Bank Congress will soon consider whether or not to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank. Like many well-intentioned government programs, the bank has morphed into a cronyism stash for well-connected special interests.
While the bank's original purpose was to facilitate our exports and imports, it is now in the business of picking winners and losers - and the winners are large corporations that can afford high-powered lobbyists in Washington.
Failed renewable energy companies Solyndra and First Solar received $10.3 million and $455 million, respectively, from the bank. Boeing received 80 percent of the bank's loan guarantees in 2012, allowing foreign airlines to purchase their equipment - an unnecessary move putting domestic airlines at a disadvantage. And, Russia was guaranteed $580 million last year as a foreign policy move.
The greatest issue with the bank is the growing risk to taxpayers. While the bank claims to be self-financing, the growth in loan guarantees may be the next bursting bubble threatening our domestic economy. Loan risk has doubled since 2007 and is climbing.
Ending the Export-Import Bank is long overdue. I urge my fellow citizens to contact Rep. Scott DesJarlais and Sens. Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker to vote against reauthorizing the bank.
MIKE BUDNICK, Winchester, Tenn.
I am a Chattanooga resident and practicing attorney of more than 21 years in Hamilton County courts. I urge Hamilton County voters to vote for Pam Fleenor for chancellor in the upcoming May 6 Republican primary.
Although most residents do not have to appear in court on a regular basis, when they do, they immediately realize the significance of having a highly qualified, fair, intelligent judge to hear their case. Pam Fleenor has all of these qualities and will serve Hamilton County well as the next Chancery Court judge.
Pam has proven to be an excellent lawyer and a true public servant. Pam is active in numerous civic organizations, exemplifying her dedication to public service. Pam is a perfect example of the type of leader we need as our next chancellor.
If you see Pam, don't hesitate to introduce yourself. You will quickly see why she will make a great chancellor. Remember to vote for Pam Fleenor May 6!
BARRY L. ABBOTT
What a banner day! I agree with both opinion pages in the April 14 edition.
I like Pam's Points and Clint's "comments" (you really should give his column a name). However, it would be unconservative of me to not inject some criticism of the Times side. Your publication of Mike Luckovich's vitriolic cartoon was uncalled for. He implies all Republicans are racist. Not true!
Also, in Pam's Points, she's right on the money about Medicare costs and that we older Americans cost more. She should have pointed out that Obamacare plays on this issue by making the young and healthy pay for the older and unhealthy. Typical liberal philosophy.
STEVE BERNTHAL, Blairsville, Ga.
Support J.B. Bennett for Division 1, Circuit Court judge. J.B. exemplifies the integrity and balance required to be our next Circuit Court judge.
J.B. and his family are cornerstones, firmly rooted in our community, and as such, have represented our region with honor and distinction. Due to this inherent trait, it is no surprise J.B. has offered himself to be a public servant.
Please join me in supporting and voting for J.B. Bennett.
I am writing in response to a letter titled "City Under Siege Again" in the April 15 edition of the Times Free Press. The writer infers that only businesses above the Mason-Dixon Line have closed or relocated. That assessment is false.
Drive through any Southern city and cities throughout Europe, and there are countless shuttered manufacturing facilities, shipbuilding docks and distribution sites. The culprits aren't Yankee invaders but globalization and free-trade agreements racking ruin on communities and national economies.
Other issues include labor, out-of-control executive salaries/compensation, poor management and bad products. Indeed, the siege is worldwide. And it continues to tighten its grip at an all too rapid pace.
MARK H. KELLY, Jasper, Tenn.
Joe Manuel is by far the best choice for chancellor. We say this without reservation and based on years observing his character in both personal and professional situations.
Joe has distinguished himself in the practice of law, as a mediator and an arbitrator. And his accomplishments were recognized by the Judicial Nomination Commission in 2010 when it recommended Joe as one of three who were qualified to serve as chancellor.
Joe also possesses the proper temperament to be chancellor. He is able to remove himself from the emotion of the situation and apply the law to guide him to the most appropriate outcome.
We are confident he will wisely handle each case that comes before him and that he will faithfully administer justice in Chancery Court. We are proud to call Joe our friend, and we know he will serve our community well.
Please join us in voting for Joe Manuel for chancellor.
JEFF & ANSLEY DAVIS, Hixson
Before this election is over, J.B. Bennett will have shaken every hand in Hamilton County.
A good judge listens to all sides of a matter, reviews the facts and has a strong grasp of past judicial rulings. I want a judge that views the Constitution and laws of the land as perimeters in which to decide, not outdated documents to discard. I want a judge of known integrity.
J.B. Bennett has these qualifications. He is not looking for a job. He has one and is very successful at it. He's running to be a fair and balanced judge, a task he is fully capable of accomplishing.
He has served in many of the area's civic clubs and organizations. J.B. Bennett has looked for ways to give back to our community, not ways to take from it. That's the kind of judge we need and want.
Like many of you, I know his father, Bill Bennett. The family has a tradition of public service to be proud of. J.B. Bennett is my friend, and I look forward to voting for him to be Circuit Court judge.
GEORGE JACKSON, Hixson