Many points lost in tax argument
This is in reference to the letter (April 24) that quoted Bible passages and alluded that Republicans wanted to cut food stamps "to help pay for tax cuts to millionaires (sic)." Apparently, the fact that recipient-class citizens get a $5,666 freebie from the government in the form of the earned income tax credit is lost on the writer. The fact that 47 percent of the working class doesn't pay a cent in income taxes is also lost. The fact that poverty initiatives, not intended to eliminate poverty, but to ensure generational poverty and voters for life and enslavement to big government, is lost.
Look at negatives for Keystone plan
Candidate Romney has stated he would build Keystone Pipeline even if "I had to pay for it myself." He may want to consider these facts:
The southern route for the line is Trans-Canada Oil's second choice. They wanted to ship west but Canadian citizens challenged the routing due to concerns over land spoilage and environmental impacts.
Extraction of tar sands crude requires clear-cutting thousands of acres of forests, diverting rivers, strip mining and destruction of critical habitats.
In Canada, there already exists a more than 50-square-mile toxic waste pond visible from space.
Three times more greenhouse gas emissions are created from tar sands extraction than from conventional oil extraction.
Transporting this crude requires mixing it with toxic chemicals and pumping at extreme pressure and temperature.
Keystone Pipeline No. 1 had more than 12 spills in 12 months. The July 2010 spill contaminated over 30 miles of the Kalamazoo River at a cost of over $700 million. It has yet to be cleaned up satisfactorily.
Advocates promote fuzzy jobs claims that have been widely discredited.
No matter what you think of President Obama, putting (Romney) in office is not the solution, just more lip service to big oil.
JOSEPH S. HODGIN
Green roof savings just don't add up
Thank you, City Councilwoman Deborah Scott, for voting no to the green roof. David Crockett says it will save $4,000 a year with a life expectancy of 50 years. So, $341,000 for the cost of roof, minus $80,000 for regular roof leaves $281,000. It would take 70 years to amortize that cost. Yearly savings of $4,000.
Only in government does this make sense. But to be fair to the City Council, the reporter did not bother to give the amount saved through stormwater (environmental tax) credits or the amount of the federal grant (our tax $ taken - repackaged and returned to us with strings attached). Both numbers would be helpful when evaluating the council's decision.
DAVID J. HAYNES
Name-calling is last resort
I just finished reading "The Robber Barons," by Matthew Josephson, printed in 1934. It is about the stranglehold that a few man had on America during that period 1861-1901. During this period, a few men gained a monopoly on most every form of manufacture, railroad, food processing, banking, shipping, steel, oil and the courts, from local to Supreme.
One section tells about the formation of the Grange to help check the power of the monopolies. The railroad barons were furious. Collis P. Huntington, owner of the Southern Pacific, vituperated against his opponents in 1877, calling them alternately "agrarian" and "Communists."
If you change the dates, 1877 to 2012, it would be the same as today. If you can't bring anything to the debates, like honest facts, then you must resort to name-calling. My president has been called everything from a Nazi, a Communist, Leninist, Marxist, socialist, Muslim, foreigner, etc. One thing you don't often hear is that he took over the ship of state after the former captain ran it into the iceberg.
President Obama saved us all. Anybody who sees it different must be in an ivory tower stuck in the clouds, or is in a fog bank.
BENJAMIN E. LONG
Obama reverses on loan interest
Wednesday's AP article about the president and student loans again demonstrates how AP abrogates its Fourth Estate responsibilities to report news fairly and accurately.
As U.S. senator in the Democratic Congress in 2007, the president supported ending reduced student loan interest July 1, 2012, because "it was too expensive." He now supports reduced interest ad infinitum. Are low student loan interest rates responsible for $1 trillion student loan debt? That surpasses U.S. credit card debt.
The president and first lady were able to pay off their student loans "eight years ago." Did it help that the first lady was given a $300,000 job at University of Chicago Hospital, coinciding with the president's election as U.S. senator? The president's successful books also helped.
How many University of North Carolina seniors graduating next week will have jobs that permit them to begin careers and repay their college loan debts? Half of them? Were UNC seniors in the audience cheering the president, or late-night TV host Jimmy Fallon? Do they understand for whom and why they were cheering?
JOHN A. LYNCH JR.
Please return beloved elephant
To the one who took the black concrete elephant on Highland Road in Hixson, Tenn.: Please, please bring him back! No questions asked.
This little elephant that was at the front of the house is much loved. This is the second elephant that has been taken from the exact same spot. One was first taken in 2009 and the again last weekend around April 20-21.
The second little elephant was a Christmas present after the first was stolen from the yard. It was very hard to find another one after the first was stolen. Poor little guy even made it through the first hours of April 27, 2011, when the high winds/tornados came that awful day. It represents the plight of endangered/captive elephants and the hope for a better life for them.
Please bring him home. We all miss him very much.
Democrats don't keep funds sound
I chuckled when I read the letter (April 22) claiming that Democrats "work to keep Social Security and Medicare sound.''
Lyndon Johnson took Social Security funds from the so-called "lock box" and placed that money in the general fund leaving IOUs that the feds have never repaid.
Jimmy Carter OK'd making non-contributors to Social Security eligible to receive SS benefits.
Al Gore broke the tie in the U.S. Senate to tax Social Security benefits.
Social Security was intended to return money to those citizens (who along with their employer's matching contributions) had invested those funds for retirement benefits for those citizens. These funds were not intended to be "entitlements" as many politicians refer but a return on what individuals and companies contributed to the program for those citizens. Entitlements should be characterized as Social Security kick-backs to individuals who have never contributed one penny to the program.
I love how Democrats proclaim they are for keeping Social Security and Medicare sound. Their past history certainly shows how they have done the opposite.
Add more areas for 2-party system
Re: Brandt Ayres' Sunday opinion piece in the Perspective section:
Brandt Ayers is so dedicated to a two-party system that he is a founding officer of the Blue South Project.
Hmmmm, if he is so concerned about having a two-party system, I suggest he also found Red Party New England and Red Party West Coast!