Letters to the Editor for Dec. 1, 2011
Published: Thursday, December 1, 2011 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, November 28, 2011 at 9:14 p.m.
Members of Congress are living the high life
I would be a lot more sympathetic to the attempts of Congress to reduce Medicare benefits and other “entitlements” if the members of that august body were willing to place themselves in the same position as all of the rest of us.
In the early days of our republic it was a hardship to be a member of Congress. Members had to pay their own way to Washington, and many had to share rooms and even beds while they were there.
Now, winning membership in Congress allows you to enter a portal to riches and power unequal to anything that the rest of us share. Woe unto our future generations while this modern state of affairs prevails.
George L. Barnett,
County road plan
The typical scenario goes like this.
1. County staff proposes a design for a road project.
2. Commissioner Mike Byerly makes enhancements beyond fiscally responsibility and need requirements.
3. The public is invited to comment.
4. With commissioners Paula DeLaney and Rodney Long in lockstep, Byerly's design prevails and is funded.
5. The project becomes cost prohibitive and more tax dollars are “wasted” on revised or new designs.
The classic example is Tower Road. The project included nine roundabouts, a divided roadway, and enough pedestrian/bike pavement to construct two parallel interstate highway lanes, all at a staggering cost of over $30 million. After $890,000 in tax dollars is spent ... Poof!
Now the commission has decided on a new and simpler design. Guess what? Byerly has already added enhancements to this new design. They still haven't got a clue when Tower Road will be fixed.
Why would anyone have expected Commissioner Mike Byerly to approve of Commissioner Lee Pinkoson's road maintenance plan? It is dedicated to road maintenance, it is measurable, it is an ongoing commitment, it provides a growing source of funds for road maintenance.
Byerly has a need to hold any road maintenance program hostage, e.g., I will vote for it if it has bicycle paths; I will vote for it if it has sidewalks; yes if we can add high-speed rapid transit and reduce car lanes.
Is Social Security a Ponzi scheme? Professor Alexander Field (Nov. 27) claims that the system could pay three-quarters of benefits until 2036 before the trust fund is depleted (with some conservative assumptions).
But there is no money in the trust fund. The trust fund consists of IOUs. Of course, we don't call them IOUs. We call them bonds backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government. The very same government that hasn't had a budget in three years, borrows 40 cents of every dollar it spends and dug us into a $15 trillion hole.
Wouldn't retirees have been a lot better off if receipts from the beginning of Social Security had been invested in reputable mutual fund families, such as Fidelity, Vanguard or American? Can you even imagine how much money would be in each individuals account if this had been done?
Just grow up
In the Nov. 22 Sun about Occupy protestors being pepper-sprayed, David Buscho, age 22, is quoted as saying: “We were just kids sitting down in a circle singing.”
My question to Buscho: How old will he have to be before he considers himself a man? Is he always going to be a just a kid?
Hugh F. Doran,
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