Regarding the article (Oct. 13) concerning the $1.1 trillion deficit and Obama's pledge to cut the deficit by $4 trillion in 10 years, it brings to mind a question.
Ten years from now will be 2022. By the year 2022, assuming Obama is re-elected, he will have been out of office six years, and if he is not re-elected, it is possible that we will have had two different presidents by then.
By the year 2022, the country will have gone through six congressional election cycles with the possibility that the Senate will have changed by over 21/2 times and that the House completely changed six times.
Now, how in the name of common sense can the man promise something that he will have absolutely no control over?
GLENN G. BUTLER, Ooltewah
In a recent editorial, "Drew's Views" (Oct. 5), you made some assumptions and conclusions regarding the funding of nonprofit and charitable organizations in Marion County that I know to be incorrect. You refer to this use of taxpayer money as " wasted." I would submit to you that they are all worthy causes that benefit a large cross-section of the citizens of Marion County. The vast majority of them have been funded for decades by multiple county commissions and have been supported and approved by the citizens of our county. I have never received the first complaint about the funding of these organizations. The only discussion has been that they are underfunded. Your description of these nonprofits and charitable organizations as being "arts organizations, civic clubs, and festivals" is simply not correct when you look at each one individually.
Lastly, where you characterize and bluntly say "giving the money to organizations that are run by their buddies" has no hint of truth to it. I don't conduct the people's business based on who you are or whether I like you or not. I respect your right to disagree or agree with how any governmental entity conducts itself. As a matter of fact I encourage it, you have that right. The First Amendment of our Constitution requires and protects it.
JOHN P. GRAHAM, Mayor, Marion County, Tenn.
As a pharmacist, I was mortified to read your "Drew's views" editorial (Oct. 12) on pseudoephedrine restrictive sales. Your statement, you'd "rather it be easier for a few criminals to make meth ... than to inconvenience innocent people and subject them to a government database," is preposterous. Fact is, Drew, sadly, it's not just a few criminals. Tennessee is ranked No. 2 in the nation in methamphetamine production, so even though we are ranked 17th in population and 36th in land mass, our "few" criminals here are doing an over-the-top job of keeping your neighbors and fellow Tennesseans readily supplied with the poor man's cocaine.
As we saw this summer, the collateral damage of the use of this substance can be found in the forgotten children left to die in their car seats in their parents' hot cars. Also, hospitals and burn units remain overpopulated with the aftermath of victims when the cooking process explodes. Your deregulation wish would only serve to boost us to a shameful No. 1 status.
If you truly wish to preserve your dignity and privacy, and block the government from tracking your purchases, you could ask your pharmacist about phenylephrine, a readily available non-regulated decongestant.
Free Press editorial Oct. 13 gave Vice President Biden's "... compelling point during the debate ... Iran is simply not a legitimate nuclear threat now, or in the future." Editorial claimed, "... threat of nuclear Iran is convenient narrative, even if the narrative is rooted more in fantasy than reality." Reuters's Oct. 2 article says Iran could be one to four months from having a nuclear weapon.
VP Biden said that if Iran had enough highly enriched uranium (HEU), they wouldn't "have a weapon to put it in." HEU is the weapon; only needs to be imploded to critical mass to explode.
U.S. supplied Iran HEU from 1950s until the month the shah departed Iran, the month after I left in December 1978. The U.S. also provided bomb-grade plutonium and trained nuclear engineers and technicians.
Enriched uranium means concentrations of U-235 in uranium hexafluoride gas. When gas is heated, it forms metal and can be melted and molded into bombs. Iran has thousands of technically competent personnel. Iran also bought technology, including centrifuges, from Pakistan's Abdul Qadeer Khan. Russian high explosives expert Vyacheslav Danilenko helped. Iran now can produce nuclear weapons and deliver them by land, air or water - no need to place them on missiles.
JOHN A. LYNCH JR., Captain, USNR (Ret.), Whitwell, Tenn.
For days now, all communication from the Middle East shows Muslims in an uproar. The U.S.A. could never surrender enough or pay enough to appease them. My rule book (the Holy Bible) has everything we need to know; look at Genesis 16:12. Please read the verse regarding Ishmael and it will reveal much of what is happening today.
I'm wondering when the American people will call Obama and his administration to task for his forsaking our ambassador and consulate in Benghazi, to leave them to be murdered. I t has been reported that the State Department refused further help in security. I would like to know the name of the official who made that decision. But ultimately, Obama is responsible, like the captain of a ship. And they call Romney a liar? Time will show who is the liar. Obama's apostasy is open for all to see.
