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The Observer welcomes letters to the editor. Letters are limited to 350 words and must be signed and carry the author’s address and phone number (for verification purposes only).

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Email your letters to news@lagrandeobserver.com or mail them to La Grande Observer, 1406 5th St., La Grande, Ore., 97850.

My Voice

My Voice columns should be 500 words. Submissions should include a portrait-type photograph of the author. Authors also should include their full name, age, occupation and relevant organizational memberships.

We edit submissions for brevity, grammar, taste and legal reasons. We reject those published elsewhere.

Send columns to La Grande Observer, 1406 5th St., La Grande, Ore., 97850, fax them to 541-963-7804 or email them to acutler@lagrandeobserver.com .

Cooke: Electing Trump was a ‘terrible mistake’

To the Editor:

Let’s say you were a widow with a lovely estate. You were courted by this big egotistical con man. He insulted your children throughout the courtship, but you married him over their anguished pleas. The first day (honeymoon, no less) he bans all your children from coming over. He calls his buddies to cut trees, dig holes and drain their engines on your beautiful estate.

Then he begins to empty your bank account while bragging about the artificial flowers he buys you, with a fake “I love you” attached. He mocks everything your children say and sends his creepy buddies out to trip them and molest their friends.

Now he has started body-slamming you into the walls almost daily. Won’t you wake up and say, “It was a terrible mistake”?

This is life in Trump’s America.

Mary Cooke


Ebbert: Faux Republicans pass faux tax decrease

To the Editor:

The faux Republicans in Congress have passed their “GOP tax bill,” what Trump calls “the largest tax decrease in the history of our country.” It was rammed through the Senate without a single Senate hearing or report from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and approved with only one Republican dissenter who is leaving this Congress.

This “tax decrease” removes lots of historic deductions: state and local income taxes, work materials paid by teachers, property tax over $10,000, tuition waivers to students are now taxed and will be part of their student debt as are endowments to schools and universities. The mandate providing health insurance for all has been repealed and Medicare funding was drastically cut.

The “tax decrease” did shift some of the tax load: families with incomes from $30K to $40K will see their taxes increase initially, and by 2027 everyone below $75K will be paying more. Of course this “tax decrease” means there will be less revenue in the National Treasury, probably sending us about $1.4 trillion deeper into debt. This increase would be equivalent to 28,000 families with incomes of $50,000. Or it would require a family with $50,000 of income 28,000 years to pay it.

Education expenses are increasing and becoming only an option for the very rich. Thirteen million people are losing health care insurance, and premiums are increasing for everyone. Medicare, a prepaid benefit, is being reduced (God help you if you or a loved one requires chemotherapy). It is time to set an extra place at the dinner table for Grandma, because she will not be able to afford the nursing home.

Trickle-down economics do not work! It does not increase production or job growth. Tax decreases for corporations and the super rich are applied to investments and increased corporate share value. Share value (the stock market) does not create jobs. Congressional Republicans ignore the Republican Platform.

Donors are throwing these faux Republicans under the bus, and Americans are paying their way. Many congressmen will not survive the 2018 elections.

David Ebbert


Cooper: Why is Walden keeping his tax plans secret?

To the Editor:

Rep. Greg Walden promises to work with his colleagues (at least those of his own party) on modifications to the tax plan (“Walden wants to improve tax bill; Oregon Republican won’t explain changes,” The Observer, Dec. 11). However, typically for Walden, he refuses to share any details.

“I’m refraining from publicly discussing all of the specifics,” Walden says. However, Walden admits he has talked to “the leaders of some of Oregon’s largest employers” and “value added agricultural interests” — in other words, wealthy donors to his campaign chest.

The Republican tax bill includes a huge tax cut for corporations, but many taxpayers earning less than $70,000 will probably pay more — as much as $1,200 according to some estimates. Oregonians will no longer be able to deduct state taxes on their federal return. College graduates will no longer be able to deduct interest on student loans.

Why won’t Rep. Walden reveal his intentions? He apparently does not trust his own constituents or care to hear their opinions. Walden is as reluctant to reveal a tax plan as he is to hold a town hall meeting. What is he trying to hide?

I hope Walden’s “improvements” will benefit low- and middle-income Oregonians, and will not merely be a giveaway to the richest 1 percent and big corporate donors.

Matt Cooper

La Grande