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by The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette | December 23, 2010 at 3:47 a.m.

— D.C. doesn’t walk the walk

Recent front-page headlines heralded the tax bill signed into law by the president. Costing $858 billion, the president proclaimed this action as a great compromise to contribute to the healing of our nation’s financial woes.

Unfortunately, the “In the news” column on your front page demonstrated that President Obama still overlooks so many opportunities to lead by example when it comes to controlling spending. The final nugget noted that Michelle Obama and the daughters were headed to Hawaii while Obama remained in Washington until Congress’ session is complete.

Whatever happened to telling the kids, “Daddy has to work and we’ll go as soon as we can”? My kids heard that more than once and it wasn’t costing taxpayers millions of dollars for duplicate flights and security when we traveled.

Washington, beginning with the president, needs to start walking the walk. Spending has got to be controlled at every level. Every dollar counts. America is watching and waiting.


It’s all about taking

I read with interest the story about Warren Stephens’ speech before the annual Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce. His plan is for saving $150 million in administrative and personnel costs by combining the police, fire, street and sanitation departments of Jacksonville, Maumelle, North Little Rock, Sherwood and Little Rock.

Has anyone thought of the impact this would have on the very real people whose salaries make up this $150 million that he wants to save? In response to a question about his family’s philanthropy, he wondered if that alluded to efforts by Bill Gates and Warren Buffett to encourage the wealthy to give away their fortunes. His answer was “We ain’t doing that.” He would rather show the chamber how to take from the families who serve in our communities, many times doing dirty and/or dangerous work to keep us safe for far too little in their paychecks.

What impact will this have on the already strained economies of these communities? It’s all about taking and no giving. Don’t want to pay taxes that go to these salaries? Just do away with their jobs! I see a method in his madness, as they say. This is the season of giving, but obviously he doesn’t know.

He would understand if he could walk in the shoes of any one of us in the middle class. We are dependent, unlike him, on police or fire getting here immediately and on keeping our streets clean and safe.

VIRGINIA COX North Little Rock

Folk wisdom lacking

It seems that the sociologically reasoned members of Congress in the lame-duck, many of whom will soon be departed, decided to repeal “don’t ask, don’t tell.” Many of the same have no relatives serving in the military and they also share the belief that the military is overstretched and stressed in its current commitments. So why stress it again with another pile of political correctness?

With the deaths in Texas due to the failure to recognize an obvious Islamic extremist parading as a psychiatrist in recent memory, one would think the Congress would recognize the problems of sensitivities that create blindness.

They seem to lack folk wisdom. Kindness, tolerance and love aside, in the future the children will have a greater burden to carry due to the easiness with which cultural relativism has created rights without responsibilities.


Difference is caring

I am so grateful for the voice of wisdom of 80-year-old Little Rock city director Erma Hendrix. Here I have been not only caring about but actually loving the homeless and ministering to them for over 10 years, and Hendrix informs us that the homeless do not meet the standard for being cared about: They are not taxpayers.

As one who is in the trenches with them, I assure that dear lady that homeless people pay taxes every day, all day. Don’t waste your paper. A tax by any other name is still a tax, be it on cigarettes, alcohol or coffee. Some also pay income taxes as more than a few of them work every day.

I wish I had the space to tell of all the success stories I have seen and continue to see through simple acts of kindness to the homeless. Unfortunately, I understand all too well why Hendrix does not understand why we, the true friends of the homeless, care. One can only care with a heart of flesh, and those with hearts of stone can never understand that. And that is the difference between them and us.

My prayer is that God will take away the heart of stone and replace it with a heart of flesh. The homeless may be heavy, but they are still my brothers. That is qualification enough for me to care for and about them.

JESSIE GOODRUM North Little Rock

Have some patience

Former President George W. Bush and wife and Dick Cheney and Condoleezza Rice broke ground recently for his presidential library in Dallas, Texas. How can he even have a presidential center? The center will be built on 100 percent lies. The only truth he has ever said was when he said he does not miss being president. How can it be?

Remember the economic collapse of 2008, banks, foreclosures, a great loss of jobs? Check it out. This was all Barack Obama’s doing. Wait, he wasn’t even president at that time. Two years of Obama is just like Bill Clinton after two years. Things are getting better now than in 2008 except for Congress.

