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OPINION | LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: The path to success | Short end of the stick | Decisions not D.C.'s

November 14, 2021 at 1:55 a.m.

The path to success

I watched in awe the night of Nov. 10 as a live television broadcast showed the United States sending four astronauts (three Americans, one German) to the International Space Station. If anything represents the United States and its future more graphically than this launch, I don't know what that might be.

The future of the United States lies in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) and not in the lunacy that currently surrounds politics in this country. We can't seem to agree on much, and therefore stifle our future. The future can be bright if the citizens of the United States follow an orderly path that leads them to success, and STEM definitely defines that path. The politics of today too frequently suggest that the United States is headed on the wrong path, a path of impending and certain destruction.

Through my career as a meteorologist, I visited schools often and spoke with various age levels from elementary school through college. My message was clear: Education is the path to success in life. I was often asked why anyone needs to learn English or history or other subjects that are taught in school. My reply was that all topics that are taught in school are necessary to be truly educated and arm each of us with facts and reality, to carry us through life.

The technology of today presented the launch Wednesday night in a very orderly and graphic manner by showing the "staging" of the rockets and even a landing of the booster back at the surface after it had been released. This whole sequence of events in such a short period of time showed how far we have progressed in space travel.

Now, we need to achieve that same success by progressing, in time, as a nation that has influence in the world and beyond, by restoring order and coming together, and by doing so, move more successfully into the future.

GEORGE WILKEN

Little Rock

Short end of the stick

On Tuesday our paper announced that we, Arkansas, were to receive $4 billion thanks to the $1 trillion "infrastructure bill." There seemed to be great joy in that amount; even the governor said he was pleased.

I propose that we were cheated out of an additional $5 billion that we should have received, and cite the following logic:

1. Total taxes collected by the IRS for the year 2020 was $3,493,067,956,000.

2. Total federal taxes paid by we Arkansans was $31,673,081,000.

3. We therefore contributed 0.9067 percent of the total collected (do the math).

In my opinion, we should receive as good as we give. While figures vary regarding the total expenditure included in the aforementioned legislation, if we use the $1 trillion figure reported by the paper, we should receive 0.9067 percent. That would be $9,067,000,000.

So where is the other $5 billion-plus we are due? And whose fault is it we are getting the short end of the stick? Guess Washington spanked us for voting Republican.

LEWARD C. FISH

Hot Springs Village

Decisions not D.C.'s

So the powers that be in D.C. now expect workers to rat out their co-workers and employers for not obeying mandatory vaccination rules for companies with 100 or more employees. Great way to turn one's workplace into hell.

Doesn't this strike you as wrong? Doesn't this hark of Nazism and Stalinism? What next? Shall we ask school kids to rat out their parents, their grandparents? Report on our neighbors? Whoa, enough is enough already!

I am not anti-vaccine; I got my three shots, plus the flu this year, and I am up-to-date with my shingles, pneumonia, and tetanus shots. What I get and when I get it are decisions I make with my doctor, not what D.C. dictates.

MARY WALKER

Mountain Home

His logic is dubious

Congressman Steve Womack felt compelled to make his case for the no vote he cast against the "bipartisan" infrastructure bill with a column in the Democrat-Gazette the other day. He claimed that only 20 percent of the spending was "going into basic infrastructure."

He never did mention that bill's total, so let's clarify: It's $1.2 trillion. That's 1,200 billions of dollars.

He highlights specifics totaling $128.5 billion that would clearly benefit Americans living in urban areas as "pet projects."

That $128 billion is about 11 percent of the money being allocated for a national program, but I guess he wears blinders when it comes to good done for the country as a whole. Furthermore, without mentioning exactly what he defines as "true infrastructure," he does point out that 20 percent of the total expenditure would go there. One can assume then that, for him, this is "good spending." Twenty percent of $1.2 trillion is $240 billion.

So to avoid spending $128 billion for other Americans, he'd rather toss out spending $240 billion for all Americans including Arkansans.

This kind of pigheaded logic is exactly why most good people consider that politicians who live by pure obstructionism are nothing more than lying liars interested in the furtherance of their careers above all else.

PAUL JEROME

Little Rock


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