Letters to the Editor

Wednesday's letters to the editor

Let illegal immigrants buy health insurance

Will someone explain to me the advantage of not allowing illegal immigrants to buy health insurance?

If they are not allowed to buy insurance, then they are paying nothing into the system; however if they get sick they can, as they do now, obtain free health care in any emergency room. If they get sick and do not seek treatment, they can pass their ailments on to multiple others.

Wouldn't it be better to "not ask-not tell" and allow illegal aliens to support the system and help reduce the costs to others? Not being able to buy insurance is not going to prevent them from coming into the states or make them leave. It only leaves us more susceptible.

TERRY ROSS

Columbia

Nation needs honest talk about racism

Tennis star Serena Williams verbally abuses a line judge during the recent U.S. Open tennis finals. Rep. Joe Wilson yells, "You lie" when President Obama says health care will not be extended to illegal immigrants during a speech to Congress. Rapper Kanye West publicly humiliates singer Taylor Swift after she wins an award at the Video Music Awards by implying singer Beyonce had a better song. All examples of public figures, full of passion, behaving stupidly for the world to see.

Yet strangely, the Wilson outburst, for which the congressman apologized and the president accepted, is inflamed into a racial controversy. Former President Jimmy Carter and Rep. James Clyburn speak publicly, questioning whether Wilson's disrespectful act is representative of underlying racial prejudice in the Republican Party.

Wilson is not a racist. He's a conservative Republican who fights with passion against positions with which he disagrees. The flood of illegal immigration into this country, many would argue, has a more profoundly negative effect on the black struggle in this poor economy.

If we are to have an honest discourse about racial relations, we need to understand that the cause of racial antagonism is not perpetuated exclusively by angry, conservative, white people.

PETER BEAUDETTE

Columbia

Rep. Wilson taught reader a lesson

Recently, after discovering that President Obama's speech to school children would not be shown in the classroom, I fired off a rather fierce letter to my son's principal, vice principal, district superintendent and all members of the school board and felt good about it.

Then I listened to a member of Congress be disrespectful to the commander-in-chief. That made me angry and sad at what our world has become. It also made me review my own attitude toward the public debate.

To all recipients of my letter concerning President Obama's speech - I apologize. It should have been a polite letter indicating my disappointment. I also apologize to my son for my setting a bad example.

Thanks, Joe Wilson, for showing me the light on how not to act. Now, if I can just find a leader in South Carolina who knows how to set a good example.

MARK GENTRY

Columbia

Sanford trips still costing the state

According to a recent article ("Sanford used charter jet services on European trips," Sept. 18), Gov. Mark Sanford could have saved South Carolina $41,223 by taking commercial flights on state business trips to Europe.

That amount directly refutes arguments that Sanford has a habit of saving taxpayer dollars. By many accounts Gov. Sanford is a millionaire who, no doubt, is accustomed to traveling in a certain style. Surely he could have paid for this luxurious travel himself, but instead he brings out his graphs and charts to justify flying in the face of state law.

In perspective, $41,223 isn't much compared to the overall state budget, but it could have paid a teacher's salary for a year.

The state's cost only continues to rise with the legislative bickering, investigations, as well as the psychological impact on South Carolinians. Perhaps our governor can afford that, but it isn't coming out of his pocket. It is coming out of ours, and we can't.

DOUGLAS R. TAYLOR

Lexington

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