Stacked coverage

On Nov. 30, according to the authorities, two men from Summerville attempted to rob the Heritage Trust Branch in Walterboro but were thwarted by city police, and with cooperation of other agencies the two were arrested without incident.

That was the entire story.

The Dec. 1 edition of The Post and Courier carried the account on page A1, above the fold, and continued on page A5, containing 94 column inches and including three full color pictures.

A rival to the O.J. Simpson chase or declaration of war?

On pages B1 through B3 there are seven criminal activities in the Conde Nast Holy City (not an unusual number), ranging from burglary and robbery to meth and murder.

I submit that there is no logical connection between two non-residents’ alleged attempt to rob a Walterboro bank, quickly foiled by police without incident, and any gang activity of the past.

It seems that each story about a Colleton County crime in The Post and Courier requires a recitation of all previous crimes over the last several years even though you acknowledge violent crimes there have been reduced by over 50 percent in the last two reported years. If there is an ounce of journalistic integrity and pride in your newsroom you will offer an apology and stop with the character assassination of this community.

Moultrie D. Plowden

Wade Hampton Avenue

Walterboro

Missing ingredient

There is much talk about raising taxes on the rich on most all the news stations.

It’s strange that hardly no one is talking about reducing spending at the federal level.

Interesting, isn’t it?

Steve Kobelas

Jessen Avenue

North Charleston

Buy your own

One of the amazing things I hear working people say is that they would be willing to pay higher taxes to help solve the federal debt problem.

A headline in the Nov. 30 paper shows people lining up for free cell phones. They also receive 250 free minutes per month with these phones.

These things aren’t really free. Nothing the federal government gives away is free. The government is not paying for it, I am. Me and every working stiff who pays taxes.

Where do the free taxpayer funded giveaways stop?

Let me tell all you handout folks something. You can depend on us taxpayers through government for your EBT and welfare and Section 8 and health care and cell phone minutes, contraceptives and college tuition and whatever else you think you’re entitled to from taxpayers.

But there are two things the government can never give you — self-respect and dignity. You will never have those things until you break the hold that the opiate of government dependency has on you and learn to be self-reliant.

Since I am paying for it, I can say it. Quit being losers and grow up.

As for folks who are willing to have your and my taxes raised to solve the debt problem — I think we all agree that our government wants tax dollars.

Well, if they waste so much as a penny of our taxes, they have no right to ask for more.

And considering the government’s spending habits, it would be stupid to give them more.

Michael Pierce

Walsingham Way

James Island

Cruel cuts

It is disturbing to read that the Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is prepared to offer reductions in the cost-of-living adjustments to Social Security to Democrats to strike a budget deal.

The rationale is that as retirees’ benefits shrink, they will resort to less costly living strategies and therefore won’t need as much to live on.

I suppose they expect us to turn the heat down further and clip more coupons to make ends meet.

I recall a national scandal during another recession when seniors were discovered eating dog food because they could not afford people food. Is this the reward they offer to the retirees who built this country through the last four wars and supported them in the last election?

Republicans lost the presidential election because they alienated women, minorities, immigrants and our youth. Now they want to disenfranchise retirees.

Sen. Lindsey Graham said it best: “It is bad enough Republicans shot themselves in the foot, but why would you reload?”

Peter Gorman

S. Magnolia Street

Summerville

Medicare changes

While Social Security and Medicare are both in the black at this time, the budget process for both should be revised. The remainder of the federal budget placed us more than $16 trillion in debt; to attend to this, sequester and tax law expiration dates place the country at the edge of a financial disaster cliff.

The economy on Main Street, while improving slowly, is fragile. Therefore, increased taxes for those earning less than $250,000 a year should remain low.

There should be changes in the Medicare system to make it more cost effective; more specifically, costs in the medical service payment system should be made as efficient and cost effective as possible.

The traditional Medicare payment system is the least costly to operate of all third-party payment systems for any age category, bar none.

That system leaves medical service decisions between patient and doctor. Therefore, moving the age of eligibility up makes no sense from a medical service cost point of view. Keeping the age of eligibility at 65 or lower saves money.

These lowest cost facts apply, no matter whether premiums are paid by individuals or employers. Prescription drug costs are reduced when government agencies making the purchase can seek bids from manufacturers.

We should not allow partisan politics to cause more financial hardship than necessary to achieve vital medical services for anyone.

P. Coker Stogner

W. 9th North Street

Summerville

What went wrong?

The Department of Revenue requires the citizens of South Carolina to give it our personal and sensitive information.

This information has been left on a poorly secured server with no encryption.

“Someone” at DOR clicked on an email link, and a hacker downloaded the citizens’ personal and sensitive information. Then DOR hires a security company after the horse has left the barn and trotted into the next county.

After all of this, reports are written, recommendations made and the initial problems pointed out but no one is allowed to see the report.

While I will be the first to admit that no server security is hack proof, my company is required to encrypt data because of HIPPA laws. We have email protocols, firewalls and secure FTP connections.

Was the company providing the initial security not required to provide these things to DOR? Who was in charge of all the citizens’ data? Why is the report detailing how this happened being kept from the people who pay the bills in this state and who is going to refund the citizens the money it is going to cost to fix this problem?

Was no one in charge?

Is this what smaller government looks and acts like?

Chris Doyle

Sunnyside Way

Summerville

Familiar farce

The Dec. 7 story ”Housing agency director arrested” could almost make me laugh if it weren’t so disturbing. The story explained how after the previous director was fired in 1998 for using a housing authority credit card to pay personal expenses, new policies had been implemented. “Officials pledged such a thing would never happen again.”

And now his successor has been charged with embezzlement.

Who is watching the hen house? Unfortunately, the hen house is our tax money.

I believe it is a microcosm of what is wrong with some local, state and federal government agencies. It is easy to spend other people’s money.

There is no personal pain, well, unless you get caught. Then we can implement new policies so this will never happen again.

Ricky Myatt

Forest Trail

Isle of Palms