Time to take charge
in Salem with spending
To the editor:
My comments, on the Jan. 21st "Salem News" headline story subtitled, "Officials eye ways to raise revenues and cut city spending."
According to the press, the mayor used the word "drastic" three times regarding our revenue situation. He also stated, "No one's taken a hard stand...council has to make that decision...we're in hard times."
I would like to remind the city administration, Salem City Council legislates and those on the second floor administrate...Second Ward Councilman Dennis Groves hit the nail on the head when he stated, "give us something to make a decision on...we're not doing the inner workings of the city."
First Ward Councilman David Nestic said, "You (Mayor Wolford) have much more intimate knowledge," and adding that "council wanted your thoughts and ideas."
If there had to be a "hard stand" it should have been taken by the previous and current administrations. The need for the income tax increase wasn't taken seriously by the voters last November. Comments in the press, a couple of meetings and a few signs can hardly be called a campaign to get it passed.
The mayor said, "Options are very thin." That's true, but responsibility for determining what options to take shouldn't rest on council.
It's up to the mayor, city auditor and service safety director to have a step by step agenda to make whatever cuts necessary. It's time for the administration to move on the options and then address Salem City Council.
The revenue is swiftly disappearing but all I read in the "Salem News" is another meeting is scheduled with council to solve the problem.
It wasn't a language
problem with tax defeat
To the editor:
The county commissioners held a special meeting to discuss the 1.5 percent sales tax renewal that was voted down in November.
They believe that because of the language on the ballot, the people didn't understand it. This tax was voted down by over 60 percent of the voters in Columbiana County.
More than 13 out of every 100 people in Columbiana County are unemployed, and that is a very conservative estimate. Grocery prices continue to rise, The cost of heating your home continues to rise with no end in sight, gas prices rise and dip like some sort of twisted yo-yo and these fine people can't understand why we voters don't want another tax shoved down our throats.
The only people in attendance at this meeting besides county officials were four representatives from the press and seven members of the Ohio Valley Tea Party. This is sad in itself because of all of the residents in Columbiana county, only seven showed up and they are all part of a newly- formed Political Action Committee that is dedicated to slowing or stopping big government and wasteful spending in every level of government.
We were told that it is imperative for this tax to be kept in effect if Columbiana County is to survive.
We were told that without this tax, our streets would be overrun with juvenile delinquents and criminals, our roads wouldn't be fixed and the county would fall into state receivership. This sounds a lot like one of those government crises we hear so much from Washington.
They told us that they have cut back spending as much as possible, a lot like the rest of us, but they just couldn't trim any more fat.
When asked if they would be willing to take a voluntary pay cut, most agreed on the record, but said that it wouldn't really do any good. You know, I think it would be a good start.
We also suggested getting volunteers to do some of the jobs that are currently being done by county employees to take a little off of the load.
Perhaps inmates could volunteer for duties patching roads, trash details and other things like that.
Since we are paying to house and feed them, perhaps we could get some good old fashion labor out of them as well or would that be too politically incorrect?
We give government too much of our money as it is. How much is enough for these people? They will never be satisfied until they have it all. Between city, county, state, and federal, sales tax, gas tax, property tax, income tax and the list goes on, have you ever stopped to figure out how much of your money is going to pay "taxes"? How much do you think is enough? We The People truly are Taxed Enough Already.
PASTOR DUKE BENNETT,
Some views on the
tea party movement
To the editor:
Spring is right around the corner and that could mean only one thing. Tea Party season. Now I'm not a tea party expert, but I have attended a couple and think some things need to be addressed.
First, if you have never attended a tea party don't be so quick to criticize.
These are peaceful gatherings of people who want to listen to speakers and voice their concerns. In fact, you may be surprised to find out that a friend, neighbor, or co-worker attends tea parties.
Second, the media has labeled tea parties as a conservative movement. Though a majority of people that attend tea parties consider themselves conservatives, the movement should not be painted with such a broad brush.
Third, the Republican party is well on its way to hijacking the tea party movement. Some politicians are even referring to themselves as tea party conservatives. Just remember that Republicans have proven that they can spend our tax dollars as recklessly as Democrats. I hope tea party organizers avoid making any type of alliance with any politician.
Finally, if you consider yourself to be a conservative and attend tea parties because you are afraid the government is taking away your rights and freedoms, I ask that you rethink your political philosophy.
Because if you sincerely believe that we are all endowed with certain unalienable rights, and should have the freedom to make our own choices as to how we live our lives, you may a libertarian.
A libertarian believes that a person should be free to do as they choose with their life, as long as they do not interfere with the rights of others.
