I feel that raising revenue immediately and cutting expenses eventually is not proper economics. This appears to be a gamble that eventually the economy will rebound to the point that expenses will not have to be cut. The term Ponzi comes to mind.
Being the previous owner of a small business that "I built," if I could not raise revenue, I had to cut expenses. The government, however, can raise revenues at will and this, I think, is the source of the problem.
The U.S. Congress could take a look at the state of Tennessee and see how we operate on a balanced budget.
If we are so far in debt that it is impossible to cut expenses to the point that present revenue will not cover them, then a dollar for dollar increase and cut should go hand in hand.
If we as a nation do not get our financial house in order, we are heading down a long road to financial collapse.
I want to return the United States of America to the prominence we once enjoyed and not be beholden to some other country for financial relief. We cannot do this with the spending policies now in place.
GLENN G. BUTLER
One year ago Hills Estates Condominiums was hit with a devastating fire that totally destroyed eight town houses. One resident sent two letters to the editor complaining that our East Ridge Fire Department did not do a good job - nothing could be farther from the truth.
It was a containable fire until two unlawful propane tanks blew up and greatly exacerbated the scope of the fire. We applaud our firemen for their efforts for keeping a bad situation from getting worse.
Sixty years ago, after dark, I was driving in Atlanta with a loaded 32-caliber revolver in the glove compartment when an unmarked car pulled me over. As two men approached my car, I yelled "Stop. Identify yourselves." Fortunately, they had sense enough to comply. They were police looking for someone.
After that encounter, I realized that I wasn't prepared for such encounters. In fact, I decided that I should never carry a loaded weapon in the car or hidden on my body.
Later, as I accumulated family responsibilities, I worked out ways of avoiding exposure of self and family to possible dangerous encounters.
If those with legitimate reasons to carry firearms treasure their freedom to do so, they would work out, sponsor and underwrite a plan that would remedy problems caused by uncontrolled distribution of killing machines. The ones with legitimate reasons know that some of their cohorts buy weapons for the wrong reasons.
Those legitimate and sensible ones would be in an excellent position to recognize and keep an eye on ones showing paranoid tendencies and could become suicidal or dangerous, and the plan could include teaching less experienced gun owners how to safely use and store their weapons.
JAMES O.B. WRIGHT
The National Rifle Association position on school protections is incompetent.
A guard (or a teacher) armed with a pistol is a certain loser to a madman with a hand-held machine gun. If the guard has an equivalent weapon his odds go all the way up to 50/50.
The presence of an armed guard may even be an inducement to attack. The madman has already planned to die, and what better way to do it than at the hands of officialdom. Ever heard of "Suicide by Cop"?
The better solution is the installation of no-entry bars on every accessible window and door for a school building with apartment-type remote lock release on designated entry door or doors. TV cameras at the door with monitors inside would allow examination of applicants before door release. The monitors could be available to the principal or even a clerk. Assaults are a rare event. Those with legitimate need to enter such as teachers or deliverymen could be issued a key or a password.
The cost of such an installation is a one-time event. The ones who check the monitors are already on the payroll so there is no increase in the annual budget.
ROBERT F. CAHILL
I have seen Chattanooga develop over the past 30 years and am impressed. There are some amazing aspects to this city. Examples are plenty, but the most obvious are the riverfront parks, and most recently Stringer's Ridge. Planners clearly demonstrated some foresight and protected the active lifestyle that I have seen so many Chattanoogans enjoy.
Those days of intelligent planning are long gone; our currently elected officials demonstrate a clear motivation to develop at all costs. I am appalled at the lack of respect our planning commission, City Council, and mayor have for the community's outcry at the Chattanooga Village development. Is it not clear that the vast majority of residents of Hixson do not want a mall full of empty promises? We do not accept the "if you build it they will come" explanation given by the developers.
I've attended the public meetings; I've heard the developers' arguments. Their motivation is clear, and I don't blame them, frankly - they want to make a buck. Let me just ask one simple question to our elected officials, though - why do you ignore your constituents in favor of one wealthy developer? Oh wait; did I just answer my own question?
Roger Tuder is running for the City Council District 2 seat that has been held by Sally Robinson.
Roger is no lifetime politician. Roger is in no one's pocket for a pet project.
Roger is my good neighbor, a good friend. His commitment to our neighborhood has never been tied to anyone's agenda. My family and I will be voting for Roger Tuder because we can count on him.
I hope you all will join us by voting for Roger Tuder, a voice of reason with a commitment to serving our community.
Very few Chattanooga-area developers ever fully meet the obligations set forth in rezoning conditions. That's because developers know our city is ill-equipped to enforce conditions after construction begins. One case in point, Councilman Benson noted, is Waterside, out near Shallowford and Gunbarrel.
The developer has not met the conditions outlined to protect the community and the immediate neighbors. Why would the neighbors of the proposed Chattanooga Village expect anything different, especially when Duane Horton has several developments that were never realized?
Does anyone remember The Village at Oakbrook in East Brainerd for which Horton gained zoning approval in 2008? It was a remarkably similar concept to Chattanooga Village, but today the site is nothing but weeds.
We can ask for conditions on Chattanooga Village, but if history is an indicator of what we can expect, we can expect the conditions will not be met, they will be changed again at some future point when the community is not looking, or that all the developer really wants is a rezoning that he can use if and when he ever finds a client to build for or a bank to back him. The City Council should just vote "No."
JERRY P. JONES
Recently, I went to buy light bulbs to replace a 100 watt burned-out bulb.
The choices I was faced with did not include an incandescent bulb as they have been outlawed by Washington. No 60-cent bulb. My choices were a $2.80 fluorescent, a $5.75 Halogen or a $27.88 LED bulb. All said light was equivalent to a 100-watt incandescent but no guarantee that it was enough to read by.
Also, the LED was "guaranteed" for 27 years. I'm 76, so that wasn't a good choice. I still had one fluorescent bulb at home, left from a six pack and guaranteed for seven years that I bought last year that hadn't burned out.
Coming home frustrated, I listened to a report on the "fiscal cliff negotiations" and thought that the problem should be turned over to the light bulb czar.
As Lou Holtz said, "After all is said and done, more is always said than done."
Happy New Year!
Last month my daughter and I planned on seeing Chattanooga Ballet's "The Nutcracker." We had purchased advanced tickets last year but due to an illness we were unable to attend. This year I didn't buy advance tickets in case something came up.
When we went to the ticket window we were told there was only one ticket left and we would be unable to attend. I could see my 10-year-old daughter's lip begin to quiver. She was sobbing as we turned to leave. A lady approached us and insisted that we take her tickets. Her mother hugged my daughter and told her that she had seen it many times and she wanted her to see it. My daughter quickly thanked them and said it was a Christmas miracle!
These two ladies helped us discover the true meaning of Christmas: Giving to others without expecting anything in return.
Keith and Terra Moore