Unlike the "old days," when cash and checks dominated consumer transactions, debit cards now are preferred by both consumers and merchants. Merchants receive an array of benefits and so do their customers, especially in the area of fraud and theft protection, which many people take for granted. But the system that allows debit card payments was not built for free and is not maintained for free. Card companies and banks have invested billions of dollars in the infrastructure.
Under pressure from merchants, Congress added an amendment to the financial reform bill directing the Federal Reserve to reduce what merchants are charged for each debit card transaction, known as "swipe fees." That is now being reconsidered as Democrats and Republicans alike realize this cap on fees may actually hurt consumers while benefiting merchants at the expense of card companies and banks that provide the infrastructure and fraud protection, and that take on the risk.
Sen. Bob Corker, who understands both sides of the issue, is trying to build support to delay implementation of the new Fed rules and further study their impact on consumers. That is the prudent thing to do. And we need more, not less, prudence in Washington.
Tennessee Bankers Association
Here we go again! Can't you hear the general public heaving a collective sigh, and going HUH!
Why in God's green earth would state Sen. Stacey Campfield, R-Knoxville, want to sponsor a bill that would allow anyone to carry a gun on public college campuses? Where is his logic? This is crazy!
Just what we need: guns on college campuses.
What will he want to do next? Allow guns on all school campuses? Why?
Interesting that he did note in Tuesday's edition of the Times Free Press that he would not answer questions unless they were submitted in writing. The only way the public would see his responses would be if they log onto his blog.
Good grief. Does this guy even think of the consequences of his actions, or rather proposed actions?
SCOTT C. WILSON
Headline, March 10, Business section: "Feds help local jobless pay on mortgages."
Shouldn't your headline writer have phrased that "We help local jobless ..." - or has our government discovered a source of money other than us, taxpayers? Follow the money, and you will see that our tax dollars only incidentally and instantly pass through the hands of "local jobless" folks, and directly into the coffers of banks.
How many of those banks are jobless?
On Wednesday, March 9, after leaving the post office on Shallowford Road, a young man noticed that a tire on my car was completely flat. Although it was raining hard, he insisted on changing my tire so I could drive home.
After asking, this Good Samaritan's name is Marty Clark. He has to be a wonderful dad and role model for his little daughter, who was with him.
Thanks again, Marty, for coming to my aid.
I was extremely upset and concerned to hear about funding for Public Broadcasting System being taken away over the past couple weeks.
Shows like "Sesame Street" and now "Super Why" are just a couple of programs that are part of my daughters' childhood, as many PBS children's shows were part of mine.
There are so many choices in television, many which teach our children how to be disrespectful, fight, talk back to parents, bully kids, but PBS shows are nourishing the minds of future generations, making them smarter and more tolerant of diversity. They are also funnier.
My two little girls are products of wholesome educational programs. It blesses my heart to see such a program like PBS having such a powerful impact on the future generation.
It grieves me to think these programs will possibly be taken away from my household, and even worse my children every day. I know taking these programs away would be a terrible mistake. I pray those in Congress who grew up with "Sesame Street" and would count with the "Count" or discover the "letter of the day," would see the positive impact it had on their lives and allow PBS to be that impact on our children's lives as well.
There are approximately 25 sexually transmitted diseases; two are incurable, one is fatal!
One in five Americans has genital herpes.
One in four Americans will acquire a sexually transmitted disease. If the present rate continues, it will be one in two.
The Centers for Disease Control states there is no clinical proof that condoms decrease the risk of chlamydia, herpes, HPV, syphilis, chancroid or trichomoniasis.
The 1987 Journal of American Medical Association reported that among married couples who consistently used condoms where one partner was HIV positive, 17 percent of the non-infected partners became infected within a year and a half. HIV can slip through pores in condoms.
Would you take a sky-diving course if you were told you had a 1 in 6 chance over a year's time that your chute would fail!
The only safe sex is with one faithful partner for life - what the Bible calls marriage. Maybe God knows best!
For more resources on teaching abstinence, contact-On Point at 423-899-9188.
In a letter March 12, from Jack L. Parnell, we made a typographical error.
The sentences should have read: "A billion is about the number of seconds in 32 years. It has been just about 63 billion seconds since Christ was born!"
We regret the error and are happy to make the correction.