Hold off final vote on special tax districts
On Thursday, Columbia City Council voted 4-2 to approve the special tax districts to finance projects in North Columbia and along the riverfront. A final vote is scheduled on Feb. 17. I respectfully ask City Council not to take any further action at this time on this controversial matter. The makeup of City Council will change with the April elections. Let the new council make the decision.
Another way to look at government money
Most of the letters to the editor agree that Andre Bauer's comparison of stray animals to the needy who get government money is morally wrong and very insensitive, but many agree with the context - that in this time of economic trouble there is a need for higher standards for people on welfare who are getting free government money that is paid with their taxes.
I agree that there should be more restrictions on how our taxes are spent, but then I asked myself a question: What would anyone who was not on welfare and getting by just fine on their own do with the money? What would everyone else do if they were to receive free money?
I hate to say it, but who wouldn't take free money if it was given to them? Anyone who has been a part of a promotion for free stuff can vouch that people of every gender, race and income level will take advantage of it. It's easy for people to point the finger of shame on others who are taking advantage of something, but before they do that, they should point the finger at themselves and ask, "What if that was me?"
HENRY IVEY WEST III
Welfare solution to be found in schools
Several things that can be done to help us cope with the welfare problems begin with education. Our schools, Lexington-Richland 5 in particular, seem to have forgotten that our country desperately needs blue-collar workers. They think that everyone should be educated in the arts while many are interested in learning or improving upon a vocation. Educating those students with the basic "readin', writin' and 'rithmatic" while teaching them to do things which they enjoy will grant them a higher standard of living off of the welfare rolls while benefiting society in maintaining our infrastructure.
In addition, out-of-school able-bodied welfare recipients should be required to take vocational training at tech centers. Private industry should be delighted to assist in the cost of making available well-trained future employees.
Another alternative is to establish WPA or CCC camp programs like those President Franklin Roosevelt set up during the Depression. They would be invaluable in maintaining our roads and keeping them clean. They also could duplicate some of the accomplishments of their predecessors who built many of our state parks, bridges and small public buildings.
If the example of those who earn their living can build some self-esteem and make a difference in breaking some of the cycle of government dependence, if will be worth the effort.
S.C. should be proud of Graham
When I look through polls and hear what my friends, neighbors and fellow South Carolinians are saying about energy legislation, it is clear that the majority of us think it's a good idea - necessary for a safe, healthy, prosperous future. When I see what's being reported on the news or advertised on television, I see a handful of people jumping up and down - crying out in the name of one extreme position or another.
So when I see Sen. Lindsey Graham taking a leadership role on developing comprehensive, bipartisan energy legislation, see that he is listening to what most know is necessary, even if that means ignoring the handful of leather-lung, tantrum throwers - folks more interested in garnering air time than working together in a productive manner - then I feel fairly amazed and proud that there are Washington politicians working together, listening instead of yelling, and most amazed that our own S.C. senator is part of that seemingly small group.
Thank you Sen. Graham.
Sanford's recovery can be a win-win
Thanks to Gov. Mark Sanford for changing his opinion on getting federal stimulus money for education for S.C. students. Now if he will only change his opinion on a cigarette tax, he will not only help South Carolina's children get a better education, but also help more of them live a longer life free of health problems caused by smoking cigarettes. I hope this will also help rehabilitate his image, which everyone in this state and nation knows needs to be done.