Families depend on shelter's services

Families depend on shelter's services


June 6th, 2011 in Opinion Letters

Families depend on shelter's services

The Children's Home/Chambliss Shelter is caught up in the funding controversy between Chattanooga and Hamilton County.

The services that we provide are vital for underserved, needy families who depend on us every single day. We hope to be able to continue to provide services for these families.

The members of the board of the Children's Home/Chambliss Shelter join me in asking you to get involved by reaching out to our government officials and urging them to take a stand in support of the underprivileged families who are counting on us.

Let's not allow these critical needs to be ignored in Chattanooga.


Chairman of the Board

The Children's Home/Chambliss Shelter

Is it spending or investment?

An earlier letter described building an I-75 interchange as an investment. Reasonable letter, but it's lacking understanding of the difference between spending and investing dollars.

Federal Highway Trust funds are used to build Interstate exchanges. That is spending of already collected federal taxes paid at the gas pump.

How would one compute return on investment? There is no additional charge for using a new exit, nor increase in gas taxes as a result of its construction. If anything, reducing workers' commutes reduces fuel usage and funding into the trust.

In private companies, it's easy. Competent boards of directors demand that funding for new projects, expansions, etc., be justified by earning return on investment, with many companies using an internal rate of return. Any new venture financed by banks or venture capitalists must justify investment by demonstrating realistic returns on funds provided.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is expanding Chickamauga locks. The corps is spending, not investing dollars. For a new hydroelectric dam, TVA must borrow funds and have sufficient power sales to pay back loaned money. Former has no return, latter is investment and must, or project will be canceled.

Return on spending tax dollars yields votes in Congress and increased national debt.


Whitwell, Tenn.

Take entitlements out of debt talk

During the ongoing economic crisis, the word entitlements keeps popping up, as to indicate that this is the biggest problem of our debt.

The word now has become almost a dirty word, thanks to several of our so-called representatives.

First, an entitlement is something a person is entitled to because of something he or she earned.

To balance our budget this word should not even be mentioned. We should look at several other areas that will get us out of debt.

First, of course, is our defense budget, which is one of our biggest outlays.

Next, we should not give any foreign aid until we get out of debt.

What about those who are not entitled, who keep getting checks from the government.

Examples: Folks getting tax refunds who don't pay taxes, able-bodied people getting welfare and food stamps, rewarding women who keep having babies out of wedlock, and last but far from least, spending money on people who are in our country illegally.

Let's hear our representatives start talking about some of these unentitlements.


Dunlap, Tenn.

Ryan plan cuts aid when we need it

So let me get this straight. (Rep.) Paul Ryan and the Republicans want smaller government. Of course they all work for the government and are paid by the taxpayers. They also say they don't trust government to handle health care and Medicare, but they do trust private insurance companies to handle our health care, senior care and Medicare.

How many out there have (a) lost their insurance, (b) premiums going up, (c) co-pays going up, (d) deductibles going up, (e) less coverage?

Do we really believe insurance companies will do the right thing by us? Left up to the Republicans, the insurance companies would be in total control with few regulations (always a Republican talking point). They will drain you financially, and then when you are totally broke, the Ryan plan will eliminate any Medicaid help for you.

Is this what any of us want? No government help when we need it the most? I don't think so.


Americans can take care of elderly

Recently Congressman Chuck Fleischmann said on talk radio that he had voted to reform Medicare. No, he voted to end Medicare as we know it. 235 of 239 Republican congressmen voted to terminate the most popular social program in the history of America, while giving tax breaks to billionaires and corporations.

The travesty is that Medicare is solvent for several years. As Americans we can do anything. We can fix anything. Do not tell Americans that France, Canada and 23 other countries can have programs like Medicare and Americans cannot.

Now Republicans say they will not raise the debt ceiling unless Democrats vote to reform Medicare also. This debt ceiling vote could cause a financial disaster.

Call Congressman Chuck and our senators today. Tell them we are Americans, we take care of our elderly. Tell them to raise taxes on billionaires and corporations but leave our Medicare alone. Tell them to restore the tax code to the same as it was under Ronald Reagan and there will not be a problem with Medicare.

Ask our Republican leaders one question: "What would Jesus do?"


Beware therapeutic riding lessons

I was reading about the "fundraiser" at another "new" therapeutic riding program started by a for-profit ranch.

I worked around ranches in Arizona for many years. I encountered ranches that were trying any way they could to bring in money, so they would look at anything horse-related, such as therapeutic riding lessons, to go along with regular riding lessons, and other activities like birthday parties.

If you have a special needs child, please be very careful to make sure the therapeutic riding program is accredited by some legitimate organization such as NARHA, North American Riding for the Handicapped Association.

Ask to see the certification of the "instructor." You must be careful that it is not someone who has not gone through the rigorous certification process and passed the testing to be able to work with handicapped children.

Also, ask to see their and the ranch's liability insurance. If they let your child get hurt, their liability insurance is all important.

Ask to see references from therapeutic riding centers they have worked for. I know staff writers mean well when something looks as interesting as this, but these are important items I did not see in this article.


Some crime pays extremely well

Who says crime doesn't pay? White collar crime does, and it pays extremely well.

Look at the Wall Street financiers and the big banking executives who almost caused a collapse of our entire economic system with all of their shenanigans.

Nobody even got prosecuted, much less went to jail. Instead, the fat cats responsible for creating this mess got bonuses, golden parachutes and bailouts from the government.

Big oil continues to rob us daily at the pump by price-gouging gasoline and diesel fuel. Again, nothing is being done about it.

To appease the public, Congress conducted another one of its famous "dog and pony shows" with the investigating committee Republican senator from Utah proudly displaying his dog and pony portrait for all to see. Everybody had a good laugh, and all went away happy with nothing being resolved as usual.

Bernie Madoff only made one mistake. He forgot to "grease the skids" at the federal level. Had he done so, he would have walked away clean.


Dalton, Ga.