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Letters

February 21, 2021 at 1:43 a.m.

Need dose of reality

I am speaking out today against the proposals floating around our government in Washington, D.C., about giving every college or university student a tidy sum of $50,000 so the fledgling college students should not have to be burdened down with student loan debt. After all, they encumbered themselves when they took out those loans and, as I recall, they signed many documents stating they were contractually obligated to repay those stated loans at very low interest rates after graduating.

I am wholly against this entire proposal. I say, if they made those loans in good faith, then in good faith they should repay every dime of that contractually obligated loan. What in the world is wrong with the idea of relieving these students and graduates? Votes? Votes, you say, in some election in the future? Not being a mind reader myself, I will not impute their motives.

I will tell you that I began working on my grandfather's dairy farm at age 12 and worked ever since in some manner. When I was the first person in my entire family to attend and then graduate from college, I took out college loans. I also worked two jobs while attending college. I worked seven days a week as a produce clerk at Dycus Thriftywise grocery and in the summers at Holmes Tree service specializing at spraying evergreen trees. I worked every day and went to college at the same time. I graduated with a bachelor of business administration and a master of public administration.

Every month for 12 years I repaid Citizens National Bank and Trust for the privilege of having it secure the college loans I had accumulated. And this built integrity, honesty, work ethic and, most importantly, a strong character. These young people, students and graduates perhaps need a strong dose of reality so they too can begin a life building their character. Thank you for this opportunity to share my thoughts. God bless!

LOUIS BURNETT

Little Rock

His independence day

Kudos to Mr. Jim Hendren. Some politicians still have a moral compass.

KELLY WOLFF

Bella Vista

Won't tell the truth

Is there ever a reason for someone in Congress to lie to the public?

The Speech and Debate Clause of the U.S. Constitution (Article I, Section 6) reads, "for any Speech or Debate in either House, [senators and representatives] shall not be questioned in any other Place." In the 1973 ruling Doe v. McMillan, "the [Supreme] Court has held that the clause protects such acts as voting, the conduct of committee hearings, the issuance and distribution of committee reports, the subpoenaing of information required in the course of congressional investigations, and even the reading of stolen classified materials into a subcommittee's public record," Senior U.S. District Judge James L. Buckley wrote in "The Heritage Guide to the Constitution."

In other words, members of Congress cannot be held to account for any lies they tell as part of their official work, including that "no one is above the law."

Given that Congress is constitutionally above the law, how can we trust anything they say in the conduct of official business "of the people"? The sad truth is I don't think we can trust anything the Congress says about anything. This has been true for the last 40 or 50 years. I think they need to pass a law that prevents any congressman from lying to the public for any reason, with an automatic impeachment if they do tell any lie about anything. Wouldn't it be nice if you could trust everyone in Congress? Because at present I don't think any of them know how to be truthful.

ROBERT MAYNARD

Hot Springs

Leave it for the states

For as long as I can remember, there has been this argument about the federal minimum wage, which is set by the federal government. If it's about right for New York, California, etc., then it is way too high for poorer states with much lower cost-of-living. If it's about right for the lower cost-of-living states, like Arkansas, then it's obviously too low for the richer states.

I believe the solution, for once and for all, is to get the federal government out of the business of establishing minimum wages and to allow each state to decide its own minimum wage. What could be fairer? So many members of Congress seem to know so little about what goes on outside their little D.C. domain, they don't have a clue about the unfairness of this issue. I tried to discuss this with a former federal representative several years ago, and his eyes just seemed to glaze over. He was totally unconcerned about this problem and didn't want to talk about it.

If you feel that a state minimum wage is the fairest way to solve this problem, please talk with your senators and representatives in D.C.

MITCH LaGRONE

Little Rock

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