made by the editorial, the Taxpayer Protection Pledge is a commitment to New York taxpayers, not Americans for tax reform or Grover Norquist. By signing the pledge, Matt Doheny has learned from President Bush’s greatest mistake. The only way to
reform government is to focus on spending, not raise taxes.
Taxpayers should be wary of any candidate, including Elise Stefanik, who is unwilling to put their opposition to tax hikes in writing. Democrats feverishly work to trick those politicians into compromising on tax hikes. This is not partisan politics, it’s reality. The pledge is a necessary and helpful tool to rein in out-of-control government spending.
Report: NWRC is a worthless indicator
Yesterday, in “Work readiness credential gains popularity,” The Post-Star characterized the National Work Readiness Credential (NWRC) as a vehicle to help local employers identify a “prequalified work-ready pool of applicants.” JobsFirstNYC recently issued a report demonstrating the NWRC is worthless as a signifier of work readiness, and that the millions of dollars spent preparing young adults for the credential has been wasted.
The NWRC is neither new, nor is it gaining popularity. The credential was developed by a five-state consortium, including New York, and was launched in 2007. No other state has endorsed it, but more than 20,000 young adults in New York have been induced to prepare for the credential at considerable expense. Only a tiny percentage of them ever earn it.
Those few get no benefit from it, because it doesn’t give most businesses what they are looking for and is consequently not used by them as a hiring criterion. We have been unable to identify a single business that affirmatively hires young adults with the credential. Moreover, no businessperson quoted in your article appears to have hired workers with the credential.
This may be because they know habits like showing up on time and dressing appropriately cannot be measured by a multiple choice exam. Surveyed businesses told us they prefer workers with established credentials — like high school diplomas or vocational certifications. And in Saratoga County, burgeoning tech businesses like GlobalFoundries are looking for workers with advanced skills, not a worthless certificate. For this reason, JobsFirstNYC is urging New York state and the State Workforce Investment Board to shift resources away from the NWRC to programs that provide young workers with the skills demanded by growing companies like these.
Executive director, JobsFirstNYC
Glens Falls Hospital goes above, beyond
Michael O’Connor’s letter to the editor dated May 13 regarding Glens Falls Hospital being a diamond in rough moved me to write my own account on this subject.
Like Mr. and Mrs. O’Connor, we had a planned getaway to Florida. Unfortunately, on New Year’s Eve, I had to undergo emergency surgery at Glens Falls Hospital with resulting complications leading to other procedures shortly after that at Glens Falls Hospital. I would like to recognize the doctors and nurses in Interventional Radiology for their professional skill and compassion, particularly Dr. Richard Dimick and Dr. David Markowitz.
More complications followed after arriving in Florida, and I had the displeasure of ending up in a hospital on the Gulf Southwest Coast. I was left on a gurney in the ER from 2:30 until 11 p.m. with little attention until they found me a tiny, crowded room. While in the ER, I called Dr. Dimick to voice my concerns over the possibility of further surgery. He called me back quickly and asked for the name of my surgeon. He called my surgeon and discussed the procedure, adding what he knew of my history. He then called me back in a short period of time to assure me everything seemed it would be OK. I had never encountered a physician with his patient, soft-spoken compassion. During that very difficult time, he gave me hope and I will never forget it.
In comparison to Glens Falls Hospital, the equipment and facility at this Florida hospital seemed antiquated. During several procedures, there were only a couple of people in the room with me, whereas at Glens Falls Hospital it was well-staffed and ready.