What we know
The Senate is working behind closed doors to rush through its version of the American Health Care Act before the July 4 recess without allowing any amendments, without public comment and even keeping it secret from their Republican colleagues. Is this a democratic way to draft a bill that affects 20 percent of our economy?
In order to meet the reconciliation requirements for a 51 majority vote, we know the Senate version can’t be much different from the House bill. We know the House plan cuts $800 billion to Medicaid even though the president promised not to touch Medicaid. We know that an estimated 1.3 million Georgia children and hundreds of thousands of Georgians with disabilities, blindness and low income seniors are dependent on Medicaid. We know that the House bill puts caps on Medicaid and will pay states based on 2016 spending.
Guess what? Georgia’s Medicaid per-capita spending is 49 out of 50 states. We know that nationally, 1.75 million veterans rely on Medicaid. We know that the House bill gives huge tax breaks to the wealthy, and nothing to the little guy. We know that essential health benefits coverage is at risk. We also know that we, the people, have the power to call, email, and fax Georgia’s senators Johnny Isakson and David Perdue and tell them to oppose the Senate’s version of AHCA. Do it now. July 4 will be here before you know it.
A short while ago, Dr. Glenda Wallace, psychologist, wrote her opinion about Dr. Bill Cumming’s columns. A little later, two letters appeared in the paper in which Wallace was ridiculed for saying that she met Jesus “face-to-face.” I agree with everything she wrote. That phrase only means that a person’s attention is fully and orally and mentally gained by someone.
Saul heard Jesus speak and changed his name to Paul. He didn’t see Jesus’ face, but he was close enough to see him. In the New Testament, many people saw Jesus’ face while he lived on Earth and some saw his face after he was resurrected. Many then and today hear him speak to them when he is close.
Twenty years ago I was still a public school teacher and my husband, John, was retired and diabetic. I had to get up at 6 a.m., so we slept in different rooms so I wouldn’t wake him up. On one particular night John was asleep and I and I was walking into my bedroom and I heard a man’s voice say very loud and clear, “Have John sleep with you tonight.” I was shocked because no one else was in the house of close by. When it happened again, I woke Jon up ands he got into my bed.
It had to be Jesus speaking, but why?
During the night, John kept pulling at the covers and I found him inconcious. I called 911. The paramedics gave him a sugar shot and within 10 minutes he was normal. The paramedics said that if he hadn’t been with me he would have died. Yes, I met Jesus.
It is good to know that our Middle Georgia District federal grand jury has been actively investigating some of the past suspicious activity in the Bibb County School System that happened during the years Superintendent Romain Dallemand was at its helm. The first indictments handed down by that investigative body earlier this week apparently concerned an alleged fraudulent computer purchase, but hopefully, other transactions of that era will be reviewed also. Specifically, the sale by our board of education in 2012 of the former Ballard-Hudson Middle School building on Anthony Road to a local investment group for $220,000 and subsequently repurchasing the property — renamed the Promise Center — two years later, for millions of tax dollars.
Another area of concern in local governmental spending is the exorbitant amounts of money that is being borrowed and used in our downtown sector for building renovations — especially lofts — that are largely secured by local taxpayers in the bond market.
Major expenditures are being made by groups such as NewTown Macon, frequently with little input or oversight provided the ultimate responsible party, the local property owner. Another example is the recent announcement a large hotel will be constructed downtown and little is known regarding the source of funding for that venture. My hunch is that more taxpayer risk and support will be poured into that project than will come from the principal investors who stand to profit the most.
A little over 10 years ago the sub-prime real estate market was booming and almost any dilapidated house or business building could be sold for a premium price. Some investors bought and flipped those structures with little improvement and earned good money on the transactions. When the bubble burst on that boondoggle many of us found all our property, real and personal, was worth much less.
Perhaps it will be determined that all our past and present school-board transactions, and the undertakings of our countywide government are sterling and above reproach legally and in quality. Should that prove true, we soon can all bask in the fruits of The Big Rock Candy Mountain. Until that time, as a taxpayer, it is good to know we have an active District Federal Court grand jury.
John G. Kelley Jr.,
I believe that it is the policy of our Houston County Commissioners to not create any new, full-time, county employees mainly for budgetary reasons. This is because they don’t want to raise our taxes and then they would be less likely to be re-elected.
The above policy was recently shown to be true when the head of our public defenders’ office tried to hire one new staff member that he was authorized to do by state regulations. His department was authorized two more full-time county employees.
County Commission Chairman Tommy Stalnaker denied his request for the two new, full-time staff members and he no longer has his county job. The commissioners told him that they were going in a different direction.
Our county will soon have a new aquatics center that was approved in the recent SPLOST vote. So my question is, will it be manned by part-time county staff, volunteers, or hopefully full-time county employees? Will it be open seven days a week or have the same hours as our county libraries that are closed on Sundays and all holidays?
Frank W. Gadbois,