Letters to the Editor

This is Viewpoints for Thursday, May 28, 2015

Out of touch

President Obama is worried about climate change while ISIS gains ground in the Middle East. That is just another example that he is out of touch with the dangers facing America and our allies.

-- Mark Rhodes

Pitts

New technology

Catching up on reading of Telegraph editions while out of town for two-plus weeks, I was drawn to the picture of Romello Moore, May 8, “Getting the job done,” cutting high grass with a sling blade. I have the sling blade originally belonging to someone in my family that I utilized 70 years ago as a youth. It resides in my tool storage room beside another hanging sling blade in pristine new, never-used condition with original cardboard blade protection that I evidently purchased as an adult figuring I should have one, later inheriting an old friend.

Thankfully, my weed eater, in the same room, allows an old man to continue to work in seven rural cemeteries and stay connected with friend and kin.

-- Arthur D. Brook

Macon

Highway dollars being wasted

The topic of the day: How to fix our infrastructure. Simple way out politically: Raise the gasoline tax. How about quit wasting my tax dollars. As you travel down the highway, look at how they wastefully use our highway tax dollars.

1. Road signs: We could build a couple aircraft carriers with all the frivolous road signs. There are 81 road signs on a seven mile stretch of my rural road. Now they have erected a sign in both directions informing drivers there is a road ahead. There are so many signs they are becoming a distraction.

2. Yellow lines: In my neighborhood, a number of rural straight roads are doubled yellow lined. Why? Paint they didn’t know what to do with? Now they no longer think we’re not bright enough when we see a yellow line in our lane that it is not safe to pass -- now they erect a sign that says “No Passing.”

3. Sound barriers: I think they spend more money on sound barriers and sidewalks than they do on roads. Look around, bicycle lanes, memorial bridge signs, speed bumps, grass mowing, pedestrian electronic signs that lead into ditches.

Now, millions of dollars spent for some type of commuter lanes on Interstate 75 south of Atlanta. Proposal for some type of rail line over existing rails into Atlanta. Private property owners hold on to your hats as government seizes your land as they did for the over engineered Gray bypass.

Ever hear of a monorail? Go to Disneyland, they’ve had one for 50 years. Why not a monorail system on the I-75 right of way and median from Macon to Atlanta? The more roads and bridges that are built, the more infrastructure that needs to be maintained. I can get anywhere in the country from the end of my driveway.

Georgia has some of the best roads in the country. If you don’t believe it go to Ohio, Michigan, or Pennsylvania. If they’d spend your highway tax dollars strictly on roads and bridges instead of airports, railroads, sidewalks, etc., there would probably be enough.

They wanted us to be more fuel efficient, now they’re whining. We can never win. So folks, when you are out driving pay attention to all the frivolous, unnecessary ways your highway tax funds are being wasted.

-- Gary F. Biltz

Gray

Drastic measures

I was not surprised that Frank Gadbois did not like U.S. Rep. Austin Scott’s resolution to reduce the federal workforce by 1 percent a year for the next five years. This is the fiscal dilemma that we must resolve. Everyone agrees that the government must reduce spending but no one wants to reduce an agency or a program that affects them personally. I wished that Scott would have identified a proposal to reduce the national debt. It is more than $18 trillion and will be more than $20 trillion by 2017.

Congress has not completed all of its spending bills on time since 1997. It plays kick-the-funding-down-the-road. That is, it will partially fund a bill in order to keep a program or an agency temporally going until it becomes mandatory that it do something. This way they do not have to do anything that will jeopardize their core constituents or campaign contributors. Also, this facade of action enables them to justify raising the debt ceiling and hope no one realizes what they are doing. If we allow Congress to continues this charade we will become a debtor nation.

The only way we are going to avoid the proverbial fiscal cliff is to elect individuals who admit that we have a grave problem. And, that the only way to resolve it is to take drastic measures while there is time to fix the fiscal problems and not wreck the economy. This means that we all are going to have to make sacrifices.

First, Congress has to replace the tax code with a simplified one that has all of us paying. Second, it has to reduce the size of government. That is, it must reduce spending by 2 percent of the previous years budget for the next 10 years.

It must reduce the federal workforce by 1 percent a year for the next five years. It must eliminate redundant programs and agencies. Third, it must reduce the national debt by 1 percent a year for the next 20 years.

Congress bailed the banks out in 2008 and 2009. And they will do it again. Already there is proposed legislation to eliminate the restrictions that were placed on banks to preclude them from again engaging in the risky schemes that almost wrecked our economy.

There will be many who will claim that my recommended solutions are too drastic or that they are not realistic. If they do not like mine, what do they propose? We are all in this together. If something is not done soon future generations will be living in a country that is far different than the one we have today.

-- Jim Costello

Perry

Pass by Henry County

If you are heading north get enough gas to get beyond Henry County/McDonough. Petrol is 20-cents more per gallon than here locally.

-- Sterling Fallin

Warner Robins

Move over slowpokes

Jerry Miller’s confusion regarding the “slowpoke” law highlights the current trend of all drivers to stay in the left lane no matter what. The left lane is for passing. It is not a cruising lane. The “slowpoke” law was intended to simply get people who were not actively passing anyone out of the left lane because studies show that the root cause of traffic jams is obstruction of the passing lane. As Furney Mishoe pointed out Sunday, if you are in the left lane, you are supposed to be passing someone -- otherwise, you are supposed to be in the right lane. In what I’m sure is a futile effort to reach “slowpokes” on Interstate 75, Riverside Drive, Northside Drive and Zebulon Road, I feel compelled to point out that studies also show that the left lane is statistically the most dangerous lane in which to drive. Please move over.

-- B.J. Survant

Macon

Legal/illegal

A reader recently wrote, while commenting on another writer’s letter, that in Georgia it is legal, in some situations and on some roads, to drive up to 10 miles per hour over the speed limit. I’m no lawyer, but I’m pretty sure that exceeding the speed limit by any amount is illegal. I guess it depends on what the definition of “illegal” is.

-- Jerry Norris

Warner Robins

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