Catching on yet?

I have read about people complaining about their recent paychecks shrinking. Why it is such a surprise to people who voted for Obama that they will have to pay for his continued spending?

Obama promised no new taxes for the middle class, but, hey, wake up! This one increase in payroll withholding for Social Security is just the beginning. If Obama gets his way and takes away the mortgage interest deduction, the middle class will be paying thousands more in taxes each year for this alone.

And what about the child tax credit? That can also mean thousands of dollars for families with several children.

We still do not know the financial effects of Obamacare. The sad thing is that Obama is getting away with blaming George W. Bush for the mess he is making.

America needs to stand up against being financially raped by our own government. We have all been used to our good way of life for so long that we are not realizing that it is being taken away, one new law at a time.

Before we know it, we will be just like Europe. Then it will be too late.

June Decker

Sanderson Lane

Summerville

The men’s club

I was happy to see the Jan. 14 column by Maureen Dowd, “President’s team is still a man’s world,” take President Obama to task for his failure to benefit from the advice of qualified woman.

I was also happy to see that she attributed it to the man, not his party.

In fact it is the man, a lot of men, that are the problem, not “the Republican Party.”

I grew up in Massachusetts, as a Republican, at a time when I was represented by a black man (Sen. Ed Brooke) and white woman (Rep. Edith Norse Rogers).

As the Democrats took over Massachusetts, it became an “old boys club” to the extent that when I was president of Massachusetts Women Lawyers in the ’70s, Teddy Kennedy could not find one woman lawyer qualified to even be considered for a federal judicial appointment.

The senators do not select the judges, but they do submit the list of names from which the judges are selected.

I must say I would like to see this party name-calling dispensed with and officials evaluated for their personal actions.

Loe Anne Kimball Pino

Pinehurst Avenue

Summerville

Profound loss

On Jan. 7, my son went for his daily run with his 2-year-old dog Vizsla. That run turned into tragedy when his companion was hit by a car on Congressional Drive.

The young women in the black or blue SUV that hit him never stopped, despite a witness yelling at her to stop.

Perhaps she knew she was traveling much faster than the posted 25 mph speed limit. Perhaps she was texting and distracted enough not to see the dog. But shame on her.

I drove the badly injured dog and my son to an emergency clinic. The clinic workers gave the dog oxygen and performed CPR once, but he was gone. Too many internal injuries. Then they handed us a bill for $546.

How sad it is such facilities can take advantage of these situations and overcharge in times of desperation.

I would like to see the young woman who hit our dog offer her sympathy.

Drivers who find themselves in this situation need to stop and offer apologies and assistance. The loss of a beloved pet is devastating and no different than the loss of a family member.

Holly Meckley

Kemper Lakes Court

Summerville

Mark him out

Mark Sanford is running for Congress.

Taxpayers and voters will recall our governor absenting himself and concealing his whereabouts from all of us and his staff, and we are not prepared to forget it.

When the ship is under way, the commanding officer can’t just go missing and leave the crew in the lurch while he’s off “clearing his head,” I think the term was.

Mr. Sanford needs to go get a job — one that does not have anything to do with the public trust. The last time we tried that, he managed to play himself off the team, and South Carolina hasn’t suffered for his absence.

Why ruin a good thing?

John S. Gilsenan

Purcell Lane

Daniel Island

School traffic

The School of the Arts and the Academic Magnet School afford privileged Charleston County students educational opportunities not available to the majority. To avail themselves of these opportunities, students must forgo being picked up in their neighborhoods by school buses. Instead, they must travel to nearby collection points from which they can be bused to the schools.

Of course, not every child rides the school bus. Some parents consider their children too important to ride mass transit and take them by car to the school door. Even more privileged children drive their own cars to school. The result is that instead of a small number of buses (and a small number of cars belonging to school faculty and staff), the roadways around the school are flooded with unnecessary traffic.

I have not dealt with the traffic at these schools, but I have on several occasions left West Ashley High School at dismissal time after attending a meeting there. Although the posted speed limit is 25 mph, I have on these occasions narrowly missed being run into by cars driven by parents and children moving much faster.

But it is the very drivers of these unnecessary vehicles who are quoted in a Jan. 14 article as raising a hue and cry over the traffic jam that has resulted since the city has forbidden them to create havoc in the neighborhoods around the schools.

Samuel M. Moskow

Fidling Road

Charleston

Plugged guns

In the Jan. 6 Sports section, I came upon an article about duck hunting. I am not, nor will I ever be a hunter, but I like to be well-informed.

A section of the article puzzled me. It read, “Shotguns have to be plugged before use for hunting ducks.” Reading further, I found out that means you can only use three shells in a plugged shotgun.

It was disturbing to me because there is a law about how many shells can be used to hunt ducks, but you can buy a magazine that holds 30 rounds and use it to shoot and kill innocent children.

There is definitely something wrong with that picture.

Paul N. Mack

Peppertree Lane

North Charleston

Education first

The late UCLA coach John Wooden, winner of many national collegiate basketball championships, said that he always told his players that getting a college degree was important. They may be very good players, but there are also other good players. They may not make it as professionals.

They need a Plan B. More than 90 percent of Wooden’s players earned degrees in money-making subjects, and if they are not playing basketball, they are in successful careers elsewhere.

Many universities are abusing athletes to make a dollar and kicking them to the curb after their eligibility has been exhausted without any tools to be successful.

It is the responsibility of the student and parents to lead in this effort to ensure education first, but too many are entering this phase of life with one goal: money. They never realize that many obstacles can destroy that dream.

It is very satisfying to enjoy the excellent run in football, the resounding dunk in basketball and the blazing speed in track and field.

After the joy, what do you have?

We should encourage parents to talk about education and the importance of learning at an early level (K-4) and getting a sound foundation in the basics: reading, writing and arithmetic.

With those assets, they will be prepared to think and achieve with success.

Perry R. Leazer

Certificate Court

Charleston