Letters to the Editor

Tuesday's letters to the editor

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 more than 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?

WAYNE HALL

Leesville

Sen. Graham on wrong side again

Is this the proper time to introduce a cap and trade policy, which will cause higher taxes, loss of jobs and consumer costs rising considerably?

It appears that our let's-play-nice Sen. Lindsey Graham thinks so. In a Sept. 9 letter, Sen. Graham stated that "we have the opportunity to address climate change in a manner that benefits both the environment and the economy. I believe that the best solution to climate change is placing caps on emissions."

Assuming man is the real cause of climate change, which I do not, why don't we implement the nuclear energy option, which the senator seems to support, now? That will drive down the carbon emissions and over time replace coal and other fossil fuels before capping and taxing. This can be done without major legislation.

Sen. Graham, in my book, is always backing liberal, big-government causes for the sake of making nice with the Democrats. He has been on the losing side on just about all them, thank God. When his voters disagree with him, he calls them names, such as "bigots" or "angry white men."

I would like him to explain to the S.C. voters his reasoning. Sen. Graham was re-elected to a second term only because he was not opposed by any serious alternative candidates, and if he can't read and listen to his voters, let's hope this will be his last.

JACK CRUGER

Murrells Inlet

Columbia's expensive efficiency study

The Columbia City Council has done it again, paying $150,000 for a consulting firm to find ways for it to be more efficient. It seems that the current staff could do the job, and keep that money in the city coffers to cover other useful things, such as keeping the fire trucks up and running. If you have to pay an outside entity to find what you should be able to find on your own, then the city needs more than just an efficiency study.

STEVEN SCHUMPERT

Columbia

Can Midlands capitalize on Boeing?

Regarding the very happy news about Boeing's new plant in South Carolina: After the tumult and the shouting dies, what are Columbia and the Midlands going to do to capitalize on this great opportunity?

Thanks to SCLaunch, its incubator and Engenuity, we have a lot of high-tech potential. Will we employ the sales and marketing know-how that exists here to bring some business here? Or will it go to Greenville as usual?

NEIL MAHONEY

Columbia

Other options for health care system

I have a few suggestions for members of the U.S. Senate and House to consider before they bankrupt current and future generations with ill-conceived health care reform.

1. Create a refundable tax credit for the actual annual premium payment made for health insurance up to a reasonable cap determined on a sliding scale by the taxpayer's gross income. The cap can be adjusted annually as is the personal exemption. Health insurance premiums would no longer be an allowable deductible expense for taxpayers who claim the tax credit.

2. Allow individuals and business owners to purchase health insurance from any licensed health insurer nationwide.

3. Determine a reasonable limit for pain and suffering in medical malpractice cases.

4. Require all eligible Medicare recipients to be enrolled in standard Medicare.

5. Allow supplemental and prescription insurers to develop their own competitive plans without the specific benefits being dictated by government.

6. Permit unused health savings plan funds to be transferred to a tax-deferred IRA each year.

7. Permit reinsurance facilities to be established to provide coverage for high-risk cases and pre-existing conditions and to allow portability of plans from one employer to another or from one state to another. Allow insurers to charge a reasonable surcharge to consumers to cover the cost of these additional benefits.

If indeed there is $500 million in waste and abuse in Medicare as has been stated by the Obama administration, then let's get about the business of finding and reducing it before assuming that it can be used to pay for a new program.

STEPHEN DELLER

Columbia

Entitlements evolve into rights

A government entitlement is an extra-constitutional subsidy provided by an act of Congress. There is no constitutional right to Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid or any other entitlement - including the proposed health care act presently being considered by Congress. You might ask what authority Congress has to tax and spend for entitlements in view of the facts that there is no constitutional right to such subsidies and the national government is one of limited powers.

The U.S. Supreme Court in 1958 developed the "entitlement doctrine." The court basically stated that although an entitlement has no constitutional basis, once it is received by a person it becomes an "expectancy," which morphs into a "property right," which is then protected by a constitutional guarantee of due process of law.

G. W. JEFFERSON

Columbia

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