Ethics reform

The Dec. 27 editorial titled, "Real-life case for ethics reform," was right on the mark. Would the NCAA let players referee their own games? Would the NFL? Heck no, it would be foolish, that's why they have officials. There is too much at stake and that also applies to our legislators.

It doesn't make a difference if you are a Democrat, Republican or an independent, you have to agree that the ten- member House Ethics Committee should be dissolved and all complaints reviewed by an independent bipartisan State Ethics Commission.

Once this happens, you will see legislators "do the right thing" and look out for their constituents and the wonderful state of South Carolina. Everyone needs a little supervision once in a while and our legislators are no different.

We have not had any significant ethics reform in 22 years. As a fiscally conservative candidate running for the State House District 110, I fully support ethics reform and an independent Ethics Commission.

I believe South Carolina's best days are in front of us but we have got to get on board with ethics reform.

Russell B. Guerard

Tradd Street

Charleston

Not 'fully covered'

State Rep. Joseph Jefferson is enthusiastic about the Affordable Care Act ("Affordable Care Act a big step forward," Dec. 28.) He describes a "health coverage workshop" where ACA brokers told the participants that "they were now fully covered" for a premium cost between $33 and $64 per month.

The question that he left unasked and unanswered was "What is the true cost of providing the coverage?" A recent article in Forbes Magazine online (Dec. 5) indicates typical rates for a 40-year-old man as $309 and for a 64-year-old man as $806.

So where is the additional $3,300 to $8,900 per year coming from? You guessed it. The brokest nation in the history of the planet is going deeper in debt.

Those of us who oppose Obamacare (the ACA) are not against affordable health care. We are against a huge, unsustainable government bureaucracy that will collapse in a few years, leaving the health care system worse than ever.

Tom FaiR

Houghton Drive

Charleston

Faulty aim

One couldn't help but notice the reference to Vincent Sheehen's position on the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in the article about Gov. Nikki Haley's proud display of a Christmas-gifted handgun via Facebook.

Those of us who know and support Vincent Sheheen know that he is from South Carolina and owns guns for hunting. And agree that he should have every right to do so.

But can the public posting of our governor's smiley pic with a 15 round, 9mm pistol - potentially viewed by any and all of the world's Facebook fans - old and young - rich and poor, law abiding or not, mentally healthy or not, be part of the debate?

Are there really voters out there who think the posting, and the message, does anything positive for the image of South Carolina? Especially when considered against the article the next day, regarding the tragic death of a toddler who picked up his father's gun from a side table and accidently killed himself.

Support of the Second Amendment is one thing. Public expression of private thanks for the gift of a handgun - by a governor, and via media with the potential for national or international viewing by anyone was a serious lapse of judgment.

Presumably, those who are victimized when the criminal or mentally ill put their hands on a gun, or who want to help others avoid that fate, will agree.

Geoff Waggoner

Waggoner Law Firm

Belle Hall Parkway

Mount Pleasant

State income tax

While I applaud The Post and Courier for writing an editorial about the merits of not having a state income tax, I disagree with the notion that South Carolina can't get by without an income tax. The South Carolina FairTax Act (H-3116/S-185) eliminates our 7 percent personal income tax and 5 percent corporate income tax by repealing the exemptions in our sales tax code.

Research by economist Art Laffer in "Rich States, Poor States," a publication available at ALEC.org, shows that 62 percent of the new jobs created in America from 2002-2012 were in the nine zero income tax states. The Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council (SBECouncil.org) shows that the top six small business states are zero income tax states.

Our neighbors in North Carolina have a plan to eliminate state income tax in 2015. To compete, we must follow suit. Travis Brown, author of "How Money Walks," documents that entrepreneurs are fleeing the high income tax states for the zero income tax states. There is a good reason why most professional golfers reside in zero income tax Florida.

Please encourage Gov. Haley to get behind the South Carolina FairTax Act and ask your state legislators to call for a vote on it in 2014. When South Carolina families realize a big increase in take-home pay, we'll start seeing our small businesses expand and hire.

John Steinberger

Edinburgh Road

Charleston

Promote diversity

It is interesting that minority enrollment is a concern in the search for a new leader at the College of Charleston. The flagship institutions of higher education in this state - USC and Clemson - have nothing to toot a whistle about on this related issue.

Minorities make up almost 30 percent of the state's population. Only Winthrop's and Francis Marion's minority enrollment reflect this statistic. If you deduct minorities enrolled in athletic programs at USC and Clemson, their enrollment is less than 10 percent.

I will be the first one to admit that the recruitment pool of minority students is shrinking, and it is not the institutions' fault. Much of the fault lies with parents who do not provide their children with the exposure, support and challenges they need to succeed. They need to get more deeply involved in their children's educational preparation early in their lives.

This will aid in decreasing dropouts, improving discipline and removing roadblocks to academic achievement. Education leaders in this state need to put greater emphasis on early childhood education to increase the pool.

There are many qualified minority professors of chemistry, math, engineering, business, drama, history, etc. who would be excellent role models for these students.

Finally, South Carolina's governor and the General Assembly should set a goal of more than 10 percent minority student enrollment in all public higher education institutions by the year 2015.

Perry R. Leazer

Certificate Court

Charleston

No shame

President Obama, by deed, has shown that he is one of the most shameless, self-absorbed narcissists that this country has ever seen. The "selfie" he took with two other dignitaries at Mandela's funeral is proof of the pudding. He also has the unmitigated gall to continuously go on television asking young people to buy into his health care scheme.

Like leading sheep to slaughter, our illustrious leader shows no shame in burdening our youth with his socialist dictates, which force the masses to buy a product against their will.

No longer do we have a right under our Constitution to make our own choices. Obama and his ilk know what is right for us whether we like it or not. It can only lead to a revolt.

It's not just about class warfare any more. His vision for our country has brought us to the point of bankruptcy, leaving all painfully aware that they have been lied to. It is obvious that it's his way or the highway.

Or is it? When the people of this country are hit in their wallets, then and only then will they see what Obama really is - just another dictating politician in a suit.

It's time we the people stand up against the tyranny of an out-of-control government.

Gregory J. Topliff

Glenwood Drive

Warrenville