Our debt problem
The mid-term elections are in November. I have not heard an incumbent or a candidate address the No. 1 problem facing us today: the economy. The incumbents continue to use deficit spending to fund their pet programs, social and corporate welfare. I am not aware of any congressional initiative to reduce the national debt. Incumbents know they cannot raise the income tax rate because we would realize what they did. So they have come up with a crafty way to get additional tax revenues. They just added a $5 tax to the purchase of some airline tickets. I wonder how they will squander this money? They are counting on the fact that most of us do not review the cost of a ticket and therefore, will not be aware that we were taxed. I believe this is just the first of their efforts to wring hidden additional taxes from us.
Over the last 14 years the deficit has tripled and the national debt has increased by almost 75 percent to over $17 trillion. Because we allow the government to grow, to tax and to spend, the day of reckoning will come. Some project that within 10 years every dollar of tax revenue will go just to pay the interest on the debt. At that point, who will loan us money? We will have to increase the amount of interest the government will pay in order to induce countries to continue to loan us money.
Right now about 40 percent of our debt is held by the federal government and the Federal Reserve. Essentially we are printing money and moving it from one pocket to another. China is one of the largest holder of American debt. Sooner then latter lenders are going to demand that our government collateralizes its loans.
The Founding Fathers envisioned the government to remain small and for the majority of issues to be handled by the states where citizens can be more easily involved and have their voices heard. But the federal government has expanded. It is like a giant octopus whose tentacles now affect all aspects of our lives. The IRS and countless other government agencies have become entities unto themselves because of the lack of congressional control.
-- Jim Costello
In his letter of July 20, Dr. Kenneth Deaton says that Hobby Lobby is wrong to object to birth control which prevents the implantation of the developing fertilized egg into the lining of the uterus. He argues that because Leviticus 17:11 says “For the life of the flesh is in the blood,” then the bloodless cells aren’t to be considered human.
Lev. 17:11 is not saying that the blood carries the essence of life so that anything without blood is not alive. It is merely saying that blood is necessary for life to continue, since it carries oxygen and nutrients to cells and takes away carbon dioxide and wastes from cells. Without blood, a larger organism dies.
The zygote and blastocyst are nourished by absorbing fluids; bloodless, yet alive. Because they are alive and growing, blood cells do become necessary 28 days after conception.
Dr. Keaton does not say they are dead at this point biologically, but biblically dead. It would seem that his argument is not scientific at all but philosophical and theological.
I agree with him that one should defer to the Bible in matters of faith when science and the Bible differ. But the scientific facts presented are not in question, it is their interpretation that is in question. In Job 3:1 it seems that Job considered himself very much a person on the night of his conception.
-- David Nichols
Poor planning by HCBOE
Students returned to school with a different attitude due to the strict testing mandates the Houston County BOard of Education has placed on them. The elimination of the final exam exemptions was handled poorly, and there is nothing that can compensate for its elimination. First, the public should have been sufficiently notified prior to the vote. That was not done. Second, HB 244 was passed in early 2013, giving the BOE ample time for public discussions, prior to its implementation in July. Third, the bill primarily addresses teacher evaluations and state standards. However, it doesn’t specifically require a final exam or require it to count as 20 percent. It does require the schools to evaluate the students and collect data to make sure students are meeting the criteria. Fourth, counselors say that college admission boards look at AP/honors courses, school activities and volunteer activities when admitting students. This requires a carefully balanced course load for students to be successful. However, schedules were already set, and students are now stuck or must wait days or weeks to change classes.
Everyone should have been notified prior to scheduling if final exams were to be mandated. Shame on the BOE for not putting the students’ best interests first. Serious students have enough on their plates without the stress of one test possibly lowering their average by 20 points.
The board just took away one of the best incentives to make good grades and have good attendance. Good students should not suffer because of the BOE’s poor planning.
-- Kimberly Pritchett
Convention of States
As a citizen of Texas, I believe it is my duty to tell you about the best chance to save our republic from the overreaching federal government. George Mason and James Madison gave us a tool in the Constitution to reign in the federal government, Article V.
Article V authorizes “We the People,” with their state legislatures, to call a convention to propose Amendments to the Constitution, like term limits for Congress, FairTax, balanced budget or voter ID amendments.
Citizens for Self Governance has launched the Convention of States Project to limit the power and jurisdiction of federal government. The great state of Texas has a leadership team in place to spearhead this movement. To get involved visit our website www.conventionofstates.com or contact our state leadership at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or join us on facebook Texas Convention of States.
Our COS Project gives us, American citizens and state legislators, a way out of the abusive federal government policies and together we can preserve liberty for our children and grandchildren. Let your voice be heard and let freedom ring.
-- George Anagnostis M.D.
No more signs
In a recent letter to the editor, George Scoville suggests that the county place small signs at intersections that scold smokers for spreading their cigarette butts on our streets. More signs are the last thing we need on our roads. Commercial signs are already an eyesore and litter maker. A billboard like the one at the South Carolina border will only offend smokers and non-smokers alike.
A better idea, in addition to enforcing littering laws, would be for the county to sue the tobacco industry for the fires caused from lit butts on our roadways. Motorists often disobey signs, such as, “No Turn Right On Red Light,” and “Stop,” so another sign is not the answer.
Unlike the power plants that pollute our air with toxic byproducts for energy production, which is regulated at least a little, big tobacco should share the cost of damages when their products harm the community and costs the county a lot of money.
-- Fred Gunter
Driven to bankruptcy?
I was heartbroken this morning when I made my nearly everyday visit to local Chick-fil-A. Seniors, wake up.
Have you and our other seniors realized that we are single-handedly driving local Chick-fil-A owners to bankruptcy and the poor house?
Yes, that’s right. Our greed in accepting a senior coffee occasionally (straight from the owner’s pocket of gold) has apparently driven the local Chick-fil-A owners to the brink of bankruptcy. I am so embarrassed at what I and my other senior friends have done to Chick-fil-A’s bottom line that I don’t think I can face the owner or any of his staff again.
Sorry for what we did to you.
-- W.G. Linnenkohl Sr.