Let's study costs, benefits of casinos before voting
Casinos have always been a solution to increase state tax revenue and attract tourism while also preventing Kentucky dollars from being collected in other states.
However, there was hardly any evidence to support that it would be the best thing for Kentucky as a whole. Legalizing casino gambling also comes which social costs that might outweigh the benefits that legalized casinos would bring.
Until we know fully, casinos are an unpredictable and an unreliable source of revenue to promote growth.
Casinos only temporarily provide an initial boost to revenue collected, but over time as gambling matures the growth in revenue decreases to where the revenue collected stagnates.
Some states have experienced a negative impact while only a few states see economic growth from legalized gambling.
There could perhaps be better temporary alternatives to casinos that could also be sources of revenue with more reliable results.
Before casino legalization goes to the polls, we must research and analyze the impact it would have on surrounding communities.
Only once we have concrete evidence that it would benefit Kentucky should it be considered and voted on.
Spay project misguided
It is with great sadness and trepidation that I respond to the Dec. 28 article on Spay Our Strays.
Sadness because it is a horribly misguided program that has no basis in science or with any regard for the negative impacts these feral cats, an intrusive species, have on native birds and wildlife.
It is with trepidation because these cat lovers react with anger and threats when challenged.
The science clearly demonstrates that feral "house" cats do irreparable harm to our native species, especially birds.
It also has been demonstrated by threats, intimidation and fund-raising that humane societies and environmental groups are afraid of these myopic cat lovers.
Not a single scientific wildlife group of any kind supports this activity. The Humane Society has abandoned one of its core missions because it cannot compete with these people for financial resources and now must acquiesce to a practice they know is harmful and misguided.
I wonder if these people support the spay, neuter and release of other cute little intrusive species, like Asian carp and Burmese pythons. Where is a hungry coyote when you need one?
No water-rate hike
I work for the largest employer in Lexington, the University of Kentucky. During the past four years, staff and faculty of the University of Kentucky have received an average three-percent salary increase, or an average of less than one percent a year.
During that period Kentucky American Water rates for residential service increased 18 percent and then 29 percent.
If the current rate increase request of 17.88 percent is granted, this will result in a compounded increase in residential water rates of nearly 80 percent.
There is great concern that the United States is entering into another period of financial challenge, perhaps a recession.
This rate request is out of line and certainly ill timed. I encourage the Public Service Commission to deny the request.
Robert A. Yokel
No more room
It is true we are a nation of immigrants. They build the bridges, highways and railroads. They furnished the work force for the mines, mills, factories and the farm fields. They populated the vast open plains and the far mountains.
Immigration has fulfilled its purpose. Is it not time to end it?
We have only so much to offer but have only so many hospital beds, no money for classrooms, no money for kitchen tables, so many loaves of bread.
It would be nice if we could offer all a decent standard of living, but it is a fact you can only pasture so many horses in a 10-acre field.
Earl H. Stewart
After coal come jobs
And then the jobs will come. Many jobs. Environmental cleanup is labor-intensive. The cleanup of the strip mines will employ for quite some time more people than the coal industry employs now.
A comparable number of people have been working on the BP spill, and the amount of mere wages paid out in that area has been like a targeted economic stimulus. Billions in cash.
All the people who work in coal and all the people who used to work in coal will get a job, because many of the skills needed are the same.
Of course, they will be trying to prevent pollution instead of spreading it. They will be trying to clean up water supplies, not poison them. Planting trees, not cutting them down.
The bad thing about this, if you're a Republican, is that it means the federal government is going to move into Kentucky as if it were Louisiana.
But strip mining is that big a disaster. Kentucky's social and economic development have been held hostage by coal politicians.
When they clean up coal, they will also clean up meth. Where there are no doctors, there will be doctors. Where there are no health facilities or schools, there will be facilities and schools.
And people will remember the days when they waited for the people who owned the land to take some thought for the people who lived on it.
Cliff fix anything but
John Randolph, Henry Clay's dueling partner in 1826, once wrote, "That most delicious of all privileges — spending other people's money."
Congress passed a rotten tax bill in avoiding the so-called fiscal cliff, and it will surely lead to them spending other people's money.
This bill is nothing but one big tax grab, and it may push the country back into a recession. No government spending was cut with the passage of this bill. The government will continue wasting money.
This particular bill increases tax brackets for those who produce, increases the estate taxes for those who work and preserve, increases taxes on dividends and capital gains for those who save and invest, and even puts higher taxes on people with dogs and cats, as veterinarian services are now taxed under Obamacare.
Medicare is taxed, payroll taxes are taken out of moratorium, and President Barack Obama's health care taxes will zoom upwards.
Anyone who has read economic history understands that tax cuts stimulate the economy.
The tax- and-spend philosophy that liberal Democrats, and even some Republicans, endorse is a recipe for stalled growth. Our country needs jobs, not more government spending.
I suggest to everyone who believes in spending money that they don't have: Do it. Put your money where your mouth is.
Deplete your savings and investment accounts, max out your credit cards, get new credit cards and borrow money from your friends.
Spend, spend, spend. When you hit the wall, like the Greeks, don't ask "What happened?"