Grady Patterson stood above the fray
With the passing of former state treasurer Grady Patterson, South Carolina has lost a gentle giant of a man.
As one of our Friend of the Taxpayers award recipients in 2004, Grady proved time and time again that his heart was always in putting state taxpayers first. His sage advice in the 1990s to be wary of higher Wall Street equities alone for S.C. retirement funds proved right on target after the dot-com bubble burst in 2000.
His efforts in protecting South Carolina's triple-A credit rating was a fact he was most proud of, and deservedly so. In an era of increasingly partisan politics, Grady stood above the fray as a true gentleman. A devout family man, a humble public servant, combat hero, Grady had it all. He will be missed.
S.C. Association of Taxpayers
Tax breaks that help only rich should end
I must agree with Stephen Deller ("Higher taxes won't stimulate economy," Sunday) that consumer spending drives the economy. That is why I am puzzled as to why so many middle-income workers defend the Reagan-Bush tax cuts for the wealthy.
I never have benefited from lower taxes because of these privileged tax breaks; neither has any nurse, utility line worker, fireman, policeman, road crew worker, store clerk or other workaday person in this country. In fact, those few for whom these tax bonanzas were created are the ones who ruined the economy by gambling their excess moneys in risky ventures designed to consolidate more of the nation's capital among the wealthy elite.
If the Reagan-Bush tax cuts were inverted so that those who would spend in the consumer market would have lower taxes and more disposable income, it could stimulate the economy. However, as long as the only ones reaping the tax breaks are those with so much money they intoxicate themselves in the financial orgy of Wall Street with no benefit to the consumer economy, these Reagan-Bush tax cuts should end.
Celebrities built up only to be torn down
The affairs that Tiger Woods had should be between him and his wife. But society has a need to know everything.
Society exalted him, and put him on a pedestal. As soon as he showed a weakness, that he was human like the everybody else, society is quick to tear him down.
ERNESTINE W. WASHINGTON
Wilson right to keep opposing health plan
I have this to say about Rep. Joe Wilson's position against the national health care plan that is being proposed by the Democrats in Congress: Keep saying what you have been saying and doing what you have been doing, as you are right on and in line with the thinking of the majority of your constituents. We appreciate your stand against the national health care plan, because it would bankrupt our nation and cause our health care system to deteriorate.
We now have the best health care system in the world, and we do not want any major changes. We do need some minor adjustments, and these could be handled by a more simple bill agreed upon by both Democrats and Republicans working in harmony to bring about the appropriate changes.
OTTIS J. SMITH JR.
Fight global warming at the supermarket
As the international climate conference continues in Copenhagen, the world's attention is focused on global warming and the resulting coastal flooding and extreme weather patterns.
An article in the respected World Watch magazine suggests that most man-made greenhouse gases responsible for global warming are emitted not from industrial smokestacks or car exhausts, but from meat and dairy production. This represents a substantial increase from the 18 percent contribution estimated by the 2006 U.N. report.
The chief greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide, is emitted by burning forests to create animal pastures and by combustion of fossil fuels to operate feed crop, factory farm and slaughterhouse machinery, trucks and refrigeration equipment. The much more damaging methane and nitrous oxide are discharged from digestive tracts of cattle and from animal waste cesspools, respectively.
Whatever the 190 nations' representatives decide in Copenhagen, each of us can help reduce global warming three times a day. Our local supermarkets stock a rich variety of soy-based products, as well as a cornucopia of more traditional fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds.
Make positive impact: donate an old car
More than a half a million people in South Carolina have kidney disease. Eighty thousand of those people live right here in Richland and Lexington counties. The National Kidney Foundation eases the emotional and financial burden of the disease. Last year, 1,200 people were screened through our free program called Kidney Early Evaluation Program, which provides health benchmarks crucial to conquering this disease. These screenings arm people with life-saving information at a time when their health may not be a focus. Our foundation would not have been able to deliver so much to those in need without the thousands of donated cars, trucks, vans and boats from people like you.
Our donations range from cars that have been sitting in yards for years to ones that are almost new. Donated cars are towed away at no cost to the donor. All donors are eligible to write their donation off on their taxes. It is best to consult your tax adviser. Please consider donating an old car for kidney patients in our state.
For more information on the National Kidney Foundation, kidney disease, visit www.kidneysc.com.
BETH H. IRICK
National Kidney Foundation Serving the Carolinas
Graham doesn't live up to conservative label
It looks like Sen. Lindsey Graham has gotten himself in some trouble in South Carolina. It did not take a political genius to see it coming; Graham was hanging out with the wrong crowd and has been since his first term. He associates with others who cannot decide between right and wrong. They call themselves moderates, and that is just what Sen. Graham has become in the eyes of his constituents, who thought they where getting a conservative senator. Instead, they have a senator who has to be censured by local Republican Party chapters.
Sen. Graham began to show his moderate stripes a couple of summers back, when he along with his moderate friend John McCain tried to push an amnesty bill that would have allowed millions of illegal aliens to set up residence in America and be given the same rights as legal immigrants and U.S. citizens. When the citizens of this great land stood up and said no, the senator, along with the Democrats, accused them of being bigots, racists and anti-immigrant. Sen. Graham never once stood up for those trying to keep our country from the burden of yet another heavy tax on working Americans.
He recently co-wrote an op-ed piece in The New York Times, along with Sen. John Kerry, in which he joined forces with those in the green movement by endorsing cap and trade legislation being pushed by the Obama administration. It has gotten so bad that MSNBC's prime time princess, Rachel Maddow, was defending Sen. Graham recently on her show. That will be a great political ad come 2012.
One cannot profess a core set of values, run for elected office on those values and then decide that trying to keep all of Washington happy is better suited for you. Being moderate puts a politician in a safe zone; it says: "Hey, look at me! I can see both sides of all issues." What it actually proves is that a liberal could not stand the test of the voting booth.
The people of South Carolina want a senator in Washington working for their core beliefs, not one who tries to fit in. Sen. Graham has too many times shown himself to be unreliable on key issues. The fine folks of this state deserve a senator who stands on his heart-felt values and makes a strong stand for what his constituents believe.