Ryan's Medicare plan won't work
Paul Ryan's assurance that folks over 55 will see no change to their Medicare benefits under his proposed Medicare reform bill is simply not true.
In order for traditional Medicare to function fiscally, it must continue to have younger, more healthy seniors coming in while older, more vulnerable seniors are checking out.
Ryan's plan would be akin to BlueCross providing health insurance to all of the residents of a nursing home.
Taking this approach would make the insurance company, and in this case traditional Medicare, to go broke, quick and in a hurry.
WILLIAM P. GALLOWAY, Signal Mountain
Cartoon needs new caption
I have a better caption to Mr. Bennett's cartoon of (Aug. 9) where Romney is walking into a vault with two briefcases. The caption reads, "More tax returns, Mr. Romney?" What should be added is, "No, these are Obama's college records."
LEE HEIDEL, Signal Mountain
Elections bring thoughts to fore
Just a few observations about the recent elections.
Chuck Fleischmann, I wouldn't be crowing too loud about your victory. Sixty-two percent of the people who voted, voted against you. I think they realized what a political and intellectual lightweight you really are.
Greg Vital, how did that "having more money than God" work out for you? Even the poorest man has more money than God. God doesn't need money.
And finally, the Republican/tea party has the electorate they finally need to stay in power. Fat (obesity rates), stupid (graduation rates), and stoned (prescription drug abuse).
Include college workers in talks
The third of Gov. Bill Haslam's meetings with "employers and educators" convened on July 31 at Scripps Network in Knoxville. Present were area legislators, university and college administration and companies ranging from a local manufacturing plant to Volkswagen, Scripps and Aqua Chem.
The expressed aim of these meetings is to gather input on how to meet what are described as the three challenges of post-secondary education: 1) addressing costs; 2) producing more graduates; and 3) maintaining quality, with the overarching question being how to make it more "market relevant," according to the governor.
Two questions not heard enough are, 1) Aren't Tennessee's campuses themselves employers?, and 2) How do we maintain quality with regard to the people we employ at our institutions of higher learning? Paying people enough to live without reliance on governmental assistance or private charity is one way to ensure this.
Higher education is not only essential to our state's economy, it is an economic engine. The people who make it possible -- the campus staff, faculty, instructional staff, students and part-time workers -- have been otherwise absent from the table at these meetings. We should be part of the equation for improving campus operations, for priority-setting, and for implementing what gets decided.
TOM ANDERSON, President, United Campus Workers, Tennessee's Public Higher Education Union
CARTA provides excellent service
I've been a CARTA commuter for 15 years now. I find 90 percent of drivers to be courteous, professional and almost always on time despite the obstacles they encounter.
Someone might see four buses on the side of the street, because more run toward Hamilton Place every hour than Northgate.
Another reason why CARTA's service is slower around the turn of the month is that 10-day period when Social Security, retirement and other types of federal aid become available, creating an influx of passengers carrying bags of groceries. Starting in October, disbursement days are going to be staggered even further, and this could aid in alleviating the gridlock.
CARTA's switch to the 31 Day Pass also is a much more efficient and far superior way of paying fares. The 31 Day Pass is good 24/7 and costs $50. It enables you to get on and off the bus as many times as you want to. Just swipe the card as you board. It couldn't be any simpler. To me, this is extremely economical and truly a bargain.
For over 15 years, some of the drivers I've trusted my life to include Brett Townsend, Angeline Brantly, George Moore, Leroy, Lendra, Jackie, Buster, Seabron, Mike Bethune and Gilbert Wright. They've gotten me to my destination promptly and safely returned me home.
Shootings ammo not high powered
Re: Sunday Perspective article "Flawed (gun) laws" (Aug. 12).
Although many sensible gun owners may agree with your premise, when we begin to hear things like "weapons, ammunition and protective gear only suitable for warfare" and "why we can't flag someone who's buying 6,000 rounds of high-powered ammunition and a closet full of bullet-proof clothing," your sensible argument begins to sound more like an ideology.
I'd like you to Google IDPA (international defensive pistol association), IPSC (international practical shooting confederation) and 3 gun nation. If you go to one of these events in Chattanooga, you will meet nice law-abiding citizens including women and children who use the very firearms you speak of to compete for recreation, not "warfare." It's not out of the ordinary for us to purchase thousands of rounds of ammunition at one time. Should we be "looked into"?
Research basic ballistics and bullet wound channels and you'd see that all of the ammunition used in these shootings is far less "high powered" and deadly than just about any commonly accepted hunting round fired from any commonly accepted rifle. So the "low power" round you'd prefer to be shot with is the 9mm, 5.56 ball and buck shot used in the recent shootings and unnecessarily demonized.
STEVEN PAVENT, Ellijay, Ga.
40-year blood donor a hero
I have a newly found hero. His name is Paul E. Speegle. He has celebrated 40 years as a Blood Assurance whole blood donor. That he has retired as a donor at the age of 92 is a profound example of faithfulness and determination.
Since a person is not allowed to donate whole blood more than five times a year, his 184 lifetime donations represents the epitome of long-term consistency.
The recent Times Free Press feature article on Mr. Speegle deeply moved me.
I wish to have the honor to meet him in order to express my admiration and to share stories of our 40 years of sharing life via Blood Assurance with the community.
Writers Club a great asset
Of all the organizations that meet in the greater Chattanooga area, there is one that receives no recognition or praise but certainly should.
The River City Writers Club meets every Thursday from 10:30 a.m. until noon at the Senior Neighbors building on 10th Street. There are only about a dozen members of this club, but they are among the most pleasant and intelligent citizens anyone would ever wish to meet. I know what I'm talking about because I've had the privilege of meeting each one of them.
None are famous or well-known writers. That is not really their goal. Their stories consist mostly (but not limited to) of memories. These tales of the "good old days" are worth their weight in gold. It's not done for money or glory but to build a legacy for future generations and to reinforce the values of one way of life.
I would encourage anyone, up to and including representatives of this newspaper, to go and listen to some of their stories. Believe me, you'll leave knowing that this little club and the individual members in it are a great asset to our town.
JIM PARRISH, North Chattanooga
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