Government ownership means higher costs
A May 5 letter writer complained about a rate hike by Kentucky American Water. Moving past the obvious reasons for rate hikes, which include increased costs, urban expansion, taxes and burdensome government regulations, just what is it that makes people naively believe government ownership of production magically creates rates that do not increase?
Do people not see that Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and all the other government-run "businesses" are bankrupt, inefficient and lack responsiveness?
Maybe when our government-run schools stopped teaching the principles of capitalism and the truth about socialism and Marxism, people began to lose their understanding of the prosperity and liberty that the free market has imparted.
Maybe it is time for people to seek real knowledge over entertainment. Then again, maybe it is easier to believe in magic.
Jeff "Mario" Smith
Coal criticism suspect
The attacks on the coal industry have largely been driven by a hidden agenda. For several decades, Kentucky and a few other states have enjoyed a competitive advantage in recruiting industry. A large part of this advantage is because of their low rates for electric power.
States in the "rust belt" and on the West Coast know that they can't compete on the basis of electric rates unless they find a way to force the other states to bump up their rates.
Cap and trade or other legislation that will negatively impact electric rates is their answer.
I don't want to sound like an apologist for the coal industry, because it has much room for improvement, especially in the areas of safety and environmental friendliness.
My point is that there seems to be a significant effort by highly paid marketers in the high-rate states to demonize coal. If successful, it can only be harmful to states enjoying comparatively low electric rates.
Unfortunately, the Herald-Leader seems to have bought into this campaign. All the evaluations of the value of the coal industry to Kentucky that I have seen in the paper only refer to the direct value (coal miners salaries, etc.). I have seen nothing that refers to the indirect value for all Kentucky citizens, reflected in lower monthly electric bills and access to jobs created by those lower rates.
I've been a registered Republican since I was old enough to vote some 32 years ago. The Fayette County records will attest to that.
With that said, I want everyone to know that I, just as all Republicans, want what everyone wants: life, liberty and lots of money. Everyone knows that money does buy happiness, unlike the old wives' tales that state otherwise.
I loved it when our current president (and I dare not state his name) allowed former President George W. Bush's tax cuts for the wealthy to extend two years into his own administration, until the end of 2010. In all honesty, that kept billions in tax revenues from the federal coffers, which would have more than offset the budget deficit, but hey, he's the president and I'm all for it. It's helped me live a lot more comfortably and buy a new houseboat, so to heck with the lower- and middle-class citizens. They should have gone to college or inherited millions like I did.
As for the health care legislation that the current president wants for all Americans, all I can say to them is: "Get a job!" Oh, many already have jobs? Well, get another job and use the combined earnings to buy health insurance.
Oh, they have a pre-existing conditions which health insurers won't cover? Well they should have taken better care of themselves like all staunch Republicans do. Join a gym, eat at only high-class restaurants instead of fast food and most of all, become a Republican.
Darrell G. Gross
Bush did the job
The chairman of the Grant County Democratic Party referred to President George W. Bush as an "incompetent" because he failed to capture Osama bin Laden.
Perhaps it was because Bush concentrated on a more important objective: regime change in Iraq. While the Democratic president talked about it, Bush got the job done.
Bush and our troops liberated 50 million Iraqi people from the tyranny of Saddam Hussein. Thanks to Bush, Hussein was deposed, captured, indicted, tried, convicted, sentenced to death and hung. The Iraqi people voted to establish a new national sovereignty. A new constitution was drafted and ratified by a democratic vote of the Iraqi people.
An Iraqi president was elected, an Iraqi cabinet was established and a prime minister was selected. The Iraqi people voted to establish a new parliament and have held local elections. The Iraqis have just had their second parliamentary election and are forming the second new government since the fall of Hussein.
Almost all of the 18 benchmarks for establishing a stable Iraqi government and assuring Iraqi security have been established, including a plan for equitable distribution of oil revenues among the provinces.
Things in Iraq are going so well that Vice President Joe Biden recently gave the Obama administration credit for the successes, even though he and Obama voted against the surge when both were in the Senate.
Criticism of Bush is way out of line.
Edward L. Smith Jr.
Conway serves Ky.
Congratulations to Kentucky's Democratic voters for having the foresight to select Jack Conway as their candidate for Senate come November.
Unlike Republican Senate candidate Rand Paul, who is a self-described water carrier for the national Tea Party movement, Conway is more interested in fighting to serve the needs of Kentuckians. That's evidenced by his record of standing up for Kentuckians as attorney general, rather than being beholden to a political-party platform without regard to its effects on the people suffering in these trying economic times.
Paul's allegiance to the Tea Party over Kentuckians was made clear in his primary victory speech, in which he mentioned that movement repeatedly and never referenced Kentucky.
Sen. Mitch McConnell has been in office since 1985 and Sen. Jim Bunning since 1998. The long-suffering, middle-class Kentuckians need a new generation of leadership.
While Paul touts his stance on lowering taxes and reducing the federal deficit, he isn't so vociferous about his more extreme positions, including disbanding the federal departments of education and agriculture.
In Kentucky, where improving the quality of education is paramount, we can't gamble with no federal assistance for education.