Throw them out

Is it wise to raise the credit limit on a Visa card for a college student who uses it to buy gas for his car, snacks, brand name clothes, expensive shoes, music and games for his phone?

What if the teen tells his parents that he is responsibly trying to "avoid a default catastrophe."

No matter what words he uses, he is spending money that he doesn't have. This scenario is exactly what Congress is doing to the taxpayers.

When I was growing up, my parents saw through my arguments that a purchase would be an "investment," or would "save us money," or was a sale opportunity we "couldn't afford to miss." Their answer was usually "no."

I am amazed at each day that passes that we don't drop everything, have a special election and boot those profligate monkeys out of office. One can't even say they're spending like drunken sailors, because even drunken sailors stumble back to the ship when they run out of money.

Hayden D. Shook

Regatta Road

Charleston

Self-righteousness

What drives us Christians to think we should be able to deny service to those with whom we don't agree (or like) on the basis of "violating religious beliefs"?

How many times do we have to re-read the parable of the Good Samaritan?

Do we really think Jesus would have denied carpentry work to someone on the basis of "violating religious beliefs"? Never was a man more inclusive than he, yet for some reason we think being judgmental about others to the point of excluding them is part of our Christian duty.

That it took Arizona Gov. Brewer more than two minutes to decide to veto such a hateful bill is reason for concern.

The bill was a desecration of the First Amendment and a total disregard for civil rights. Clearly, political pressure was prevalent as "Christian politics" was trying to impose certain beliefs on America through government action and legislation.

In the end, the business community brought sufficient influence to create sense from a mess that clearly was anything but "Christian" in application. For the Christian community, it was simply a blatantly ugly exercise in self-righteousness.

Skip Crane

Seabrook Island Road

Johns Island

Higher education

If we discount the hyperbole at both ends of the spectrum regarding Common Core - "It's the best thing that has ever happened in education," to "It is Big Brother trying to manipulate the minds of our children" - we might have a balanced conversation about why we need to transform education in the 21st century in the United States.

In simple terms: We are fast becoming unable to compete with the rest of the world in industry, technology and growing our economy. This is not a legacy we can afford to leave future generations.

This realization has not been lost on the business world, which has high tech jobs available but unable to be filled in most parts of our country. From an economic perspective, it is counterproductive to hire an individual who is going to require thousands of dollars' worth of training before he can effectively function in the job.

The response is to out-source production to countries with a surplus of skilled labor willing to work for much lower wages than their American counterparts.

Accredited American high schools are graduating students who simply can't successfully function in the academic world.

Indeed, some 40 percent of college students will take at least one remedial course for no credit, amounting to one billion dollars in tuition each year, because they lack the requisite skills and learning to succeed in college.

Steve Driscoll

Folly Road

Charleston

Licenses necessary

I support the right to bear arms without equivocation. I am not in favor of constitutional right to carry.

As with many rights and privileges, licensing is not an infringement but a protection. We license drivers, as well as doctors, lawyers, teachers and others numerous to mention.

Anyone who desires to carry a gun should welcome the knowledge that his fellow carriers had background checks, training and target qualification.

I can't come up with one reason to object to concealed carry permits.

Allowing just anyone to carry a gun is like allowing someone to drive a car or a surgeon to operate without a license. Possession of a firearm and the right to carry that firearm are two different things.

Requiring a permit to carry a concealed weapon is reasonable and justified.

I don't see a constitutional right to carry as reasonable or necessary.

Stew Williams

Chisolm Road

Johns Island

Obama's goal

I'm responding to the Feb. 25 op-ed titled "What does Obama really stand for?" by Fred Hiatt. Obama has stated he wants to "fundamentally transform America." Nevertheless, Mr. Hiatt seems puzzled. Apparently, he's not familiar with Saul Alinsky, Obama's intellectual mentor.

Alinsky was the founding father of "community organizing." His training manual was titled "Rules for Revolution" and was dedicated to Lucifer. He later changed the title to "Rules for Radicals."

His manual instructs disciples in the morality of power: "Power is good and powerlessness is evil." According to Alinsky, virtually any means of gaining power is permissible.

Over time, the Alinsky radical infiltrates the education system and media; he uses political, immoral and illegal means to corrupt the culture, the economic system and institutions of power.

Destroying ("transforming") the established order, his objective is to transfer power from the haves to the have-nots and achieve power for himself.

