What is going on?
A long-time friend referred me to a USA Today article that lists Macon-Bibb as one of the top 50 U.S. metropolitan areas in terms of population decline. If I were much younger, and if most of my children and grandchildren didn’t live within minutes of my house, I probably would have moved away years ago. Despite assurances that consolidation would save money and improve city-county services, it seems to me and most of my friends that everything is getting worse.
I have a question for our mayor and commissioners. What in the world is happening to our city? You keep taking more and more of our money, but our quality of life keeps declining. Violent crime is on the rise, an alleged $30 million reserve fund has all but disappeared, and episodes like the Industrial Authority fiasco make me wonder to what extent taxpayers are helping to fund corruption and malfeasance.
Will Rogers said the first thing to do when you find yourself in a hole is to stop digging. Increasing revenues won’t solve the problem unless our leaders are being as prudent and fiscally smart as humanly possible with every dollar spent.
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After more than four decades with the Department of Defense, I learned two universal truths. Virtually every government organization is over-staffed, and the primary objective of any bureaucracy is self-preservation. I fear that our elected officials will continue to expect taxpayers to foot the bill even in cases where incompetence or lack of leadership skills could be the root of the problem.
Shaky long-range planning
What keeps me awake at night:
▪ Desertification of parts of the world
▪ The plastic reef in the Pacific
▪ The coming absence of straws for my sweet tea
▪ And an Advanced Battle Management System (Re: Austin Scott Article of July 8) that must be ill-conceived, of poor concept and cannot possibly foresee or meet the threats it will face when it is initially operational in 17 years, and fully operational in 24 years. If this is truly a mission need, and identified by mission needs statements and operational commanders – why is it being designed and developed over such a long time horizon? Have to say a program like this is neither agile or seemingly well-conceived or maybe even needed. Just a thought.
The leader Georgia needs
As a resident of Peach County, I am excited to support Casey Cagle for governor in the July 24 run-off election. Casey has worked tirelessly to lead our state alongside Gov. Nathan Deal, and he is the proven, conservative leader that Republicans can trust to deliver on his promises.
I’ve been able to visit with Casey multiple times throughout Middle Georgia. He is an honest and genuine person, and his leadership has advanced Georgia significantly. He’s led with Gov. Deal to grow 700,000 jobs and they cut our income taxes by $5.7 billion dollars. Additionally, he started the College and Career Academy network, which boasts 98 percent graduation rates and allows students to graduate high school with high-paying job offers.
I know all of us in Middle Georgia have a great respect for our servicemen and women, and I am very excited about Casey’s plan to compensate our veterans by eliminating all taxes on their retirement benefits. Additionally, he’s been a strong supporter of our local law enforcement heroes and has earned the endorsement of 100-plus sheriffs.
He’s endorsed by the NRA, the Independent Christian Athletic Association, over 500 locally elected officials, and has earned the support of the Georgia Realtors.
I’m with Casey on July 24! Join me in voting for the conservative who is prepared to lead our state into another decade of prosperity.
What about that $752 million?
Samantha Max’s July 6 front-page story “Navicent Health's indigent care funds not in revised budget,” about the Macon-Bibb County Commission’s vote not to grant a proposed $451,000 for indigent care to Navicent, omitted what seems probably the most important number in this whole debate.
A Telegraph editorial published in June 2017 stated that the Medical Center had “unrestricted reserves of $752 million” – an astonishing figure. It could, of course, have changed since then, but unless it has gone down a good bit, the Medical Center has around three-quarters of a billion dollars in the bank to use as it pleases. So the question that should be asked is, “Should the cash-strapped taxpayers of Macon-Bibb be required to contribute financially to an institution that appears to be already wallowing in cash?”
Maybe so. As the story made clear, $451,000 is a pittance compared with the more than $95.5 million a year (as of fiscal 2017) that the hospital provides in uncompensated care, so the grant would be mostly symbolic. Other potential funders look to see how much money a hospital receives from local government, which signals community support, and might be deterred if that government declines to provide even a token amount. But the larger question is, with three-quarters of a billion dollars sitting in the bank, why does the Medical Center need grants at all? If I were a grant provider looking for cash-strapped organizations to support, I would be disinclined to give to one already neck-deep in cash.
Wrong and wrong
I felt it necessary to comment on a letter published by The Telegraph on July 1, by Jane Carder, Macon. First, our president is not a fascist, thank God the USA has never and will never elect a fascist as our president. Concerning your comment that our president will not have to rebuild Auschwitz because he has plenty of military bases: As a veteran who was stationed at several military bases in my career, I never saw any gas chambers or crematorium at any of them. I was discharged in the mid-’60s, so maybe things have changed.
Liberals can learn from fish
Recently, Laura Ingram was boycotted by the lefties. However, Joy Reid did similar but worse and got a pass by liberals. Lefties scream that President Trump is tearing apart illegal alien families. When their precious Obama did it, and worse, their mouths were glued shut. Impetuous democrats complain that SCOTUS pick Kavanaugh is biased but cheered the bias of Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
This inability to recognize that one of their own can be found guilty of their protest du jour is their fatal flaw.
Discovering that one of their own did the same, or worse, takes all the wind out of their arguments, leaving them without credibility or traction.
So, dear lefty ... go for it! Go careening down a mountainside of lies and pretense and watch your supporters disappear. A fish would never be caught if it kept it’s mouth shut.