If Obama gets four more years, you will see a big improvement, just like the best economic turnaround of all time from Clinton. I say be patient, Democrats. We know that Republicans won’t be. They wanted it fixed the first year of Obama’s presidency. BUDDY WILSON Hot SpringsTaxes a burden now

I think that it is pathetic that schools are asking to raise property taxes in the current economic times. There are so many people losing their homes to foreclosures and yet they have the audacity to ask for raises in property taxes.

Did anyone notice the huge list of delinquent taxes? People are overburdened with taxes as is.

The schools need to learn to manage with what they have. Instead of constantly building more schools, maybe they ought to try year-round school to make better use of existing buildings. They could have two-thirds of the students in school at a time. Offer summer sports to encourage students to sign up then. Some people might even like being out when the weather is bad. Go on vacation during off seasons, have two weeks off between semesters. Pay teachers 50 percent more. Just a thought.


Socialism abhorrent

Recently, your correspondent Linden Frank concluded his lament for the coming gridlock by stating, “Most of the known world is under socialism . . . [a]nd in most countries, it works!”

Socialism has left a trail of death, misery and enslavement across the world. We need not concentrate on the murderous tyrannies like the still extant “people’s republics” of China and North Korea to show the pitfalls of socialism.

The European social democracies are not examples we should follow. Their civilization is teetering on the brink of social and economic collapse. They cannot afford the benefits their citizens riot to keep; their productivity and social cohesion are poor and getting worse; and their Marxist house of cards could not have lasted this long without our military providing their defense. Their more intelligent leaders are trying to move away from the statism, but their leftist politicians have already unleashed forces that are subsuming them.

Most of our ancestors came hereto escape the smothering control of an all-powerful state, and to try to remold America into a European style social democracy is to betray the blood spilled to make the United States the unique bastion of liberty that it is. No one touting the “benefits” of socialism should be trusted by voters, and certainly no politician espousing socialist beliefs should ever be worthy of the vote of any intelligent, informed American.


Danger isn’t Obama

The danger to America is not Barack Obama or the liberals, but a citizenry capable of entrusting a man like him with the presidency.

It will be far easier to limit and undo the follies of an Obama presidency than to restore the necessary common sense and good judgment to a depraved electorate willing to have such a man as their president.

The problem is much deeper and far more serious than Obama, who is a mere symptom of what ails America. Blaming the prince of the fools should not blind anyone to the vast confederacy of fools who made him their prince. The republic can survive a Barack Obama, who is, after all, merely a fool. It is less likely to survive a multitude of fools.


Addicted to spending

If the shenanigans of the lameduck, Democrat-led Congress leave any doubts, the proposal to spend$1.3 trillion more has been introduced. This includes over 6,000 pork projects.

This is the exclamation point for the irresponsible leadership we have experienced the past two years. It is easy to understand why they have a 13 percent approval rating.

Simply stated, the Democrats have a spending addiction. No wonder so many of them are being sent home for rehab.

L.J. “MICKEY” JORDAN Hot Springs Village

Feedback Will goal be met?

A college education: reality, dream or lie?

We prepare children to go to college. Now they are ready, anxious to go.

We taught them to value higher education. We taught them to study hard, to take advanced classes and to make more A’s than B’s. They did.

We told them to volunteer in the community, play sports and join clubs. They did. They tutored others, helped win championships and became club officers. We told them that being bilingual was critical in today’s workforce. They listened.

They became proficient in English, were proud to speak two languages and also learned a third. We told them that if they had a college degree, they would have a better-paying job. They listened. They studied for the ACT and made a qualifying college entrance score.

Our children listened. They did everything that we asked them to do. They are now ready for college. But they cannot go. Why? Because they are undocumented. So did we lie?


Forearmed is best

While I genuinely applaud the action taken by the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality in the Bluebird Mining fish kill, I wonder when we will have the will to fund enough inspectors so that we avoid these adverse environmental effects in the first place.


Editorial, Pages 15 on 12/23/2010

Print Headline: LETTERS


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