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Letters 11/20/2012


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Does federal budget make sense to you?

Don O’Rear

Freetown

Received: Nov. 16

I’ve heard President Barack Obama speak of simple math many times during the presidential campaign. Following is a representation of real simple math:

U.S. tax revenue: $2,469,000,000,000

Federal budget: $3,795,000,000,000

New debt: $1,326,000,000,000

National debt: $16,335,006,528,000

Recent budget cuts: $38,500,000,000 (2011)

Now, let’s remove 8 zeros and pretend it’s a household budget.

Annual family income: $24,000

Money the family spent: $37,950

New debt on credit card: $16,335

Budget cuts: $38.50

Does this make sense to you yet?

We are in serious trouble, and, only letters to our representatives will have any validity.

Have a nice day, and make sure you tell your kids what

happened.

No solution? Secession seems like easy way out

William Gerhard

Scipio

Received: Nov. 16

The election protest movement expressing itself on the White House website as secession petitions is an interesting phenomenon. A significant number from Indiana, along with 35 other states, have requested to leave the union. One hundred fifty years ago after four years of civil war and 640,000 lives lost under Abraham Lincoln, we determined that secession was not permitted by our Constitution.

On the other hand, it is an excellent form of protest. It is uniting and connecting many people who feel left out by our broken and distorted political system. This is shown by the fact that our country has the weakest voter turnout of any free society in the world, the cause of which can be argued until we are blue in the face. There is our system that permits people and organizations to immediately, the day after the election, begin reorganizing to find candidates for the next election two years away. We have news media in many formats that follow them and then they are analyzing the winning party, as well as finding reasons for the defeat of the opposing party. Then there is the constant flow public polls that give the opinion that the election is settled long before the first vote is cast, discouraging many of the electorate.

This form of protest is helpful in that it reminds our elected officials that, on the countless issues that affect us, there are two distinct opinions as to how to resolve the issues. As close as the popular vote was in this past election shows that there are no mandates for any side to dominate the discussions. Compromise is the key word, and not limiting lines that imply I will work with you this far but that is as far as I’m willing to move from my original position.

The American people will not tolerate one group, right or wrong, imposing radical changes with a majority of only a handful of votes. We must always remember the majority above 51 percent has the right to rule; it does not mean that their rules are right.

The argument for secession may seem like a good idea at the moment, but didn’t we settle that issue once about 150 years ago? There are, more than likely, more things that divide than unite us. If every time we disagree we split up, eventually we will continue to break up until we return to nothing but little towns and villages or feuding tribes like Europe in the dark ages.

If the opinion of others does not affect us, then ignore it. Only then is the freedom to express our opinion secure in the law of the land. God in heaven gave all humans guidelines to follow in scripture. Outside of that right or wrong, what we say and do is only our opinion. Then even God is ready to forgive us if we are wrong.

Fix downtown parking for businesses to prosper

Michelle Massey

Columbus

Received: Nov. 16

The improvements made in the downtown corridor of Columbus are wonderful, albeit much needed. I now spend time and money every week at one of the locally owned businesses populating the area. This is quite an increase over the rare visits I used to make. Even the challenges of parking due to road construction on Fourth Street don’t keep me from my weekly visit to Savory Swine, Imagination Station, Scotty’s and Locketts, among others.

Today I discovered that parking challenges are causing quite a problem for the merchants who have chosen to operate their businesses in this newly revitalized area. The merchants and their employees are limited to three hours per day of parking in parking areas accessible to their businesses. After the three hours are up, they must move their cars outside of the downtown corridor, or to where parking often is unavailable and always inconvenient.

While shopping today, I learned that every person working in the store I was in had received a parking ticket the day before. How are merchants to operate their businesses with such an issue pervading the entire day? The employees who take such good care of me when I shop soon will find it inconvenient to continue working in these businesses. The city must support merchants and find a solution before it becomes too difficult for merchants to do business in town. Perhaps business owners can be issued permits on hang tags, similar to the Cummins parking tags hanging on so many rear-view mirrors in town. Merchants could distribute these to a reasonable number of employees, which allows unlimited parking near their place of business.

The city has made considerable investment in this part of town and wants residents to support these businesses. The city needs to do the same.

Don’t let Black Friday overshadow Thanksgiving

Cynthia Workman

Columbus

Received: Nov. 26

Thanksgiving — giving thanks. In 1861, President Abraham Lincoln, declared a day for Americans to give thanks for our many

blessings.

Inherent in that day of pausing to reflect on blessings is the idea that I have many things, tangible and intangible, for which I am grateful.

One hundred years later, the “Black Friday” term was coined in Philadelphia related to post-Thanksgiving holiday shopping. In the past couple of years, Black Friday has become a day and night in which consumers fight and claw their way to the cheapest goods in order to buy one of the few, understocked trinkets on the shelf. Retailers began opening at midnight this past year and have now pushed their opening back to Thanksgiving evening this year.

Inherent in Black Friday tradition is the idea that “I want more, and I want to get it before you do.” It seems a shocking contrast to me to give thanks for what I have have been graced with and less than 24 hours later, maybe even a few hours later, I am elbowing past other “blessed” people to be the first in line for more.

My guess is that if stores open and there are no consumers (think about that word) standing outside, it will be a big step toward reversing the trend encroaching on what is intended to be a national day of giving thanks.

Let’s send a message to retailers: We will purchase the necessary gifts for friends and family for Christmas, but we won’t do it at midnight on a day devoted to giving thanks. On Black Friday, my family will not be hitting the stores in the dark, forcing others to work in the wee hours of the morning. We will not be fighting for a couple of dollars saved on something we don’t need (think about that word) and will be thankful for each other and a day to spend together.

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