Congress needs to take cuts, not just make cuts
Apparently, Congress and the president are starting to get the idea that we must cut out the misspending of our tax dollars. However, they talk a big deal of cutting education, welfare, police protection and Social Security benefits, and freezing federal employee benefits and salaries.
How about our politicians telling the people, that they are reducing their travel and fact-finding trips by 50 percent, cutting their budget by 50 percent, reducing their staffs by 50 percent, closing down some of their office space, or freezing their salaries for the next 10 years, and paying something into their free medical care?
No, you do not hear one iota about them cutting out all their perks. You hear them talk about cutting Social Security benefits, but I have yet to hear one congressman say anything about "paying back" all of the money they stole from Social Security since President Lyndon B. Johnson and his Congress took the lock off the Social Security box, and later stole from the Federal Employees Retirement Fund to pay for all their entitlements.
The American people also have to realize that for this budget to get under control they themselves have to do without a lot of things like new highways, housing assistance, money for the arts and science development, amusement parks, liberal public TV and radio programs, etc.
I am really fed up with all the rhetoric and "talking the talk, but not walking the walk."
Edwin B. Swan
Revive lending bill
John Rosenberg's recent "Payday Loan Debt Trap" column (Feb. 7) illustrates how capping payday loans at 36 percent is a no-brainer.
In fact, House Bill 182 doesn't go far enough to protect consumers and stop what I consider legalized loan-sharking, but it's a start. It should not be left to die in committee.
Kentucky should do what other states have done by capping these rates at 17 percent to 28 percent.
Unlike most reputable lending institutions, it is surprising that these establishments will not accept partial payments. It is "all or nothing."
So if a borrower of $200 has $199 on the date the loan comes due, they will not accept it. It's either pay the full amount or pay a fee to extend the loan. Thus, the cycle begins.
Although I'm no expert, the obvious comes to mind: They don't want you to pay it off so they can continue to compound interest. This is where they make their money.
I hope our legislators act on this and the word spreads for the public to seek short-term loans elsewhere.
A food warning
It has come to my attention that Red Dye No. 40 has affected many people. It can be harmful to people with food allergies.
I am 12 years old and am trying to convince people that Red Dye No. 40 is dangerous to some. Even though it has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration, still some people don't believe that it could be harmful.
I have been doing research on how dangerous Red Dye No. 40 could be. This is important because the people with food allergies who consume foods with this additive have symptoms such as diarrhea, gas or bloating and vomiting. Other symptoms include rashes, skin redness, tingling, itchiness or tightness, hives and cold- and flu-like symptoms.
Some foods that have the dye include breakfast cereals popular with kids. A list of products can be found at www.Red40.com.
Krista Marie Hall
There can be only one motive for Florida's governor to eliminate the drug-tracking bill from his budget, and that is money from donors who operate or sell pills to the "pain clinics" lining the Florida border.
While we fill county jails and swamp our hospitals and morgues, they fill their pockets. And how the children suffer.
Here is how to respond: All states affected by this plague should urge their citizens to avoid vacationing in Florida.
These states should document taxpayers' costs of this tragedy, including numbers of known overdose deaths, and disperse these statistics through newsprint and mailings.
Let all Kentuckians, Ohioans, West Virginians and citizens of Tennessee go to Virginia Beach, Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head, Vegas.
Then the Florida governor will hear from Disney, Daytona, Panama City, Tampa Bay and Key West.
Meters are for shoppers
I thought parking meters were for patrons of downtown shopping, not for employees of downtown establishments. The very idea of the ability of a person at a desk receiving a "warning" via text message that his meter was about to expire is a slap in the face to those who might be shopping in the downtown area.
Who are the parking meters for? Shoppers who frequent downtown? Or those who work downtown? Or those who visit us and seek parking in our downtown area?
Prior to my retirement in 1991, I paid a monthly parking fee to a garage in downtown Lexington and it worked for me as well as many of my fellow workers. Why not for those who might need to feed the meters every hour or so?
My entire career of 42 years in the business world was on Main Street between Upper Street and Walnut Street, and not once did I use a parking meter for anything (though I have since my retirement in 1991), because it was difficult to do so because all metered spaces were full.
So, give us citizens of a money-hungry city a break and leave the meters for shopping in our fair city and not send us to shopping malls.
According to Ben Chandler, cutting federal spending could damage the economy. Which economy: the nation's or Chandler's? One might say that Chandler is heavily invested in spending. For example, he recently endorsed $56 billion for high-speed railways. Kentucky won't benefit, but Chandler's bottom line could. Those hoping for contracts are generous.
To date, labor unions have given Chandler $785,000, transportation interests have given more than $232,000.
Chandler's choice to keep health care reform was no big surprise. Unions are among groups that will be able to get help paying insurance costs for some retirees. The United Auto Workers has donated $37,000 to Chandler.
Chandler has less than two years to fill his war chest, after spending roughly $2.5 million smearing Andy Barr's reputation.
Chandler's never-ending Social Security scare campaign has always done well, netting $196,000 from retirees. It will be hard to top one of his final money events last season: a pep rally complete with pompons and screaming T-shirted women. He gave a speech about his grandparents. Hard to imagine, isn't it?
Chandler says he's "working for Kentucky." Actually, he's "working Kentucky" for cash. Soon it will be another day, another opponent to smear. It's a life. And an expensive one. Watch your back, Kentucky.