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’


Comments (1)
Posted by: Charles Zimmerman | Mar 09, 2013 11:09

     I am entirely prejudiced in my support of 4-H. I was involved in 4-H directly for 11 years & indirectly another 9(sisters). 4-H builds leaders. It instills responsability. Kids in the livestock portion learn first hand the "self-evident truth's" of biology and the applied science thereof. It was very rare for a girl to become pregnant while actively involved in the critter side of 4-H.

     Unfortunetly, there have always been people against spending their money to support it. In Kos. county in northern Indiana, we had a fairgrounds that was quite large. About 100 acres or more. It was between Winona Lake & Warsaw & bordering to the north of winona Lake itself, with housing developments on three sides & Dalton foundry to the north-east & across the road. The fairgrounds was always under attack by local residents & developers. One year a doctor from Indianapolis retired & bought a house directly across the lake to the south. It was winter. In the spring the roudy-round dirt track adjoined on the south side of the fairgrounds opened & the good docter had a fit. He sued claiming too much noise & dust. About this same time the fairgrounds board was taken over by openly & admitted anti-fair people & an anti-fair mayor was elected. Dirt track was closed. Tremendious amount of buisness was lost. Besides adgitating the racers & their fans. The new anti-fair board claimed the 4-H fair was not neccessary & should not be supported with tax-payers money. This alarmed all 4-Her's. Much complaining was heard. Not knowing if I would be allowed entrance, but wanting to be the first to arrive & unload, I loaded my two calves & my sisters two calves at 4:30 am & headed to town. Sure enough,  after going over RR tracks, passing the B&K rootbeer stand on the left & the Custerd stand on the right, going thru the light & approaching the stop sign with the fairgrounds just accross the road, I was stopped by two Warsaw police officers & was told the the mayor had passed an ordinance whereby no trucks of any kind would be allowed on this "residential street". I asked if the fair was now closed. They said no, that people could still go. I pulled the unloading shute out, attached the sides, and unloaded my two calves. I then proceeded to walk them into the fairgrounds. Many other 4-Her's followed suit. An older woman with a cane who lived on the corner came out & began screaming about "those filthy animals, etc, etc." County cops showed-up as I was unloading my sisters calves. Then a State cop. I thought all was lost. But! All officers got into vehicles & drove away. Seems County & State cop had informed locals that they were in the wrong by allowing carnival trucks & vendors trucks in but yet closing the road to 4-Her's. The next fall rumors had it that the fairgrounds was to be sold to developers & the money would go into county & city troughs. Sure enough! Three lots were sold off the west side parking lot. The several buildings that had been actively used by numerous organizations were closed, etc, etc. Reminding the anti-fairboard that Kos. county fair was one of the largest of the state & sometimes surpassing the state fair, only aggrivated the situation as the anti-fair board gave full notice they had been democraticlly elected & were abliging by the will of the people who had(suppossedly) claimed the 4-H fair was of no bennefit to them but rather a burdon they didn't want to fund. That it would be far more benneficial if the fairgrounds was sold. After much more complaing from 4-Her's, the anti-fair board announced that there would be no more 4-H fairs in Kosciousco county. That infact they were unneccessary & the taxpayers should not be forced to pay for them. This was in mid-winter. I & most other 4-Her's alreddy had their livestock on hand & were training them. The sh(?)t hit the fan!!! Anti-fairboard backstepped & offerred to rent a half-acre north of Warsaw & put-up a tent for judging. Even though in just the sheep-barn there were as many as 130 participants, myself included, who had one or more lambs entered. 150 or more in beef barn. Similar in dairy. Even more in horse barn. Let alone rabbits & birds. Plus no parking available. Anti-fairboard came out & said take it or leave it, they weren't spending money on unneccessary uses & the fairgrounds would be sold forthright! Well, relatives of Dalton's foundry came forward & announced that their ancester(great-aunt, I believe) had willed that land to the county way back in the 1920's to be used by the 4-H association in perpetuity & could not be sold. Anti-fairboard claimed again they had been duly elected & their will must prevail. Dalton relatives threatoned to sue. Anti-fairboard announced there would be no more 4-H fairs. Indiana stepped in. The State's attourney sent a letter that pointed out in no uncertain terms that Indiana's constitution required that "all counties must provide for a yearly 4-H fair as well as other activities neccessary for 4-H ...".

       You'd think that would be the end of it. But noooo!!! The anti-fairboard announced that any & all activities not directly related to 4-H would be banned. No more carnivals. No more use of the merchants building for meet & greets with potential customers. No more cross-country track meets, etc. No more use of display buildings by non-4-Her's. No more use of dairy or horse barns for non-4-her's either. This was not received well. All those little old ladies that had actively competed with one another with cakes & pies & pickels & fruits & vegitables of all kinds & sowing & knitting,  etc, etc, & had proudly had their picture in the local papers with their winning prize, were absolutely outraged. Even the farmers who competed for the tallest corn stalk were pissed.

        Then the mayor stepped in it. At the suppossed request of the local religious crowd he passed another ordinance banning use of any fairgrounds building on Sunday. Just so happens the horse & pony people had their final show on Sunday. It was an open class show not affiliated with the fair, but most of the horses were alreddy there having competed in the 4-H show. I wanted to see if the threatoned closure would occur. I got there about 7:00 am. The several county county officers as well as the state officer that had advised the locals to open the road, were there in full dress-uniform. Seems they had kids in 4-H & had horses of their own in open class. About 9:00 am two local city cops arrived. As they began walking west thru the north walkway long guns began appearing outside of pens. Local cops hesitated & took note of it & then picked-up the pace to the end of the building. As they went back thru the south walk-way, kids with pitch-forks were jammed into cross-walks. The local cops were absolutely white & visibly shaking by the time they got to the end of the building. While they sat in their locked patrolcar arguing with who-ever, there must of been 75 or more kids with pitch forks glaring back. This should have been the end of it, but as far as I know the ordinance is still on the books. I know the last time I attended a horse & pony show on a Sunday, the running joke was that we could all be arressted at any time. Someone even chided the judges that they needed to hurry it up cause the cops were on their way!


       Just a comment.

       The relavent point is that while it is the duty of OUR elected officials to not just equally protect its citizens, they must also promote the "General Wellfare" of OUR communities as agreed to by the majority, properly educated to the task & goal. But of course all must be fully aware that any governmental regulatory board can be taken over by people with agendas not in keeping with the "General Wellfare", but instead exclusively oppossed to any such thing.

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