Pray for our country but I fear all is lost. Just as the Roman empire collapsed, our country could be under judgment.
GAIL BLAYLOCK HUDSON
Because the corrupt and outdated election process already has counted the votes in Tennessee, I've decided to cast my vote for the Libertarian Party's candidate, Gary Johnson. This way, I will at least be helping to make a statement that neither Democrats nor Republicans are by the people, for the people anymore but are tools of the corporations that would enslave us. Hopefully by the next elections we will have a strong third party that can compete for the citizen again.
F. DOUG CRAIG
Running for governor of Massachusetts in 2002, Romney refused to sign a pledge not to raise taxes. Then in 2012 he was the first Republican presidential candidate to sign Grover Norquist's "Taxpayer Protection Pledge" not to raise taxes. Norquist, a GOP lobbyist, explained his goal, "I'm not in favor of abolishing the government. I just want to shrink it down to size where we can drown it in the bathtub." Ninety-five per cent of Republicans in Congress have signed Norquist's petition. Their stand is the difference between Republicans and Democrats.
The federal government unites and governs 300 million citizens living in 50 states who make up this democracy. Should our intricate federal branches, departments and agencies be shrunk? Or are they fundamental to our safety, our way of life, and worth supporting?
The present outbreak of meningitis resulted from pain patients' being injected with a contaminated steroid produced by pharmacies that mix drug compounds without FDA oversight. The injections sickened at least 170 patients and killed 14 of them. Again we are shown how we the people -- the government -- must regulate corporations, so huge and aggressive that they require a big, strong, expensive government to protect us against them.
FAYE WALTER, Sewanee, Tenn.
You recently printed an article about the Mormon religion.
On your front page you state "To Give the News Impartially, Without Fear or Favor."
Since you printed the story about Romney's religion, when are you going to have a front-page article concerning Obama's relationship with Rev. Wright when he attended Wright's church?
JOE ROBERTS, Ooltewah
I have never written to a newspaper before, but now is the time. Obama says we should not look back but to the future. If we look back, we will see the over $5 trillion he put this country in debt in four years. If he is re-elected, China among others will own this country.
It looks like if they want to save money, cut the aid to the other countries. We don't have enough to pay our own bills, much less give it away. And park Air Force One a little. Use it only for the U.S.A.'s business.
GEORGE MORGAN, Pikeville, Tenn.
I have followed with interest your recent coverage of the election. However, one key fact has been underemphasized in your reporting. Please remind your readers that our current president has had four years to dig us out of the economic slump and has not done so. In fact, President Obama's "spend now, pay later" policies have worsened the recession. Obama has brought us ever-increasing debt and sky-high unemployment.
Mitt Romney has spent his life in business. Romney understands that the road to recovery is to unleash the spirit of American free enterprise. Only by lowering taxes and removing unnecessary regulations can we recover the prosperity and opportunity that should be the birthright of every American.
Mitt Romney is the right choice for our nation.
Our family income would be considered middle class. Mitt Romney's tax plan (this week, anyway) would eliminate taxes on interest, dividends and capital gains for those earning less than $250,000. How exciting! Whereas we had no capital gains last year, we did have $18 in interest and dividend income. We expect about the same this year. How can one not vote for Romney with plans like this? Exactly what world does he live in? Not ours!
TOMMY HEWITT, Sewanee, Tenn.
It seems gang violence in Chattanooga is so out of hand that there's no short-term solution to this problem. Most of the articles on each shooting could be written beforehand, then the only thing to do would be fill in the names of the victims and the shooters.
It seems the police are doing their jobs in apprehending most of the suspects, but when you read, as in the latest shooting report, that the shooter has faced a total of 60 charges ranging from driving violations to convictions of robbery and aggravated assault, there's something bad wrong with the local justice system. What would be interesting to know is how these criminals get out of serving long jail terms and released back on the streets to continue their crime sprees. Are these recommendations from our judges for short sentences or state and federal laws that put these criminals back on the street. Seems the solution for many gang problems is long sentences for those convicted of these crimes.
This has to be hurting the local businesses of Chattanooga, if not from the out-of-town tourist, for sure from the people of the surrounding areas who no longer feel safe to come downtown for shopping and entertainment.
MIKE DANIEL, Ringgold, Ga.
I am writing to show my support for the Tennessee River during the 40th anniversary of the Clean Water Act. We all call Chattanooga home for the beauty it represents. In my opinion the Tennessee River is one of the main reasons we are able to call our home the Scenic City.
I hope as elections near, that regardless of the political party we belong to, that we continue our support for our local river and all that it represents to our city.
JAY SNIDER, Sale Creek, Tenn.