LETTERS: On Obamacare and presidential pardons

Defining Obamacare ‘subsidies’

In your Oct. 14 front page headline “Trump subsidies cut to impact 31,000 Hidalgo, Starr residents,” you failed to mention that these subsidies of millions, and possibly billions of dollars, are taxpayer money. Every taxpaying worker was paying part of the healthcare insurance premiums for people considered unable to pay the full premium themselves. This is a facet of Obamacare that the liberal Democrats and their supporters don’t talk about.

The government has no money. It is the taxpayers who are paying the billions of dollars for all the government programs begun by our lawmakers. There is only so much milk in the cow. Taxpayers need lower taxes as promised by tax reform.

Poor people already are receiving many “subsidies,” like Medicaid, subsidized housing and free food. Obamacare is simply another step toward socialism advocated by Democratic presidents since FDR.

As a taxpayer, please give me a break!

Kenneth J. Virkus, McAllen

Unpopular presidential pardons

U.S. presidents from George Washington to Donald Trump have used Article 2, Section 2, Clause 1 of the Constitution. For crimes against the United States, except for impeachment cases, this provision gives the president the power to grant:

>> Commutations — reduce prison time.

>> Pardons — allow a convicted person to be set free and cleared of that crime.

>> Reprieves — postpone enforcement of a criminal punishment.

President Gerald Ford’s 1974 pardon of President Richard Nixon for his role in the Watergate Scandal was quite controversial. Nixon resigned after Congress issued three orders of impeachment against him but before removal proceedings against him began.

In January, during his last days in office, President Barack Obama commuted the 35-year prison sentence of former soldier Chelsea Manning who was convicted of leaking national security information to WikiLeaks.

A few weeks ago, President Trump pardoned former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who was convicted of contempt of court.

Some of these commutations, pardons and reprieves might be controversial and unpopular, but are still legal under the provisions of the Constitution.

Silvestre Moreno Jr.,


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