Cutting taxes will stimulate economy
On Feb. 3, President Obama warned of a "catastrophe if the economic stimulus is not passed quickly." For the thousands of South Carolinians who find themselves unemployed, it is already a catastrophe. Our policy-makers must act.
But history has taught us that deficit spending does not grow the economy; if it did, our economy would be booming. What has been proven is that the most reliable stimulant to job creation is meaningful tax cuts. Sen. Jim DeMint proposed tax cuts that I believe would truly stimulate the creation of jobs. He called for permanent extension of the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts that are currently set to expire in 2011. He also called to lower marginal income tax rates and lower corporate tax rates.
The only way out of this economic nightmare is to create more jobs and get people back to work. These workers pay taxes. Giving incentives to existing small business and encouraging investments in creating new business is one way to do this. I run a small business in York County and employ 18 hard-working South Carolinians. I am reluctant to grow my business and offer more good-paying jobs unless our tax policy is predictable and business-friendly. It is just too much of a risk to invest in more jobs if the federal government continues to saddle the small business operator with higher taxes.
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Thanks for support for Lesslie VFD
The Lesslie Volunteer Fire Department would like to thank everyone for their support of our 51st annual barbecue and bake sale. Because of you, it was a great success. The money raised will allow us to acquire equipment needed to provide the best protection for those in our area.
Again, please accept our deepest gratitude for your support. Be assured we will be there when you call. Hope to see you all next year.
Chief Larry McConnell
Communication vital during a disaster
Something has bothered me for some time now. Our overburdened leadership seems to be a redundant, inefficient bureaucracy. I understand that currently it's the best system in place. I've heard my elders, peers and veterans recount times when "getting it done" didn't take six months; it happened right away. But with all the middlemen that are involved in the process, what can you do? And why is it such a hassle to allocate available resources during a natural disaster?
A good example is Hurricane Katrina. The recent "infamous ice storm of 2009," as it is known by the Kentuckian locals, can serve as a more recent and relevant example. As with any other surprise storm, no one was prepared for anything like this. It seems as if a lot of converging issues contributed to the problem.
During a conversation, Col. John Fenzel, who commands an Army Brigade at Fort Knox, Ky., told me that Kentucky was "effectively paralyzed until the state was declared a national disaster area -- which cut loose funds for out-of-state electrical crews to 'come to the rescue.'" In his opinion, the most serious problem was the lack of "effective communications."
Despite the problems, "Fort Knox recovered in half the time that towns did off-post," Fenzel said.
In a multi-agency environment, communication is a complex task. Sometimes it takes a while to get the message across, causing much-needed resources to go unnoticed and unused.
The ice storm left a lot of people without power. The storm left more than 2 million homes without power in six states. Kentucky had it the worst, with at least 500,000 homes out of power. The sad thing, though, is that there were at least 55 confirmed deaths because of the storm, 24 of which were in Kentucky.
Despite the problems that arose during the rush to respond, the entire Kentucky Army National Guard was called up by Gov. Steve Beshear to aid with the relief efforts. President Obama's FEMA was also tested during the storm.
With a recession and now this natural disaster, things just seem to be getting worse. If history has taught us anything, the lower we go, the stronger we will become. We just need to keep moving forward and not give up. Disasters like this can happen anywhere. Remember Hurricane Hugo? How many days did you go without power?
'Partnership' is dangerous
Congress needs to kill the Security and Prosperity Partnership ASAP. Ultimately, it would lead to U.S. citizens paying billions of dollars toward Mexico's poverty and probably even Canada's socialized medicine.
Perhaps even worse, Agenda 21, a project of the United Nations, would destroy the U.S. Nearly all of the U.N. is composed of poor nations who hate us. Their leadership never uses foreign aid to build the infrastructure needed to help the countries improve their economic status. "Sustainable Development" has parts that would destroy the U.S. and probably Germany and France as well. Making U.S. citizens live in urban communities and living close to their work sounds like a good idea. However, it would destroy our entire country. Both of these programs scare the hell out of me.
Use money for gift certificates
I have another idea on how to spend the $50,000 in hospitality tax money instead of art on the water plant. Invest it in $25 gift certificates made out to our many fine restaurants, and mail the coupons out with the electric bills. They could randomly select the customers. This could be a win/win situation. The mayor would look good with the added publicity; the restaurants would definitely welcome the returned business, and the citizens would get a break during these economic downtimes.
Don't ignore dangers of alcohol
Why is it that all I hear is raise taxes on cigarettes? There is something in the paper almost every day about this.
Why is the tax never raised on liquor or beer? I think the answer to this is because some of our state and local elected officials drink, as has been reported, and they don't want you to mess with their personal pleasures.
You can smoke a cigarette and drive, and not kill people, but get out and drink your beer and liquor, and get caught driving DUI or killing innocent people, and we put them back into office and they do it again.
If someone has the answers, please let us know.
Mildred L. Waldrop
Oppose act to fund abortions
FOCA (Freedom of Choice Act) will be coming up in Congress. I urge the citizens of South Carolina to write to their senators and representatives to tell them not to pass this act. It is a radical threat to human life.
This bill would force Americans who do not believe in abortions to support it against their religious, moral and ethical grounds. It would also tell women, in particular, that they can do anything with their bodies without concerning themselves about the consequences. It would force American taxpayers to fund abortions. It also would allow partial-birth abortions. And lastly, it would strip parents of their right and responsibility to be involved in their daughters' decisions.
I urge Sens. DeMint and Graham and all Congressional representatives to fight this act and say no!
Lights need to be synchronized
This complaint is in response to Shannon Nelmes' frustration for the long wait at the Celanese Road intersection. I live on Mount Gallant Road in the Cantrell Court division. Recently, as I was approaching the crossing, I could see the light was red. Guess what! Before I arrived, the light turned green and back to red before I got there.
I moved here from Lancaster over five years ago, and the problem was bad, but now it's worse.
Whoever synchronizes these lights needs to go back to the drawing board, and if you doubt my word, use this road a few times and you'll be a believer. Trust me.
TV switch could be plot
When I hear that the switch from analog TV to digital TV will be bigger than the switch from black and white to color, I want to scream, "No, it's not!"
Tell the real reason for this controlling switch. You want to count who's watching what? You want a way to charge us all to watch? Is this a watch for terrorists under Bush's Patriot Act?