Democrats' health plan needs tune-up
The health care story, "A 3-year wait for benefits," on Sunday is unbelievable. It says that the emerging health care bill is designed to "make the costs of the plan seem (italics mine) more manageable under congressional budgeting rules." So, in what the writer refers to as an "eat your vegetables first approach" that is "causing heartburn for some Democrats," cuts in Medicare and increases in taxes will begin immediately, but federal tax credits to make insurance more affordable will not begin until 2013. Apparently the predicted result is positive cash flow in the first three years offset by negative cash flow in the next seven so the 10-year total will meet cost targets.
With that as the plan, what do our representatives think the situation will be in the 11th year? It sounds like a replay of sub-prime mortgages with escalating interest rates and/or balloon payments. And that disaster isn't even over yet. Unless we plan on shutting down the nation and having a bankruptcy sale in 10 years, use of a 10-year projection rather than cash flow rate of return for financial planning is foolish.
DARRYL K WILLIAMS
GOP leader was unfair to Obama
Karen Floyd, chairman of the state Republican Party, had a great opinion piece in Monday's newspaper. It contained a lot of useful information, was clear and concise and very well written. However, I feel I must add a few comments to her three statements on how badly President Obama has done since South Carolina rejected him in the presidential election.
I voted for John McCain. Even so, I think Ms. Floyd was not entirely fair when she said that Obama has added to the nation's deficit without mentioning the fact that the current situation is based in the record deficits and the terrible economic conditions that he inherited from the previous administration. Also, she mentioned that unemployment is high without pointing out that most experts agree that the overall economy is in recovery due to the president's actions.
And finally, she referred to our health care system as "the best health care system in the world." Anybody who believes that has just not been paying attention. I have seen no responsible source that calls our system the best. It is generally accepted that most developed countries have better systems than ours in cost, management and results. Even in this country, virtually everyone - Republicans, Democrats, independents - agree that our system badly needs to be reformed.
My primary criticism of President Obama is that he has taken on too much too fast, but I think everything he's taken on needs to be done. Unlike Rush Limbaugh, I hope he succeeds at all of them.
Sanford story was just more of the same
Wayne Washington was certainly able to draw an analogy between the scandals perpetrated by Bill Clinton and Gov. Mark Sanford. That's a given.
Personally, I would like to see a copy of The State in which Sanford was not mentioned, for a change. I think I speak for many readers who are tired of reading the same stuff, day in and day out, regarding his transgressions. Rather, I would like to see the politicians, who represent the people of this jewel of a state, put the needs of the people who elected them ahead of their petty differences. We have serious problems that need their full attention.
High price tag for PRT study
Let me get this straight. Government officials tell us that because of revenue shortfalls, South Carolina has had to lay off some teachers and prison guards, among others. Now we learn that the state has paid a company $650,000 to tell us to fill a quarry with water and make a marina out of it. They would say, "You don't understand, that's PRT money, not general fund money." I think they're right: Most of us would not understand.
Continue to set record straight on schools
Cindi Ross Scoppe's "The insidious little lie about dropouts, part 2," Oct. 6, was excellent and important information for everyone interested in our public schools. It clarified a number of misstated public school measures that have unfortunately been steadily made available to the public.
More must be done to provide the facts and set the record straight on the true performance of our public schools. As a proud parent who has had three children attend our public education system with much success, I'm so pleased when results are correctly stated versus the all-too-often intentional misinformation pushed by the naysayers. Yes, we have yet to reach the point where we want public education to be, but to characterize S.C. public schools as at or near "dead last" is totally misleading and false. Moreover, substantive progress continues to be demonstrated.
JOHN K. SMITH