City spending a lot to redo its past mistakes
Let me count the ways our tax dollars are at work and being thrown to the wind:
Triangle Park, a beautiful oasis, has been bulldozed to the ground. Is this an attempt to abolish a sitting area for the homeless?
What was wrong with the last Main Street demolition? If materials aren't standing the test of time, find another supplier. If the workmanship didn't hold up, don't use them again.
Trees planted, trees uprooted, trees planted — Lexington's landscape bill must be huge.
Change our one-way streets back to two-way? Forget it. Why do you think they are one-way? Traffic jams were a nightmare in the 1960s.
Now, our diamond interchange; did anyone consider the main problem concerned traffic-signal timing? At a cost of $20,000 per problem intersection, our fearless leaders could cut commuter time in half and save drivers 100 to 200 gallons of fuel per year. It was a proven success in Florida. With the money being spent on one ramp, the whole city could have better traffic flow.
(Those thousand-plus residential units have been added from Maxwell to Red Mile Road and you're surprised we have traffic problems there?)
For Versailles Road, it would seem logical to repair and replace gas lines before paving and resurfacing, not after. To make matters worse, drainage holes were covered up, resulting in a torrent of water flowing down to Oxford Circle. I've noticed the extra expense has been paid to undo this screwup.
I saw a pie chart showing the federal government's spending. The big three were defense, social welfare programs and health care. These, of course, need to be trimmed or modified.
The next biggest piece of pie surprised me. It's government pensions. My friends, this is what we've been saying for some time; government s too big.
The past several years, big government has outpaced the private sector in hiring staff and workers. By cutting spending, you reduce staff and pensions.
Congress has the best pension, health care and pay increase package of anyone. The pension scheme is obscene. Let's invoke term limits and start the cuts here. Then freeze spending. Roll back to rates of seven to 12 years ago. Increase at the rate of inflation. Pass a balanced budget amendment (most states already have one). Redo the tax code to eliminate loopholes. Find the truly needy and see they get what they need.
Drill, baby, drill to create jobs, oil independence. Do something to lower health costs besides socialized medicine. Stop lying. Uphold the Constitution. Trust God.
Just a few questions.
When did the Republicans decide to use The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire as their playbook?
Why do working-class people vote for Republicans, who are for the rich? Why is entitlement a dirty word? If I pay for two bags of groceries am I not entitled to leave with them? Should there be someone at the door saying I must give some back?
What's the difference between Gov. Steve Beshear and Senate President David Williams? It seems they both prefer the coal companies to the health of their constituents.
One more thing. Sandhill cranes? When is robin season? Ridiculous, isn't it?
And another: When are the "job creators" going to create jobs?
George W. Bush ran on a theme of "compassionate conservatism." But throughout his second term there was conservatism without the compassion.
Now in 2011 the Republicans and their alliance with the radical Tea Party no longer even pay lip service to the theme of "compassionate conservatism" but instead push a radical conservatism.
The Republicans (including Sen. Mitch McConnell) and their Tea Party cohorts (including Sen. Rand Paul) have no compassion for those who need it the most — the elderly, the poor, the sick, the homeless, the starving. Their compassion is for the rich and the big corporations.
For years, the Republicans have been on a drumbeat against welfare queens, and in the 1990s addressed that issue. However, they have been, year after year, supporting tax breaks and subsidies for the large corporate kings and queens.
It is time they also are weaned off of the public dole. The Republicans would argue these tax breaks and subsidies provide jobs. And they are right, but most of those jobs have been outsourced overseas.
It is time that we have a balanced approach to cuts to balance the budget. For every dollar that is cut from social safety net programs there should be cuts in corporate welfare. It is time to hold these free-spending Republicans' feet to the fire.
Gary D. Shrout
We would like to join a movement to get Anthony Gallo's (Aug. 3 "Readers' Views") seven suggestions to "Amend Congress" to become the law of the land. Where do we sign up?
Betty Leet BellFaye W. Herman
I'm not a big letter writer, but the letter from Anthony Gallo titled "Amend Congress" really struck true, and it deserves an "Amen."
I do not know when Congress was given special consideration for its retirement, tenure, pensions, health care, etc., but their benefits should be no different than the rest of the American people's.
I believe the American people have been silent long enough. Silence gives consent and has allowed Congress to take control. It seems they do not speak or vote for us any longer, just themselves and lobbyists paying the high dollar.
Thanks to Gallo for speaking up.
In recent months, readers and viewers watched our congressional leaders wring out a bill that suited the few but which could be accepted by the many. The vitriol that spewed from the mouths of those sent to Washington to represent the great majority of Americans, people who just want to live satisfying productive lives, was at times sickening to the extreme.
With the drumbeat of anger that surrounds us daily, why can we not focus on something beautiful, something in our own area, something like the graceful sandhill cranes?
Many years ago, my parents, who lived in Iowa and are now deceased, often packed a picnic lunch and drove to DeSoto Bend in southern Iowa to watch the migration of sandhill cranes as they appeared at that refuge. The day was an event looked forward to with great anticipation, and we children were taught to revere these beautiful birds.
Are Kentucky hunters so bereft of prey that they now must include some of nature's best in their list of birds and animals to be killed?
The need to kill what is beautiful is reflected in the apparent need in Washington to kill what is best for the country. No one wins.
Marjorie Fey Farris