Try aid instead
I feel empathy with the children from Central America crossing the Mexican border in the thousands. These kids and their families are fleeing countries that have corrupt political systems, very high unemployment, poverty, starvation and high crime.
But many countries in the world have these problems and additionally, racial and religious genocide and unceasing war. The U.S. public faces a simple choice due to these unfortunates relying on government assistance for basic necessities and inevitably various forms of welfare, paid for by our tax dollars.
How many "undocumented" children is enough: 100,000, 500,000, a million per year? We could try to help every child in the world living in conditions similar to those in Central America.
What would satisfy those U.S. citizens who insist this is a humanitarian crisis and should be dealt with without regard to cost? I see no evidence that the miserable conditions in these Central American countries have changed in the last five to 10 years.
Even with all our resources, there is a limit to our ability to help the world, and it is determined by our economic strength. If we weaken our economy through our generosity with the public purse (tax dollars), we will be increasingly unable to help our own children.
Surely a better solution is targeted foreign aid, with agreed upon goals, to selected countries. If goals are not met, then aid is reduced or cut off until the goals are achieved.
William B. Rickards
Ashley Hill Drive
Cover urgent care
Many thanks to Mayor Joe Riley for standing up to Blue Cross/Blue Shield of South Carolina as it moves to drop coverage of two excellent urgent care facilities.
Nason Medical Center has been so important to our medical care that if Blue Cross drops it from its list of approved providers, my husband and I plan to drop Blue Cross. It is the only way we can think of to stand up to this type of bullying.
Pamela C. Tisdale
Keep JCC in use
I read in the July 18 Post and Courier about the sale of the Jewish Community Center. What a grand opportunity for senior citizens of West Ashley. Instead of the city building a new senior facility by Roper St. Francis, why not purchase the JCC?
Granted, some renovations would have to be made and a covering for the pool installed, but at least there would be a pool, unlike the plans for the new senior center which doesn't include one. It makes sense to me. Is it a possibility?
There is a lot of talk in Columbia and Washington, D.C., about funding our roads and infrastructure. Most of that talk involves increasing the gasoline tax, which is to be used exclusively for maintaining our roads. At the same time, the Obama administration is issuing orders that automobile and truck fuel efficiency must increase.
Aren't the proposals contradictory? If you double the gasoline tax and double the mileage a vehicle gets, you will get the same amount of money in the end.
Using South Carolina's 16-cents-per-gallon tax and an automobile that gets 20 mpg with a 20-gallon gasoline tank as an example, that driver will drive 400 miles and pay $3.20 in taxes or 80 cents per 100 miles driven. If the tax is 32 cents per gallon and the automobile gets 40 mpg, the driver will still pay 80 cents per 100 miles driven. So where is the increase in financing for roads and infrastructure?
Big trucks will pay more - that will make up the difference. But the EPA expects truck manufacturers to increase fuel efficiency too. Plus we are trying to cut down the number of trucks on the roads by using railroads from ports to central distribution points.
Gov. Nikki Haley has said she will have a plan for road maintenance funding in January 2015. She is still opposing increasing the fuel tax, so I hope she has a good plan. In the meantime our legislators and congressmen need to start thinking about this same thing. They need to be soliciting public input on how to pay for future roads, bridges and other needed infrastructure.
Although I am not a big supporter, maybe a mileage tax is the best idea. Maybe removing the cap of $300 on the automobile sales tax is a solution - if the extra revenue is reserved for infrastructure.
After all, when you buy a $100,000 electric car that will pay zero gas tax, you can probably afford a little extra sales tax. Maybe South Carolina will finally start issuing license fees for trailers, based on trailer capacity.
I don't know anyone who wants to give up the freedom that comes with having an automobile. A lot of people think we still need more roads, and our roads and bridges are rapidly reaching the point of deterioration. How many more years are we going to push this down the road (pun intended)? Give your legislators a push.
Raise our spirits
It was great to read two uplifting articles in the July 20 Faith & Values section - "Dodging life's tackles" and (strangers responding to) "Dad's heartbreaking plea." How about more of those?
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