The community pottery studio offers affordable access to kilns, wheels and specialized equipment to citizens of all ages. Not everyone is an athlete, yet the city supports ball fields, recreation centers, parks and merry-go-rounds. It presents itself to tourists as a cultural magnet, invests in public sculpture and even gives cash incentives to artists to move here, as though we did not have artists of our own.
And, yes, the arts need subsidies, as do other less productive activities the city readily sponsors because there are auxiliary benefits that ensue and actual dollar costs are not the only consideration.
According to the spirit of the editorial, Chattanooga needs no public library, no Memorial Auditorium, no Tivoli Theatre, and no visitors bureau because they are not self-supporting. No, but they bring enormous collateral benefits to a city that is just beginning to build its distinctive character and define itself as a premier place to be.
Your focus seems very narrow and politically motivated when there are other more wasteful matters at hand.
JOHN W. HARRIS
I have been attending Ringling Brothers circus since I was a young boy. I appreciate the "family" entertainment they always provide. If they abused their animals as some think, the animals wouldn't respect their trainers. They would not submit but rather turn on them by attacking. They have a seal of approval that they take care of their animals. I love animals and appreciate how they train them with love to put on the "greatest show on earth."
Would we care this much if babies who are aborted or abused by the thousands every day were treated the same as people think Barnum's animals are?
What would Ronald Reagan do? Would Iran still be holding an American clergyman in jail if Ronald Reagan were president today? Would we still not have answers to the Benghazi attack in Libya if Reagan were president? Would we still have no federal budget after four years if we had Reagan as president? Would Reagan campaign around the country in Air Force One at $180,000 an hour, plus secret service and other related costs?
Would Reagan be spending countless hours and millions of dollars playing golf while the country is in financial downfall and White House tours have been canceled? Would Reagan be cowtowing to Karzai in Afghanistan while he is sticking his finger in our eyes? Would Reagan be giving millions to an Egyptian government that supports the Muslim brotherhood that dislikes us and ignores Christian pleas for help?
I don't think so.
What is meant by the statement, "The Republican Party is a party of stuffy, old men?" I know many Republican men. I find them to be respectful, charming, gracious, honest and fun-loving!
RUTH ANN QUIROGA
I am a native of Chattanooga, attended public schools and graduated in 1965 from Riverside High School. I retired from the U.S. Postal Service and have become active in community activities.
The Affordable Care Act, I believe, can help many in Tennessee to live a better quality of life, instead of not going to the doctor because they do have not insurance and letting a small problem grow into a large one. Please expand Medicaid in Tennessee so that people can get health insurance, the medications and support they need.
IRENE WAYNETTA DOWDELL
Closing tax loopholes and ending a "temporary" tax cut for the top 1 percent is not raising taxes, as most GOP'ers suggest. It is simply collecting taxes that are due to run a civilized country. The so-called job creators don't mind using taxpayer-built roads, taxpayer-funded water systems, taxpayer-funded police and fire departments to maintain their status quo, but don't want to pay for it. Instead they stash their cash in offshore accounts, use loopholes endlessly found by their highly paid accountants to the point that some of our largest corporations pay not one red cent in taxes. Talk about an entitlement program that is not entitled.
We put our money out of our paychecks every month into the U.S. Treasury to pay for Medicare and Social Security as a safety net (not an insurance program) to let us live out a dignified life. The corporations ("Corporations are people," Mitt Romney) do no such thing.
The warmongers on the right want constant war to fill their coffers, i.e. Blackwater, Bechtel, Halliburton. All made a "killing" from profit on the illegal Iraq war, which now, according to all estimates, cost the taxpayers $10 trillion.
Sending representatives to Washington pledged to never raise taxes under any circumstances is nothing short of imbecility.
In a recent survey, two of three Americans think we are overtaxed. Overtaxed? Compared to what? Our taxes were recently the lowest in more than five decades. And of the world's developed nations, only Mexico, Chile and Turkey have lower taxes. Interested? There are flights leaving every day.
Today only the British have a higher budget deficit than we do. But that shouldn't be alarming. When we apply for credit, isn't our ability to pay a prime consideration in qualifying? We have the ability to pay much higher taxes without appreciably hurting our economy.
Germany, with one-third our population and a 65 percent higher tax rate, is ahead of us and second only to China in exports. The economies of Switzerland, Sweden, The Netherlands, Finland and Germany -- all high-tax countries -- are rated ahead of us in competiveness by a recent Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development study.
We are overtaxed? Come on, now!
U.S. corporations routinely research the products, advancements and innovations of their competitors to remain competitive in the market place. Are we too arrogant to learn from other nations' economies and tax policies?
GEORGE B. REED JR
A letter in the Your Community/Your Voice section of the paper was off base. The letter writer made this statement, "I hate that our postal workers won't get those overtime hours." Of course he was being facetious and saying that since the employees would not be working Saturdays they would lose this overtime. I wish people would check their facts first before making comments such as this.
They do not get overtime for working Saturdays unless they are short on help and have to call someone in. Everyone works a regular five-day week and that is why they have substitutes to fill in the days the regular employees do not work. If a regular employee works on Saturday, they have a weekday off making a five-day work week. As I said, they only use overtime when they are short or it is a heavy time for mailings such as at Christmas.
Saturday delivery is not an entitlement as the writer proclaimed.