Michelle Obama once said, "Barack is not a politician. He's a community activist." As a community organizer in Chicago, Obama taught and practiced Alinsky's theology for years.

His activities involved ACORN, which used Alinsky techniques and lost its federal funding in 2009 due to a scandal.

Radicals have co-opted the Democratic Party. Left with abstract chants like "hope and change" and "income equality," people project their own visions.

Why "transform" the most successful nation in history? Radicals don't compare America to other societies but to an unattainable fantasy - a progressive heaven on earth.

Nothing beats heaven. Engaged in total warfare, Alinsky disciples use any means to gain power and destroy their enemies - propaganda, class warfare, climate hysteria, extortion, character assassination, lies and abuse of federal power.

The IRS scandal, Obama's health care lies and his disregard of the Constitution clearly fit the method of operation.

Hiatt concludes that Obama, most of all, is driven to win elections and power.

He has it half right. To grasp the other half, read Alinsky's manual.

Bill Bissette

Short Street

Charleston

Minimum wage

Imagine your life if you had received no wage increase since 1968.

The minimum hourly wage today, $7.25, has 23 percent less purchasing power than the minimum wage was 45 years ago.

Why would any responsible employer not want to follow the federal move towards $10.10?

The defensive, knee-jerk counter-argument theorizes that higher costs would reduce labor demand. The Congressional Budget Office estimates up to half a million jobs lost.

But are there not any upsides?

In those states where the rate has already been hiked, there is no evidence of significant loss.

Instead, there has been more productivity/efficiency and less turnover.

Economics is never crystal clear, and wide swaths of literature counter that hiking the rate will indeed have significant positive offsets.

There is majority agreement that it will lift around 1 million out of poverty and raise wages for 16 million. Even Walmart is mulling an increase. Like Gap, it knows that this increase would allow the majority of its clientele to spend more, increasing its revenue.

Also, in low-inflation periods, industries like fast food, where wages are mostly meager, increased labor costs can be offset with modest price hikes.

What is often not mentioned is the direct stimulating impact that increased hourly wage spending will have on the economy and hence jobs.

Reactionaries incorrectly refer to the top 1 percent as job creators. No, the real job creators in the USA are the middle class. This is where collective increased consumer spending drives revenue, kick-starting job generation.

Aside from economic justice, this raise would enable today's struggling millions to reach the first rung in that ladder to earned dignified and decent job remuneration.

David J. Waldron

Galera Lane

Mount Pleasant

Bike lane safety

I find it disingenuous of you to couch the new bike lane policy on a need for safety. You mention only three fatalities, and no time frame. Over three months? Ten years?

You also mention a very puny 1,666 signatures on a petition versus 56,000 inconvenienced automobiles. The exhaust from additional traffic delays is likely to cause more harm.

It will be interesting to see if, on some rainy day, you will publish how few people use the bike lane.

Larry Wiessmann

Seabrook Island Road

Johns Island

Pollution control

I have been to Paradise Island in Nassau, Bahamas, where multiple cruise ships are in port all the time. I have never heard of an issue with pollution, nor do I see it. The water is emerald green, and the town has fresh non-smog clean air. What's the complaint?

A recent letter writer's related comment on multiple cars of wealthy folks was interesting. Two of us drivers have three cars.

We use the large SUV on road trips and the smaller Toyota around town, but I can only drive one car at a time. To really do something about pollution, we could end all air travel for the public tomorrow.

Won't happen.

Andy Werner

Herons Walk

North Charleston

Fix the roads

I am sick and tired of reading letters from people who want our tax dollars spent on bike paths.

A March 5 letter spoke of a family of five riding bikes on dangerous Riverland Drive on James Island. The writer conjectured that the family was staying at the county park where, by the way, there are miles of bike trails.

Stop trying to spend our money on bike trails that generate no road taxes.

The roads on Johns Island are full of potholes and have been for years.

Bohicket and River roads, two of the four main roads on Johns Island, are crumbling from age and are dangerous. Crews repair one pothole and leave five others just as deep two feet away. Careless work with no supervision.

If the people demanding a Kiawah parkway through Johns Island a few years ago put half as much energy into fixing our roads, we would have some pretty nice roads on Johns Island today.

Let's start taxing construction and boat trailers as other states do and use that money for road repairs.

Miriam H. Rockwell

Stardust Way

Johns Island