Council has proven it's fiscally inept
I read that Columbia City Council voted to spend $150,000 on a study so the city can run more efficiently. Council members Belinda Gergel and Kirk Finlay voted against this, Daniel Rickenmann was absent, and all others voted in favor.
Council members already know the city has more employees than it can afford and needs to reduce its work force. It appears they just do not have the guts to do the fiscally correct thing. So they want to waste more money on another study.
With city revenues dropping more this year - and I hope things get better soon, but that is not a given - City Council may have to adopt a top-down approach. Fund the essential first: police, fire, water/sewer, trash/garbage. Do not even think of cutting these ever again. While it will hurt, everything else must be funded after the core city functions are fully funded.
This council has proven its fiscal insanity in the past by losing nearly $25 million in reserves and passing budgets year after year without knowing how much money was coming in and going out. And now they're considering borrowing $150 million for projects in two special tax districts for Innovista and North Columbia when the local real estate market is still shrinking.
Where does it stop?
Efficiency study a waste of tax dollars
It is beyond all comprehension that Columbia City Council has voted to hire yet another consultant to do the job council members are supposed to be doing.
In a 4-2 vote (thank you to council members Belinda Gergel and Kirkman Finlay for voting no) the council has allocated 150,000 taxpayer dollars to study efficiency issues at the city level.
Council members who cannot understand the day-to-day functions of the city and make determinations on program efficiency and proper funding levels, need to resign and find something else to occupy their time.
Republicans got us into this mess
I think our conservative friends need a reminder of how we got into this mess. Democrat Bill Clinton left office and handed Republican G. W. Bush a government that was operating in the black. In other words, the government was bringing in more money than it spent.
After eight years of a Republican president and six years with Republicans in charge of Congress, we had accumulated the largest deficits in our nation's history and our economy was on the brink of collapse.
We're engaged in two wars with no end in sight and are hated by the world. Our new president has his work cut out for him.
ROBERT M. MCGAUGHEY
Providers put the 'care' in health care
The government doesn't "care"; the health insurance industry doesn't "care"; only health care providers "care," one patient at a time.
Our health "care" system is not broken -- it's the best in the world, and make no mistake: The government can only do less efficiently what the private insurance industry does now. Vermont, Maine, and Massachusetts (which has mandatory health insurance), have been conducting experiments in what is effectively "ObamaCare" for some time.
"The result: Health care costs more in New England than it does anywhere else in the country," according to an Oct. 19 article in the National Review.
"Insurance companies have fled the region, leading to less competition and higher premiums. The number of uninsured has gone down, true, but not by nearly as much as proponents of these reforms had predicted, while health-care subsidies eat up an ever-growing share of the states' budgets, with the consequences of higher taxes and - yes - rationed care."
So, come see me -- I'll be providing the world's best health Care today, one patient at a time. And, because I "care," I will continue to do so until the government makes that too difficult for me.
STEWART G. YOUNG, MD
Government-run programs are clunkers
The final costs for the "Cash for Clunkers" program are now known. The government-sponsored program cost the taxpayers $24,000 for each car "traded in". This is over five times the allowed trade in!
Did anyone in their right mind believe that this program would be any different than any other program run by a bunch of bureaucrats? Only idiots would want Washington to run health care or anything else! The profit margin for health care insurance providers is estimated to be 3 percent. Does this debate have any validity at all? Why do so many people fail to understand this?