Letters to the editor: Feb. 4

February 4, 2014 

  • New election-year rules

    Letters about candidates in 2014 political races are limited to 150 words. No commentary from candidates will be published. Candidates may respond, every 30 days, in 250-word letters to editorials, news articles and columns in which they are the primary focus.

Free markets won't protect rural phone lines

Aimed at Frankfort, where another attempt to exempt land-line telephone users from the protection of the Public Service Commission is in the works, articles are appearing in Kentucky newspapers selling deregulation in the name of "free markets."

If Kentuckians hear an honest discussion of how the public service market works, they won't buy into giving up their rights.

Where there is a limited public resource, such as space for telephone lines and radio frequency space for wireless use, the free market cannot operate the way most of us think; only the largest and richest players can afford to get in the game.

On the consumer end, without protections such as now exist in Kentucky under the PSC, large companies can afford to neglect small markets and isolated citizens. A lot of Kentuckians still rely on land-line telephones.

The free market is more complicated than a slogan where vital services are involved. As far back as the first transcontinental railroad, when government support enriched some but left many small investors broke, regulation of public service markets grew to protect all parties.

The salesmen say a new law would retain some regulation, but they offer thin soup and call it gravy.

Frankfort should keep consumer protections for land-line users.

Bill Harned

Shepherdsville


Paul is clueless

Sen. Rand Paul has no c1ue how difficult it is to secure employment.

Unemployment benefits are meager, providing for living essentials. How does the senator suggest these folks survive?

Extended benefits covers an estimated 1.4 million with hundreds of thousands being children.

Since the Great Depression, federal expenditures have been used to enhance economic growth and job creation that the private sector was unable or unwilling to provide.

The goal of the senator, and the Tea Party and Republican Party is to slash government spending to the bone. They have sabotaged and obstructed the federal government's ability to heal the economy in a timely manner.

The Tea Party-inspired shutdown of the government that caused a downgrade in the nation's credit rating have damaged the economy and resulted in the loss of revenue and millions of jobs.

The economic collapse occurred on the Republican clock, caused by two 10-year wars unpaid for, a prescription drug law unpaid for, necessary expenditures to dig our way out of the mess, broadening economic inequality, and now sabotage and obstruction to clean up their mess.

The senator's belief that extended benefits do a disservice to the unemployed is as callous and irrational as it gets.

One has to worry about his knowledge of history and his intellect.

Danny Shearer

Lexington


Beware fluorescent bulbs

Compact fluorescent bulbs, or CFLs, contain mercury. Halogen bulbs use halogen. Beware.

I know of four times where CFLs caught fire and put out enough fumes and smoke to fill a house.

I was in my office when a CFL bulb in an overhead fixture, with an open shade, started to flash yellow two or three times.

At first, I just thought it was burning out. Then it began emitting lots of smoke. I jumped up and turned it off.

In that short time it burned the fixture around the bulb, which left an odor for two days afterward.

Another time, my daughter was asleep with her light on. I saw a yellow flashing light and rushed to her bedside lamp to turn it off.

The smoking bulb was a CFL. My brother had left his house for a short time. When he returned, the whole house was full of smoke. He had two CFL bulbs do the same at different times. Do not leave a CFL bulb on unattended.

Then there is the halogen bulb. There is a statement on the manufacturer's label: The inner halogen capsule operates at high temperatures and pressures, and could shatter unexpectedly, creating the risk of personal injury, fire, or property damage.

Anyone having problems with new energy bulbs, please speak out. You might save someone injury from a fire or exposure to gaseous fumes.

Barbara Daugherty

Lexington


Stuck with the bill

As I was preparing my federal unemployment tax return, I found out that Kentucky is a "credit reduction state."

This might sound good at first, but on closer inspection I found it to be not such a desirable thing.

As it is stated in the instructions, "a state that has not repaid money it borrowed from the federal government to pay unemployment benefits is called a credit reduction state."

Since our politicians love to hide behind names for programs, this program actually means that business owners get to directly reduce the credit taken out by the state government by paying money back to the federal government for them.

I am happy to report that my FUTA tax increased by 2.5 times. In simple math terms, this means that if I originally owed $100 on the FUTA return, I now owed $250.

I would like to thank our state government for giving me the opportunity to pay back loans it has taken out and not been able to repay.

This equates to somebody else applying for, signing for and then alerting you to the fact that you need to repay this loan that you did not request.

If I was to operate my small business the way the state operates the government, the same powers would have put me in jail a long time ago.

Mark W. Dail

Lexington


Out-of-control debt

I continue to watch the out-of-control national debt of the United States.

As of Dec. 12, our total public debt amounted to a mind- boggling $17.226 trillion.

We can point fingers all day long on the root causes and make excuses. When are we going to be honest with ourselves?

Both sides of the aisle are to blame. And the bottom line is that all of us are accountable, including me, because we are allowing this reckless government spending and borrowing of money to continue with no end in sight.

What we are doing to resolve these issues is not working. It's not someone else's problem — we all own this problem.

What can we do?

It's simple. Stop the madness and work together. Let's set aside our political party loyalties for a change. Vote the career politicians out at all levels of government and give new politicians an opportunity to try. We can do better.

Please consider the next time you are at the voting booth, our country is in financial dire straits.

Vincent Osburn

Louisville

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