Household income slipped dramatically from 2007 until the present. Families have less to spend, and given the constant increase in the cost of necessities even buying those presents challenges.

We learn daily of our politicians and lobbying groups calling for tax increases for infrastructure, education, environment and prisons to name a few. Former Sen. Ernest Hollings wants a value added tax slapped on everyone and everything.

Of course, each additional tax subtracts from what families have to spend on living, driving their living standards even further into the pits.

First, we need to make sure our current taxes go to programs that most need them. It is called prioritizing. Everyone, every business does this when the funds don’t cover the “wants.” Second, we must not snatch more from hard- pressed families.

And third, anyone who wants to raise taxes for a specific need ought to identify which current government program should be terminated to pay for it. The Legislature then, if it agrees, can drop the low priority program and fund the higher priority one.

For instance, the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce is lobbying hard for taxing gas to fund infrastructure improvements. They should also lobby to cancel some state program to pay for that.

Of course, the chamber would catch flak from those who like the low priority program and would have to defend why it should be terminated.

My guess is that will not happen either with the chamber or any legislator. They do not want to take grief but do want to enjoy the kudos of those who get the tax increase and who are probably financial supporters of the chamber or the legislator.

Do not raise taxes and punish the middle class who are struggling to stay above water. Chop the less useful programs and fund the most useful ones.

Frank Leister

Archdale Street

Charleston

The article in the Jan. 27 Post and Courier about fences for sand on Folly Beach brought back memories. After the 1940 storm my dad’s brother, Dr. Austin Ball, decided to sell his front beach home at 1101 East Atlantic Avenue on Folly and asked my father, John C. Ball, to put it on the market.

It seems that losing the porch roof was not the problem, but that every high tide came under the house to the back steps, and the house was not piled. He figured it would soon fall over and be totaled. Dad decided to buy it and hoped to get a summer’s use out of it before disaster happened.

He built a retaining wall out in front of the house to catch the drifting sand and it did, but the wind dug out deep holes on either end of the wall. That summer a friend from Virginia was visiting us and suggested using snow fencing to catch the sand.

Dad was not sure where to find such, so since many lots were being cleared and huge piles of underbrush put out on the street to be picked up, dad got a cable, weaved it through these piles, dragged them down the street with his car to our house and put them on the beach to catch the sand.

It worked exceptionally well, and soon the sand dunes were building back in front of our house.

The neighbors saw this and started doing the same thing, and it was not long before we had large sand dunes in front of the house and down the beach.

The house lasted until 1989, when Hugo did it in.

Ed Ball

Eastlake Road

Mount Pleasant

A recent letter regarding conducting a real-life trial by closing a traffic lane on the Ashley River bridge for bikes and pedestrians makes perfect sense.

Before we permanently constrict traffic flow into town, the city and other proponents of this project should accommodate a 90-day trial.

If they really think this will work as a permanent change, there should be no hesitation whatsoever in demonstrating this to the citizens of our city.

I think the real reason they don’t want to do this is they know it won’t work.

Chris Christopher

Halsey Street

Charleston

There was something omitted in the front page article reporting the details of Gov. Nikki Haley’s State of the State address. During her address the governor spoke about the recent passing of Gov. James Edwards.

In addition, Gov. Haley graciously recognized former first lady Ann Edwards, who was in attendance in the House chamber.

Gov. Haley has previously mentioned how much she appreciated Gov. Edwards’ support and valued very highly his good counsel.

It was a very nice and kind thing for her to recognize the former governor for his dedication and service to the state of South Carolina.

Grayson Carter

Heriot Street

Charleston

Career politicians lead me to visualize vultures sitting on their high-above-us perches in Columbia and Washington. They watch us struggle along day to day while they spend our money to protect their own political future.

I like to think they originally chose their service path to work for the folks back home, but somewhere along the way, the self-interest tornado seems to suck them in and we are forgotten.

We’ve recently gotten a temporary break on gas prices. The vultures have opened their eyes and are acting like it’s a pile of free money on which they can feast.

Our representatives near and far are rushing to whack us with a tax because they haven’t been addressing the road problems all along. They seem to have forgotten that gas prices can go back up more quickly than they came down, especially with the unrest in the Middle East.

Raising gas taxes won’t just affect automobile drivers. The cost goes up for emergency vehicles, school and city buses, taxis, garbage, service and delivery vehicles, and all their costs just get passed on to us.

And lest we forget, waterways are “roads for boats,” and they want a piece of tax pie, too. Why is it that no project can ever fly or die on its own, but there must be a big pile-on?

The road situations have been developing for some time. How were our legislators planning to address the problem before gas prices came down? They need to keep working on that plan until it’s perfected.

S.M. Salmon

Runnymede Lane

Summerville

Some parents, after having children, relinquish all responsibility for them to the government not only for their education bur for life skills as well.

Respect, morals, discipline, consequences for bad behavior, and manners should be taught at home. Without these skills students are more likely to be disruptive in class, taking valuable instruction time from the teacher to correct the behavior.

Elected officials — county, state and federal — won’t speak this truth for fear of voter retribution from the same parents who would be offended for being exposed as negligent.

Until parents show an interest and express their expectations to their children concerning their education, it is unrealistic to ask public schools in general and teachers in particular to produce a meaningful improvement in test scores, let alone a readiness for higher education.

These comments do not pertain to all parents, most of whom work hard and still find time for their children. We all have a vested interest in public education no matter if we have school-age children or not. They are the future of our nation.

Let your representatives and school boards at all levels know this.

Taxpayers, while doing their part to fund public education, rightly expect parents to do their part in assisting in their children’s education.

Pat Sanders

Argonne Street

Charleston