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Letters to the Editor: Credit where credit is due

| March 10, 2022 12:15 AM

Credit where credit is due

Among the many Republican talking points on offer is the notion that Democrats have not accomplished anything important since Joe Biden became president — and certainly nothing that benefits Montanans.

Let us take a look at that. Are we better off than we were in 2020? In fact, we are SO much better off that the information cannot be put into one letter to the editor — but let’s start with jobs and children.

When Biden entered office, unemployment was 6.8 percent, the economy was shrinking and job growth was weak. The American Rescue Plan averted a financial crisis through emergency stimulus checks, rent relief, help for small businesses and other support. It funded the reopening of schools and provided assistance to state and local governments. Montana also used American Rescue Funds to incentivize returning 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, this helped 61 million children. Child hunger was cut by 25%. In Montana, more than 100,000 families have received these payments (which unfortunately expired in December).

Christina Stoddard, economist at Montana State University, has given these figures, meaning: “Kids whose families have more support when they're young … we see those kids earn significantly more as adults. And so they're better off, and, and their family's future is better off, so it's this kind of multi-generational benefit … Children whose parents are receiving these kinds of programs benefit. Those babies are born healthier, the children in those families have fewer health conditions.”

Let us give credit to an administration that hit the ground running and got a lot of important work done, despite widespread resistance. All of us benefit, because we are all in this together.

— Gail Trenfield, St. Ignatius

Unmask our children

Seeing children wearing masks — it isn’t smallpox we’re dealing with. Rather, it’s something most people recover from. Plus, children are less likely to get it anyway.

The masks, though. Think about what it’s doing to the children. It takes away from their individuality. It teaches them to hide, to be afraid of something they can’t even see. Then there’s the fact that children are in their formative years. They’re supposed to be learning proper speech and pronunciation. But if they’re masked and those who teach are masked, how are they supposed to learn properly? They learn not just by hearing but by watching. Think about it. Our toddlers are learning to talk . Let’s not hide their beautiful faces. Let’s not hide our faces. Your 4- to 6-year-olds, they’re learning to read. They need to be able to see your mouth to watch how different sounds and blends are made. We need to see their beautiful faces, so we can better teach and encourage them.

Masking takes away from their identity. If a child is kidnapped, how are they supposed to be identified?

If a child is required to mask, they then get humiliated when they don’t comply. Thus, they’re being taught that showing your whole face is shameful.

I see many flaws in the whole mask mandating. But it definitely hits different when you look at it from a child’s perspective or in light of our children.

— Andrea Townsend, Polson

Shame on Daines

I was horrified as I watch the news showing a Ukrainian man kneeing in front of a Russian tank trying to stop it and a Ukrainian woman sweeping the broken window glass in her apartment from Russian bombing while singing the Ukrainian anthem. It is heartbreaking.

What is wrong with you, Sen. Daines, that you would 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 slaughter of Ukrainians who only want their freedom.

I am sick that you are my Montana senator. Shame on you.

— Suz Rittenhouse, Polson

Rosendale is an embarrassment

The U.S. has successfully spearheaded an extraordinary international response among nations to support Ukraine as it suffers unprovoked attack by Russia. Why the support? Ukraine is a democracy. It voted out its former authoritarian government and began a democratic government. The U.S. and many other nations support democracies.

Not only are many nations standing up for Ukraine, many private companies are doing the same, including U.S. companies Boeing, Nike, Ford, FedEx and Harley-Davidson, who cut business ties with Russia.

Where’s our U.S. Congressman Matt Rosendale in this? He said the U.S. shouldn’t be involved and that Montanans are more interested in protecting our border with Mexico. That’s a distraction, a non sequitur. Maybe he can’t multitask. Rosendale was one of only three members of Congress to vote against a statement of U.S. support for Ukraine. Don’t be fooled. Rosendale does not stand up for democracy.

— Stephanie Brancati, Big Arm

Leadership matters

This is America, our home, our children’s future. We are not watching a movie. Our country and freedom is being compromised by poor leadership.

We need nonpartisan, common sense approaches before it’s too late.

Call your representative. Let your voice be heard. Our future and our children’s future depends on us.

As parents, step forward and protect your children from Critical Race Theory. These are our children, not state or government property. School is about learning how to think, not what to think, and learning to think for ourselves to be better adults and parents.

We are better than this. It’s past time to stand up and get us back on track. Let’s get to it before it’s too late.

I am a Vietnam veteran and father of four sons, one in Kuwait.

— Lee Lytton, Pablo

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