Letters 1.9.13

By on January 9, 2013

To Foster from Peter
Thank you so much for sponsoring a very diverse gathering of Roosters yesterday at Teton Pines. A wonderful session. Time was very tight at the end for me, just enough for a joke. For what it is worth, this is what might have been said on the serious side, not as some speech but just as an observation:
All of the people here are very successful in many different fields of endeavor, in many different ways. You are all “doers”, you get things done. Such a contrast to Washington D.C. and its dysfunction!

As a basic frame of reference, not so long ago American Colonists came together, with immense achievements. Despite great diversity and differing interests—slave owning planters from Virginia, bankers from New York, farmers from Connecticut, beer makers from Boston, fishermen from Maine. A ragtag army, almost no money and limited military resources.

Yet with a common heritage and common values, they beat the most powerful nation on earth, and achieved freedom and independence—basically a response to unfair taxing power. They also created a wonderful Constitution out of whole cloth, a Constitution which works so well even today, when it is honored.

Yet now, by contrast, with all the money and power on the planet, our Washington D.C. leadership could not change a comma in our Constitution for the better, cannot win a war against a third world country, cannot even get beneficial things done where they agree.

Why? It is partly our current leadership. To me Obama is our most dysfunctional President ever. Yet maybe America’s common bonds are broken. We have always been “communal” in very good ways—helping neighbors, going the extra mile. But now it is more of an urban “me, me, me” perspective, and people with their hands out looking for government largesse one way or another. Maybe most important of all, there are fewer common bonds, less a common heritage. Not what you see here in the room. And, I am sorry to sound negative, but I believe we are being led off a far bigger cliff, than the current January 1 focus.

To me, one turning point was the Civil War. Russia abolished slavery—serfdom— peacefully in 1864. But due to the abject leadership failure of Lincoln and others, over 600,000 Americans were killed by their fellow Americans. Absolutely horrendous failed leadership, with a horrendous death toll that makes 9/11 seem very small in comparison. September 11 was outside terrorists – not Americans – killing Americans. Lincoln was no hero to me, as he is to many liberals.

In any event, Wyoming is what America was. We are blessed to live here. I have great respect for Grant, Leland and others for their work at the State level. And Jim, Steve and others for their work at the local level. And you, Foster, and others who try your best to get things done at the national level. But most of all, I respect everyone in this room for being doers, and for reflecting in many different ways our common heritage and our common bonds.

Too windy to say over lunch in any event, but there it is. Thank you again, Foster.
– Best regards, Peter F. Moyer

Don’t cut tourism budget
The Governor has proposed a budget amendment that would cut $1,023,000 from tourism promotion spending from the Wyoming Office of Tourism (WOT). The $552,000 cut would come out of co-op advertising that helps tourism based companies advertise to potential travelers. The other $471,000 would be deleted mostly from (1) printing and postage for brochure fulfillment; (2) operations, including training and Interstate FAM tours for WOT staff; and (3) reductions in the Cowboy Marketing program that supports high school, college, and pro rodeo marketing.

The key piece for our community is to try to ensure the co-op marketing program stays in place. PLEASE EMAIL THE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE to indicate that you are opposed to cutting the WOT budget. The points that are most important for us to express in our communications to the committee are:
WOT expenditures generate a 9.44 to 1 return on investment in tax dollars alone.

Wyoming’s number 2 industry is tourism, and cuts to funding could affect every tourism business in the state.

The $552,00 for co-op advertising helps our businesses generate more tax revenue by attracting more visitors.
– Jeff Golightly, executive director, JH Chamber of Commerce

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