Thanks for support in a trying time

A sincere thank you to all of the people who gathered for the memorial service of my husband, Craig Tieszen, on Dec. 4. I appreciate those who attempted to attend but the weather made it too difficult. The kind words and tributes to Craig's life help tremendously in our grieving process.

We are forever grateful for the kind, respectful and professional care provided to Craig, brother-in-law Brent Moline and our families by: 1) the people of Rarotonga, New Zealand 2) Air New Zealand and United Airlines 3) the entire staff at Oscheim/Schmidt Funeral Home 4) the Rapid City Police Department with the rest of the law enforcement community 5) Gov. Daugaard and his staff 6) and Craig's legislative colleagues. The response of the U.S. Ambassador and the U.S. Consul to New Zealand made us grateful to be Americans.

More so, we have felt and treasure the outpouring of love and support from the citizens of Rapid City, of South Dakota and beyond. We are humbled by the donations to Craig's favorite place — the Club for Boys. As well, the developing Children’s Museum of the Black Hills has received many donations in Brent’s name.

Together with my sister, Anita Moline, and our families, we thank you very much.

Debra Tieszen

Rapid City

First tax 'reform,' then entitlements

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For many years Republicans have hoped to gut the social safety net of federal programs. This effort has been unsuccessful because voters actually support beneficial programs like Social Security, Medicare and the Affordable Care Act. Now the GOP has found another strategy: through tax "reform" they will simply starve the government of money, requiring massive across the board cuts in services.

Millions more Americans will be without health care as a result of repealing Obamacare's individual mandate. Their expenses will largely be provided by emergency services, paid by taxpayers. It won't be long before ballooning federal deficits will require entitlement "reform," meaning Social Security and Medicare benefits will be slashed. Loss of benefits won't end there. Expect deep cuts for agencies that ensure clean air and water, airline and workplace safety, disaster relief, disease control, food safety, infrastructure, and others.

In ten years, to make some kind of payment on the trillions added to the national debt, the lower tax rate on individuals will expire, while the lower corporate rate will not. But, of course, that will be after the Trump administration has ended, when he and most of our current legislators will be beyond the reach of the voters.

Eric Smith

Rapid City

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