Whether you call it a "user fee" or a "tax," the 12-cent increase on a gallon of gas proposed by Sen. Bob Corker to support the Federal Highway Trust Fund is another assault on working people and middle-class incomes. Of course, the senator would be quick to point out that all income classes drive on U.S. highways. What he won't mention is that many of the low-mpg luxury cars and trucks owned by the more wealthy and corporations are business expense tax write-offs courtesy of loopholes crafted by federal legislators. In the end, the majority of Americans who own and drive more efficient vehicles get no tax relief and will be stuck for most of the cost. Responsibility for our nation's infrastructure rests solely with the government. If Sen. Corker were really serious about improving it, he would work to reallocate the estimated $14-$52 billion in taxpayer-funded subsidies annually given to the fossil fuel industry. And it is Corker's party that mostly supports this corporate welfare. If you're tired of footing the bill for wealthy opportunists and corporate handouts, tell Sen. Corker to take a hard look at taxpayer giveaways and keep his hands out of our pockets.
GREG WILLIAMS, Signal Mountain
To Dr. Clif Cleaveland: Thanks for your wonderful article on hospice care. Being a past board member of the National Hospice Foundation and the spouse of the CEO of Hope Hospice, Fort Myers, Fla., that cares for over 1,000 patients daily, I've read many, many articles about the hospice movement. Your piece was so well done with the coverage of the history of hospice, the services provided by the different hospice staff members, but most of all, the education to help guide people to hospice for a high degree of quality care earlier than just their last few days. Needless to say, your article made my day, and I thank you again for the caring educational value to the reading public!
JIM SIEVERS, Fort Myers, Fla.
Every day I think the tea-bagging, right-wing, neo-con GOP and its pundits have finally stooped to the lowest possible depths. Then another day arrives. The brainwashing starts from the cradle. The fake outrage over their made-up 'scandals,' the idiotic lie "they're going to take away our guns' -- they have corralled all the hate groups. To top that off, they wave the Bible around as if they are so caring for it, but that's just another big lie. For the most part, they do not actually adhere to the Bible; it's just another pretentious way to fool the masses. So they have all those who hate others (the people not fitting their model), and so many, many misguided Christians running to vote for them. That is total insanity. To keep their positions and the money flowing from their sugar daddies -- the Koch brothers, Wall Street bankers, pharmaceutical companies, big oil companies, etc. -- GOP politicians follow orders from lobbyists to the detriment of the human race. Pollution is deadly enough but will eventually cause a runaway greenhouse effect. GOP economics is disastrous. Read and heed Nobel Prize winner Paul Krugman.
WALTER M. BENTON, Signal Mountain