Unfair. Unreasonable. Even "devastating." With these adjectives, your writer describes the proposed slight change in future inflation-adjusted increases to Social Security. Your writer reports that such an adjustment would save roughly $135 billion over ten years ($13.5 billion per year on average). Charles Krauthammer says the adjustment amounts to a quarter-penny reduction in future increases, not in current outlays. Current outlays are well in excess of $700 billion per year, and we all know that Social Security has crossed the line and now is paying out more than it's taking in. Additionally, the Trust Fund holds nothing but Treasury Department IOUs All that to say that Social Security in its present form is unsustainable.
But that's not my point. My point is that such hysterical language ("devastating") makes it nearly impossible to address collectively what is surely our nation's impending fiscal crisis. Yes, we desperately need tax reform; our system is arcane and truly unfair, and here your writer makes a good point (although blanketing Republicans with "always object" does nothing to facilitate dialogue). But knee-jerk reactions (can a liberal be reactionary?) to miniscule change only serves to perpetuate the deadlock in serious discussions which threatens Gen X, Gen Y and their progeny.
GARY LINDLEY, Lookout Mountain, Ga.
This is in response to Dave Flessner's article "TVA clearing the air." This was a sound decision on TVA's part. The pollution-abatement equipment to be installed by TVA should make the plant a good neighbor. Refurbishing an existing plant is more cost effective than building a new plant from scratch. Compare the cost cost/kwh in L.A. and New York City with what TVA is charging if you doubt TVA's commitment to keeping consumer cost low.
Secondly, replacing Gallatin with a natural gas plant (environmentalists' choice) would introduce its own set of problems, beyond the increased cost. When you burn a pound of natural gas, you produce three pounds of CO2 and two pounds of water vapor -- also a greenhouse gas. Although it is true that there is less CO2 released than by an equivalent capacity coal plant, environmentalists tend to ignore the ancillary greenhouse gases released and focus on CO2.
Gas is highly flammable and potentially explosive. Pipelines have been known to leak. I don't know about you, but I'd feel safer with a coal pile nearby than a large gas pipeline going under my street.
GIL JOHNSON, Soddy-Daisy
I think Steve Smith has a good thought to sell water to Georgia, but before he does that let's sell water to Tennessee.
Where do you think the water goes to that comes out of Lake Chature, Lake Nottley and Lake Blue Ridge? That is more water than Georgia needs, so they could pump it back to Georgia instead of it going down the Tennessee River.
So you see, what goes around comes around.
DOVER BEAVERS, Ellijay, Ga.
I recently was in Chattanooga and didn't notice a very small sign stating the large dirt and gravel lot was by decal only. I parked there. A company named Republic Parking wrote me a company ticket which I didn't pay.
Somehow this company, in violation of state law, got my son's address from the tag on my car. My mail is sent to his house. I was not on a public street or lot. It was private. How does this company have the right to violate state law to get this information?
I know they write tickets on public streets. It seems they are abusing their position and using their contract with the city for their corporate gain. They broke the law and should answer for it.
PAUL BURKE, Daytona, Fla.
Chattanoogans must expect a mountain of change as the Berke administration takes shape and outlines its course of action. The centerpiece of crime prevention and improved educational outcomes is a redesign of the community recreational centers into resource hubs. That supports all of the pieces of a successful community.
Several years ago, Moses Freeman proposed linking education and enrichment activities at the recreation centers. However, that is not enough. The city has to concentrate programs and services at these one-stop neighborhood markets.
City services must get out of the central office and put the service delivery personnel in the midst of the consumers. Neighborhood services and human services, public safety, or City Council contacts should be equally accessible on Highway 58 and downtown.
Community-based resource development centers can serve the people's needs just like the business development center does for real estate entrepreneurs.
We can have a pristine environment, a thriving economy, tourist attention and a remarkable quality of living. All we have to do is respect the rights of others, help those in need and promote fairness and accountability in government.
I would like to say thanks to the voters of Chattanooga for finally deciding that we deserve better than what we were getting from past elected officials. Chattanooga was in dire need of change since the voters of Chattanooga have not had a voice in city government for the past eight years.
I would also like to congratulate Mayor Berke for providing the housecleaning that City Hall has desperately needed.