Whereas, a conservative believes that a person should be free to do as they choose with their life, as long as they do not interfere with the moral values and standards of conservatives. Just something to consider.
Suggest tie-in between
casinos and rail system
To the editor:
Currently the two biggest funded "jobs" programs in Ohio are casinos and high speed rail "AMTRAC." Casinos are only profitable when everybody loses. The AMTRAC rail system in Washington, D.C., has yet to make profit. As a matter of fact it cost the nation millions every year to continue to operate.
Why are we bringing it here? Is the rail system linking these casinos so the citizens of Ohio can rush head long into financial ruin. After these two great endeavors have started we will all be singing an old favorite from the Great Depression "Brother can you spare a dime?"
WILLIAM E. EARDLEY,
Proposed NASA test
To the editor:
President Obama is ending NASA's mission to the moon and turning to private companies to launch astronauts-but there's another way he could help NASA cut costs.
NASA recently announced a $1.75 million experiment to irradiate squirrel monkeys to try to understand what might happen to humans on long-term space flights, such as a trip to Mars. This experiment is clearly cruel, and as a physician, I know it will not help us protect humans.
Genetic, anatomical, and physiological differences between humans and monkeys dramatically limit the conclusions that can be drawn.
In addition to ethical and scientific concerns, this experiment is completely unnecessary. From decades of data on human spaceflight and from ongoing nonanimal studies, we already know long-term space travel is dangerous.
And long-term space voyages are highly unlikely given NASA's new policy and budget considerations. President Obama vowed a line-by-line budget review to eliminate programs that don't make sense, but this experiment shows that the administration must have skipped a few lines.
HOPE FERDOWSIAN, M.D., M.P.H.
Director of Research Policy
for Responsible Medicine
5100 Wisconsin Ave., N.W., Suite 400
Strange days are
upon us indeed
To the editor:
Strange days are upon us indeed. The abundance of political, financial and economic corruption and confusion touch our lives in many ways that most people probably wish it didn't. Though I'm sure it will continue for a time, there are good signs that many Americans have simply had enough and are determined to bring it to a halt for the sake of ancient ideas that transcend us all.
Amidst this, there have arisen "Tea Partys" of various factions which are causing great uproars among the elites of the two major party's and their ideological and philosophical adherents.
As with many decisions we make daily, decisions are being made as to the nature of these "Tea" types, as witnessed by the letters and conversations broadly denouncing them all.
This is unfortunate in my opinion since from what I've observed, not all of them are of the same nature.
What do I mean by drawing this distinction? One of them is really nothing more than opportunists, such as the "Tea Party Express" and company, which finds its roots in the big-government GOP warmongers attempting to capitalize on the unwary.
The others, for the most part, are comprised of ordinary citizens who essentially want to take back the levers of power and authority that rightfully and legally belong to the individual and the states and restore the rightful relationship of society and its wants and needs over and against the self-appointed social engineers, thus restoring the rule of law, sanity and prosperity to society.
The charges leveled publicly and privately against this second type is what I find alarming. Why? Because those leveling the charges appear to be doing so based on their preconceptions, prejudices and biases, not, I think, on a true intellectual barrier; And therein lies the danger.
When we close our minds, we essentially eliminate the possibility to discern truth claims. Yet is this not what we all say we want? To know the truth? If one answers "Yes" to this, then one must assess whether a statement is true or not, not just simply dismiss it out of hand as if it has no legitimacy whatsoever. This is an intellectual cop-out and irresponsible.
If a mother suspects her child may be running a fever that may affect the childs well-being, though she may not like what a thermometer confirms, she is nonetheless subconsciously grateful for the accuracy of the thermometer; She doesn't blame it for this. Similarly, a businessman who may be suffering financial losses, though he may not like what his balance sheet says, is thankful the numbers basically tell him, all other things being equal, where he needs to make changes for the opportunity to be profitable again. He doesn't fault the numbers.
Perhaps you think I'm merely an apologist for this second "Tea" type, and therefore, I'm biased. That's your prerogative but, the fact is I'm not and even if I were, this wouldn't solve your dilemma: Some fundamental questions remain to be answered; What should be the role of government around society and why?
Have we allowed too much power to be centralized at the federal level? Are the D.C. elitists using the Federal Reserve bank to manipulate the value of our money and private property for their own evil purposes?
Are we as a society criminalizing certain acts of other members of society when there is no real crime committed? What does this mean for us, and say about us as a society if these, and other things are true or unnecessarily inverted?
It really shouldn't (and doesn't) matter where truth originates from. If something is true, it's true and stands on its own substantive merits; Not on preconceptions, prejudices and biases, which must be rejected.
No society can function on these premises for long and not witness its own demise.