Letters to the Editor

Wednesday's letters to the editor

Health care plan too expensive

When Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced the final version of the House health care bill last week, she called it groundbreaking legislation that will have a positive impact on all of us for many years to come.

She is correct that it will have a long-lasting impact, but I disagree that it will be positive.

According to her numbers, the bill will cost taxpayers $894 billion. That means that each person in the United States would be responsible for $2,900. A family of six like mine would be responsible for $17,400. All of this to insure 36 million people, which equals roughly 11 percent of our population.

I agree that we need to help those uninsured people, but I do not accept that it should cost so much. There has to be a better solution that will not bankrupt each of us. It is becoming obvious that we will have to force our representatives to find it.

RICK CARTER

Lexington

Gun use story impressive, fair

Regarding Monday's story, "Gun culture: Residents load up on permits," I thank you for stepping outside the bounds of political correctness to report objectively on a subject of such constitutional importance. Your story included numerous facts, statistics and viewpoints and fairly represented both sides of the issue. I found it your most impressive and courageous show of journalistic integrity in recent memory.

Studies suggest that American citizens use their guns defensively from 800,000 to 2.5 million times annually and that simply being armed is a deterrent to crime even if a shot is never fired. South Carolinians increasingly are seeing the need to protect themselves, and they are putting their Second Amendment right into action. The State is to be commended for reporting on this. It surely will cause some would-be criminals to think twice before acting, which in turn will save lives.

As a responsible advocate of self-defense, I strongly remind all who keep firearms in their homes or on their persons to ensure that they and everyone in their households (children included) firmly know the basics of firearm safety, operation and safe storage.

ALEX CONE

West Columbia

Senior citizens hurt in cost-cutting

President Obama recently approved a 2 percent salary increase for all federal employees effective Jan. 1. Members of the executive, legislative and judicial branches are due for an automatic pay increase in January as well. At the same time, seniors will not receive any cost-of-living increases.

For the first time in history, the Congress will not allow an in-crease in the Social Security cost-of-living adjustment.

In fact, the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation predicts there may not be any COLA for the next three years.

However, the per-person monthly Medicare insurance premium will be increased from the 2009 premium of $96.40 to $104.20 in 2010 and to $120.20 for the year 2011.

ALBERT J. SADOWSKI SR.

West Columbia

Spratt misguided on government 'help'

U.S. Rep. John Spratt, in his commentary on extending unemployment benefits ("Give South Carolinians the help they deserve," Oct. 27), demonstrated why it is past time to replace him. He said, "These are extended benefits fully funded by the federal government, which come at no cost to the state."

So, the money that is extorted from South Carolina taxpayers for dispersal by Washington has no South Carolina costs? Baloney. That money is no longer available to be spent here in South Carolina to create real prosperity by creating jobs and fueling our economy. Washington inefficiency skims off a considerable portion that is then not available to return. Our state would be better off if these benefits were funded and administered here by South Carolinians. At least that would create some local jobs, not fund the Washington bureaucracy.

What government "gives" an individual first must be taken from someone else. That seems to be lost on many politicians today.

RALPH BAKER

Sumter

Swine flu vaccine priorities questioned

It is a travesty that detainees at Guantanamo Bay will be receiving the swine flu vaccine before many Americans. Millions of Americans can't get the vaccine because we're told there is a shortage. It's convoluted.

I guess the prisoners in American prisons also will get priority over good citizens. This is all just another example of our government's values.

TOM STOLLMAIER

Chapin

Helping detainees at Guantanamo Bay

I have read the news reports about the president's desire to move the detainees at Guantanamo Bay on to U.S. soil, and I have a question for our esteemed president and the Congress. Once all the transfers are complete, are we going to give them Social Security, food stamps and other financial aid plus government subsidies to pay for their weapons and explosives? It will be much easier to attack us if they are already here. I wonder how many of them are going to be put in Washington?

THOMAS E. GEDDINGS

Columbia

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