After almost four years of Democratic control of the White House and Senate, it is time for voters to evaluate the economic accomplishments of the Obama administration.
The country is in the third year of an unusually weak recovery from the severe recession of 2008-09.
Unemployment remains at or above 8 percent, and this measure doesn’t include many discouraged people who have given up looking for a job.
We have spent over $800 billion on stimulus programs with little to show for it.
The president and a Democratic House and Senate in 2010 pushed through a health-care plan that will curtail Medicare and add billions in annual expenses.
There has been no Senate budget for the past three years, and the deficit has been running over a trillion dollars per year. We are borrowing about 40 percent of what the federal government spends.
The national debt has ballooned to over $16 trillion, and there is no credible plan for repaying this staggering sum over the next decades. Is this the legacy we want to leave for our grandchildren?
So why is President Obama seeking another term in office, and if he succeeds, why does anyone think these problems may not get worse? Are we all asleep?
Robert M. Prioleau
I am fed up with the county governments spending our money on their pet projects. I do not want to pay for free transportation for visitors from the airport to the motels, and I do not want to pay for a skateboard park (Charleston County).
I am fed up with the “going green” attitudes of our county officials. We have enough parks, enough hiking trails, enough green space. When you create a park, you’re taking land off of the tax rolls.
We need to say no to new libraries, no to the proposed aqua center (Dorchester County). The counties get away with a lot by passing bonds, while playing on the ignorance of the public. The average taxpayer does not know that “bond” is a four-letter word for tax.
If the counties have too much money, lower taxes, return it, or create a rainy-day fund. It seems every other year the counties want more and more.
Remember the scam, “Let the tourist pay”? In the 1980s, sales taxes in many counties was 5 percent; now Charleston’s is 8.5 percent; this is higher than the state income tax.
I am also fed up with the school boards asking for more money. They cite smaller classrooms or whatever is needed. Many of my grade school and high school classes had 30 or more students, and we did fine. Our lunch was in a brown paper bag with a peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich; we did not have free breakfast and lunches.
The school boards and counties look at the taxpayer like we are nothing but a bunch of fools with excess funds. The “fool” may be correct, for most tax raises are voter approved.
As a member of the Tea Party, supporter of the FairTax and now a member of CARE (Citizens Acting for Responsible Education), I will carry my “fed up” attitude to the County Council meetings. We need to speak-up and fight back, or the tax demons will take it all. Learn more about CARE. Go to our Facebook site at Dorchester CARE and join the fight.
George Orwell introduced us to the language of Newspeak in his novel “1984.” Newspeak is similar to the English language (Oldspeak) but has a reduced vocabulary and avoids traditional metaphors.
The purpose of Newspeak is to prevent thought crimes. Today we have government diversity officers and TV announcers to help us avoid Oldspeak terms with offensive etymologies.
For example, take the Newspeak word “terrorism.” We have been taught to use it in place of terms that might unfairly cast groups of people in the wrong light. Words such as jihad or islamofascism are definitely out of order. After all, the perpetrators of violence could be fundamentalist Christians.
Sadly, Newspeak fails its purpose when overused. When the average American hears the announcer describe daily acts of terrorism using Newspeak, he thinks of bearded guys with AK-47s screaming “allah Akbar.” Despite the best efforts of diversity officers, the thought crime of Islamophobia occurs.
Perhaps we need a new term to replace the word terrorism, since it is worn out by overuse. I suggest “unhappy situations of no moral significance involving unpersons.”
Beresford Creek Street
Mayor Joe Riley’s decision to pave the green out of the West Ashley Greenway has taken yet another dark, petroleum-covered turn for the worse.
In preparation for paving this formerly scenic green space, the mayor and his staff have disregarded existing Greenway users, cutting off all neighborhood access to the Greenway, except at the intersection of existing paved roads.
Dog walkers and people with disabilities are forced onto roads with no sidewalks, unless they’re lucky enough to be able to get over the three-foot black fabric barricade now acting as a barrier through every neighborhood slated for this round of paving.
If you live near the Greenway but are not yet impacted by this reality, you should read on.
A July Post and Courier article reported that the project would hug the edges and “create as large an unpaved section as possible.” Why then is the area reserved for work 25 feet wide wherever possible? And we don’t need to look very far to see that in the area near South Windermere, the asphalt “Greenway” goes right down the center. I see none of this “hugging the edges” we were promised in the news.
I’d like to see survey lines letting citizens know where this asphalt that will hug the edges will go. I’d like to see it before I see the asphalt.
It’s not too late for Mayor Riley to stop this terrible legacy. I’d hate for one of his last projects in the tourist mecca of Charleston to be putting down more asphalt over green, when we all know there are more sustainable and more desirable permeable surfaces that would please all the Greenway’s users.
The neighborhoods south of Parkshore used to have easy, daily, back-yard access to the Greenway. It’s not too late to reconsider a pervious paving solution.
I recently had the pleasure of attending a breast cancer survivor celebration at one of our local hospitals. These ladies have an excellent chance of a cure due primarily to early detection and treatment.
Unfortunately, one of Mr. Obama’s medical advisory groups recommended this year that a primary method of discovering early breast cancer, namely mammography, be severely curtailed.
This because a large number of mammograms yield false positive results and because of bad medicine, these women are sometimes harmed by unnecessary treatment.
So, in its “we know what’s best for you attitude,” the committee essentially threw potential future groups of survivors under the bus, saying it is for the greater good that you should suffer rather than risk unnecessary treatments to those without the disease.
This is wrong-headed thinking in my opinion.
This same group has made a similar recommendation against PSA tests for prostate cancer. They take two of the largest groups of cancer patients and vote against early detection.
These types of pronouncements are part and parcel of Obamcare and are much more frightening to me than the huge costs and complexity of the bill.
James R. Goodgame
Certified Radiological Physicist
American Board of Radiology
Radiation Engineering and Physics, LLC