Letters to the Editor

Voice of the People - December 31, 2008

Don't cut benefits for unemployed

I learned how quickly astonishment can turn to disgust as I read "Stalemate puts unemployment benefits at risk" in Tuesday's Herald, which describes how Gov. Mark Sanford is refusing to apply for federal funds and thereby risking the loss of benefits to 77,000 families by Thursday.

The state funds the agency for about $800,000 for the current budget year. In essence, Sanford finds it appropriate to place these families in emotional turmoil -- wondering how to keep food on the table and a roof over their heads -- for what, at best, could amount to $10.40 per family annually if the state's funding were entirely eliminated. I expect a higher level of decency and compassion from civic leaders.

It is time that Sanford moves past his narrow-minded pursuit of cutting government, regardless of how it impacts those in need, and focuses his efforts upon recruiting new employers to South Carolina and providing our citizens with education and job-training opportunities so that they can move beyond the ranks of the unemployed.

William J. McGinnis

Rock Hill

Cartoon was valid commentary

I write, as a native of Rock Hill and a former business editor of The Herald, in response to president and publisher Debbie Abels' retraction of an editorial cartoon about the three American automakers. (In a story Nov. 25, Abels said the cartoon "should not have appeared in our paper.")

I disagree completely. The cartoon is an innocuous commentary on the domestic automakers' troubles, which are largely of their own making. Quite simply, GM, Ford and Chrysler are not producing the cars that Americans want -- at least, not at prices that will support the automakers' costs, which include generous employee compensation. An even more accurate holiday editorial cartoon would show the U.S. auto industry as a goose that is cooked. (Let me add, if it matters, that I have never purchased a car from any company other than GM.)

Abels says "many in our own community will be affected by the outcome of the bailout legislation, from auto dealerships to a host of supporting businesses." This suggests it is the car dealers of York and Chester counties who complained to Abels about this cartoon.

If true, these aggrieved car dealers have the same right and recourse as anyone else -- they can write a letter to the editor expressing their views, openly and publicly.

Abels asks, rhetorically, "Will our cartoons still be thought-provoking and controversial?" She answers, "Absolutely." But the answer is not so clear, if the controversy comes at the expense of some of the last remaining major advertisers in American newspapers. It would be a shame if The Herald's hard-won community credibility is undermined by a desperate quest to please advertisers, and not readers.

David Milstead

Denver, Colo.

President Bush has kept us safe

At Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving, etc., he makes an address to the nation. President Bush does not politicize his faith, and it is very evident that he is a Christian. I also challenge you to follow President-elect Obama's addresses and compare the two after Obama takes office.

The liberal media has assassinated President Bush at every turn, not with weapons, but with words. They have convinced a large portion of this nation that this president is evil personified. I don't agree with Bush on many issues, but I thank God every day that we placed him in office at this time. We have not been attacked since 9/11, and that is not a coincidence. This president has not wavered in his beliefs or convictions, though he, like every president, has made mistakes.

Many who claim to be Christians, have failed to live out their beliefs. The Bible says for us to pray for those who God has put in authority over us. How many times have you prayed for President Bush these last eight years? I will pray for our new president, even though I did not vote for him. I pray that he will look to God for direction. I pray for wisdom for him and for safety for him and his family.

Jeff Fairfax