Reader letters March 6

Mar 07, 2013

Heed Reagan’s warning on Social Security

To the editor:

Those who advocate reducing Social Security benefits by one means or another are rejecting the wisdom of that great patron saint of conservatism, Ronald Reagan. On Oct. 7, 1984, in a presidential debate with Walter Mondale in Louisville, Kentucky, after being accused of wanting to reduce Social Security, Reagan said:

“I would never do such a thing .... Social Security has nothing to do with the deficit.  Social Security is totally funded by the payroll tax levied on employer and employee. If you reduce the outgo of Social Security that money would not go into the general fund or reduce the deficit.

It would go into the Social Security Trust Fund. So Social Security has nothing to do with balancing the budget or raising or lowering the deficit.”

No kidding — I just watched him say this on YouTube. While Reagan did not always tell the truth (such as in the Iran-Contra scandal), this time he did. And we had better heed it.

Another Republican president of an earlier era, proclaimed that our government is “of the people, by the people, and for the people.” As such, it “should not perish from the earth.” Social Security is “government for the people.”

Our present government officials have short memories.  They seem to have forgotten these two promises of earlier Republican presidents.

We must hold them accountable to these commitments. Social Security is the people’s money designed to be used for the people’s good. We must not allow it to be tampered with.

Doug Wingeier




Tea Party disappoints

To the editor:

I’ve been giving a fair bit of thought to the proposed increase of 2% to the Haywood County tourist tax.

I wouldn’t go so far as to say I’m an advocate, but I’m hugely disappointed in my Tea Party brethren who appear to be opposing it from two schools of thought.

One is on principle. To those who oppose it simply because it’s an increase in taxes, I say you’re not being true to Tea Party ideals.

Among many other things, the Tea Party embraces the notion of state’s rights and a limited federal government. All too often, any tax, no matter how well intended, becomes lumped in with wasteful federal programs. It’s fine to oppose a tax because of some disagreeable aspect of the proposed program.

But, to oppose it simply because it’s an increase in taxes is disingenuous. This is not a federal program after all. I’m not trying to say that state programs are by default agreeable. But neither are they all disagreeable.

Speaking of disingenuous, those who spout off about a 50 percent increase, while accurate, are playing the same ridiculous games our politicians do that we complain about so vehemently.

What’s an average night’s stay cost in Haywood County? $50? I really don’t know specifically, but it can’t be much more than that. If I’m more or less correct, the proposed 50 percent increase amounts to $1. Some are comparing that $1 to increasing their property taxes by a similar percentage. Sorry, but I have to call bull on that one.

The second anti-tourist tax school of thought is that the revenue from those taxes is intended to fund a ball park.

All manner of folks have been quoted as saying as much. The legislation however, says nothing whatsoever about a ball park.

The legislation is targeted at collecting funds from tourists to make capital improvements in the county, that anyone can apply for, in order to provide an environment that will continue to attract those tourists for years to come. Is it illogical to ask the beneficiaries of destination Haywood to contribute to its health and well being?

If you’re really worried about being stuck with the bill for a ball park, then you should oppose the ball park which is unrelated to this proposed tax increase.

Ken Brown

Maggie Valley


Fairgrounds should be sold

To the editor:

I was both amused and amazed by your editorial on Feb. 25 regarding the financial impact of the fairgrounds, provided by government, on the backs of the taxpayers of Haywood County

You remarked that the fairgrounds are not attracting the events that the taxpayers of the area wish to pay their hard earned money for. The answer to this situation is simple. If people do not wish to pay for the events provided and if exhibitors do not wish to use the fairgrounds facilities to promote their events then do what any enterprise should do, if they are responsible. Put it up for sale.

As you remarked, the fairgrounds should be a priority among the services, wanted or not by the taxpayers, because of the economic impact on them. Can you be serious?

Get out your old economic textbook and review the chapters on supply and demand for goods and services as well as what price elasticity and inelasticity means.

Give me a break, except when the fairgrounds is used by gun shows or the county fair, few taxpayers care to enjoy the services it provides. Here is a dramatic example of money being taken from us by government against our will to provide entertainment for the few who would not pay for these services if provided by any organization required to pay their own way.

So, fairgrounds advocates, do what any enterprise would do when it’s services are not wanted by the public, sell it or tear it down and put the lot up for sale to a buyer who is willing to pay a fair market price for the property.

The taxpayers will love you for that and who knows they may re-elect you next time around.

There is yet another suggestion you left out. Let the fairground board members and other government officials buy the fairgrounds from the county with their own money, not ours, and run it themselves and if they make a profit fine and if it loses money, the taxpayers would not be responsible for the bills, they would be.

Finally again, and I mean it this time, “If you build it, They will come” was a movie about baseball.

This is no game for those who have money (taxes) taken from them against their will by government and used for a project politicians would not advocate if they had to pay for it themselves.

Quality of life for whom?

Jonnie Cure’