Letters to the Editor

Voice of the People - January 4, 2009

Stimulus would mire nation in debt

In a recent editorial "Stimulus would help SC," The Herald expressed its support of President-Elect Obama's stimulus plan. The editorial also slammed Gov. Mark Sanford and Sen. Jim DeMint for their opposition to that plan. On every single point, save one, The Herald is dead wrong.

What The Herald calls "philosophical scruples" regarding the bailout are those expressed by the limitations on federal power enshrined in the Constitution. Sen. DeMint as well as President-elect Barack Obama take an oath of office to protect and defend the Constitution, not what is the spending plan of the moment. What inevitably The Herald and others would see as stubbornness many others and myself see as statesmanship.

Personally, I never thought to see the day when fiscal responsibility and tough accounting standards would be publicly ridiculed. The Herald mentions that the plan has the support of "many prominent economists" including, I suppose, Nobel Prize winner Paul Krugman, who, at the rate he is going, will soon be nominated for the Order of Lenin.

In another recent piece in The Herald, Krugman moans that the governors of the 50 states act as a set of Herbert Hoovers by not being able to deficit spend as Washington is able to do. To him, state government is only an impediment to his dream of having everything flow through Washington.

It would be good to remind the readers of The Herald that the federal government is a creation of the states, not the other way around.

The stimulus package does not pass the kitchen-table, common-sense test. The best economic plan to recover the economy would be for Washington to implement the same ideas as states such as South Carolina have:

1. Across-the-board cuts in every agency period.

2. A planned reduction in the size and scope of the federal government, including the elimination of entire agencies and departments. The goal would be to shrink the size of the Federal Government by 30 to 50 percent within 10 years.

3. A refusal to intervene in the economy to support individual sectors regardless of type or size of the firm involved.

It should be noted that many political conservatives (and some liberals) rightly criticized the large deficits in the least few years being excessive and wrong. What is coming in the next few months will make those look tiny. The plan as currently being put forth by the incoming administration may help the economy in the short term but will put off the day of reckoning of these irresponsible debts for a few years, As bad as things are right now, at the rate we are headed, the economy will totally collapse just a few years down the road.

The one point of agreement is that the infrastructure needs of South Carolina are great. However, these needs should be addressed by state and local governments (does "Pennies for Progress" ring a bell?). If less money were flowing into the coffers of the federal government (and by extension, the UAW and other political payoff groups), more money would be available for locally funded projects.

Ron Auvil

Rock Hill

Why do atheists object to prayer?

If there is no God, why do the atheists complain about prayer anywhere?

If the one being honored desires prayer, who aim to deny the privilege? Doesn't every individual in our nation have the same rights under our Constitution to believe as atheists have to not believe? Where does responsibility to others come into play, or does our Constitution demand rights but not responsibilities?

To be sure, if someone would demand an Islamic prayer or reading, I would voice opposition, not because Muhammad did not exist, but because the cruelties of some of his followers use to enforce their beliefs in his name.

The worshippers of God, be they Jewish or Christian, on the other hand, have a history of starting and maintaining hospitals, schools and other institutions that help all people live better. Even the deist Thomas Jefferson noted God as the creator who endowed us with inalienable rights.

The question is at least 3,000 years old. David, a great Jewish King, asked, "Why do the heathen rage and the people imagine a vain thing?" Psalm 2:1. History is repetitive

Gardner C. Koch

Rock Hill