Entitlements should remain
I want to address all the enlightened ones who believe all "entitlements" should be done away with.
First, I paid into Social Security and Medicare since I started working at age 13. I only stopped work when I became too ill to continue. No one chooses to live on Social Security. Some have no choice at all.
Second, no one is giving me anything. I paid for it all. I still pay taxes. To take away so-called "entitlements" is to hurt the oldest, sickest and poorest of our society.
May I thank you, from all of us, for your contempt at our circumstances. I hope you never have to live with them. But you'll be glad those "entitlements" are there if you should find that life is not as perfect and predictable as yours seems to be or you believe it to be.
I'm sure your self-righteousness and contempt for "entitlements," and all those on them, will force you, your parents and your family to refuse all those nasty "entitlements" when all your turns come up to draw them, right?
Otherwise, you are just a selfish, heartless, bigoted, elitist hypocrite.
Well done! Let 'em eat cake, huh?
MELINDA OSBORNE, Dalton, Ga.
S&P downgrade is warranted
Dave Ramsey puts it in simple terms. Even a politician would understand this:
"If the U.S. Government were a family, they would be making $58,000 a year, but spending $75,000 a year - and have $327,000 in credit card debt. They are currently proposing big spending cuts to reduce their spending to $72,000 a year so that they can start paying off that debt." Huh? And Obama's financial advisers think S&P is being unfair?"
Remove illegal aliens now
I would like to know:
Why do Americans want to sit back while their country is being taken over with the help of the government?
Why should America listen to Mexico and 13 other countries?
If we don't have their imports - though most are better than China's - perhaps America will start her own companies if she doesn't have to compete with cheap labor and cheap materials.
Why do people want to confuse illegal aliens with documented migrant workers? Why do illegal aliens think they can protest and not be arrested? Why are illegal aliens given civil rights in America? Illegal? No rights!
Why do organizations, government, state, local and churches think it is OK to aid illegal aliens? Why are black Americans not protesting illegal alien children receiving better educational opportunities than their children?
Why are all Americans not protesting against illegal aliens being tolerated in America and not being removed? Profile, target, whatever it takes to find and remove illegal aliens and their illegal alien children born in America.
For every illegal alien removed there is a chance for a job. Most illegal aliens do not work in the fields. They have construction, restaurant, hospital, retail and factory jobs. Remove illegal aliens now.
TINY STEELE, East Ridge
Cut military expenses
When Willie Sutton was asked why he robbed banks, he said "That's where the money is." Politicians who are trying to cut the deficit need to take a tip from him. We spend as much on our military as the rest of the world (from Russia to the Fiji Islands) combined. With such a disproportionate military (Pentagon pork), we had to create enemies to use it on so we started two ill-conceived, unnecessary, pointless, counterproductive and immoral wars and generated generations of enemies we never had.
We've borrowed $1.2 trillion from China to waste on wars. We need not fear China militarily. They could just "repo" us.
Why are politicians talking about cutting programs that help people like Medicare, Social Security and medical research instead of the real drain on the treasury?
Courage is required on the battlefield and it takes a special kind of courage to say, "We were wrong." We have two bipartisan voices in Congress saying it now. They are Republican Ron Paul and Democrat Dennis Kucinich.
By ending the debacle now, we can save prestige, lives and reduce the national debt substantially.
FRED H. WRIGHT
Independent thinkers needed
I am not involved in partisan politics. My philosophy has been let the best person win.
As an independent thinker I sit back and listen to the banter and try to pick intelligent comments from those who purport to be for the people. Unfortunately in all my life (beginning before WWII) I've never heard such lock-step propaganda since Hitler's brainwashing tactics.
What's with this mantra "President Obama is not providing jobs for the people" spewing from the lips of supposedly independent thinkers?
Obama doesn't hold the purse strings in which the coveted trillions of dollars are hoarded. You leaders, get your heads out of the sand and start thinking your own thoughts and then maybe you'll get an epiphany as to which direction to take.
You want to cut costs but not provide revenue.
Food for thought: When working people get paid they pay income tax and actually purchase commodities which increases sales tax revenue and increases production so more U.S. people (not Chinese) can have jobs. It's a beautifully laid-out loop.
Get your act together while there is still a stage.
JIM ORRISON, Cleveland, Tenn.
Repeal tax cuts to heal economy
There has been much spin concerning FDR's policies of recovery from the Great Depression. Below are some facts taken from an article by Bryce Covert.
The Roosevelt recession refers to a period from mid-1937 to 1938 when the economic recovery from the Great Depression temporarily stalled, lasting about 13 months.
Some of his advisers urged him to balance the budget, and he cut government spending. The unemployment rate jumped from 14.3 percent to 19.0 percent, the first increase since FDR took office.
Manufacturing output fell by 37 percent.
In April 1938 Roosevelt got new spending from Congress, which was split among various recovery agencies, and the economy once again began to recover. The unemployment rate began to fall, and kept falling until there was virtually no unemployment by 1945.
Let this be a lesson for our current situation. Even as the economy's recovery is still extremely fragile, Tea Party/Republicans are calling to cut necessary spending even more. But that would only repeat the mistakes of 1937 and choke off any chance for economic growth.
If the Bush/Cheney tax cuts for the wealthiest were rolled back and oil subsidies ended, we would have the revenue for full recovery!
WALTER M. BENTON, Signal Mountain
Republicans make it tougher to vote
Republicans (the folks who want to keep government off your back) just passed a law mandating that all Tennesseans must bring a government-issued ID to vote.
Potential voters must get a ride to their DMV, maybe taking a day off work. They must bring their original birth certificate (or a certified copy), their Social Security card, and two proofs of Tennessee residency. Some citizens (even veterans) who have voted for years have been unable to secure an ID. Students can no longer use student IDs either.
For those who don't have a license or Internet access, it can mean weeks of red tape to secure these documents just to practice the basic American right of voting.
Republicans know exactly who will have the hardest time with this, and they don't normally vote Republican.
In just one legislative session, Republicans have made voting less secure by eliminating the requirement for a paper trail and less representative by throwing obstacles in the way of students, the poor, disabled and elderly.
Please make sure everyone you know who doesn't drive has the proper papers well before voting day.
HELEN STAPLETON, Sewanee, Tenn.