Readers Write 3/13

Readers Write 3/13

TAXES

I am anxious to understand how state legislators include veterinary expenses for pets as a service that should be taxed. It is misleading to categorize veterinary care for your pet simply as an “expense.” Veterinary care is health care for pets, and taxing any health care is unfair. The selection of what services to remove from exempt status for sales tax is confusing and discriminatory. Why tax the veterinarian and not other health care professionals? Why tax a professional photographer and not a filmmaker? If the state wants to collect more revenue, then what about attorneys, accountants, business consultants, real estate agents, etc.? And let’s not overlook professional athletes who charge for autographs in addition to their licensed souvenirs. If we are going to be fair, let’s be fair.

Donna Coleman Thompson, Fayetteville

HOPE

Sen. Carter’s suggestion is realistic, yet creative

Kudos to Sen. Jason Carter for offering a realistic, yet creative solution to what looks like a HOPE-lessly messy situation (“Alternative plan can keep HOPE’s promise,” Opinion, March 6). Pegging scholarships to family income preserves full scholarships for 94 percent of Georgia families and keeps pre-k at current levels. Plus, it makes sense: higher-income families are less likely to play the lottery, so they really are the free riders on HOPE (not lower -income people who see Powerball as a way to Win For Life). Every investment in Georgia’s educational future is a win for us all.

Janet Rechtman, Decatur

PET ADOPTION

No shortage of puppies at rural shelters

As a weekly volunteer at the Meriwether County Animal Shelter, I read with interest “When choosing pet, it’s not always puppy love” (Living, March 6).

We workers at rural animal shelters throughout Georgia can attest to the fact that many great older dogs come into our shelters weekly. Almost any breed or mix of breeds is available (often with healthy bodies and lovely temperaments).

But, when I read the quote, “We never have enough puppies,” I felt envious of those who have such a problem.

There is a never-ending supply of puppies at rural shelters.

As of one recent count, our shelter’s puppy tally was around 60 — from 5 days old, to 5 months.

Anyone longing for that delightful smell of “puppy breath” need look no farther than Georgia’s rural shelters. A plethora of puppies is waiting, waiting, waiting.

Gail Coffee, Luthersville

ENVIRONMENT

Don’t buy claims about the need for billboards

As epitomized by the letter from Gary Kolar (“Business of interstates requires signs, not trees,” Readers write, Opinion, March 6), one’s position on a particular subject is typically heavily influenced by how it affects one’s bank account. He’s right that the number of trees to be cut down to provide a better view of billboards is insignificant. But by the same token, the number of jobs provided by the outdoor advertising industry in Georgia is insignificant when compared to the total number of workers.

I don’t buy into his statement that businesses depend on billboards for survival. When was the last time one thought, “Wow, I’m sure glad I saw that billboard”?

We consumers are constantly being saturated with advertising in all areas of our lives. Wouldn’t it be nice, then, to be able to drive around our communities and our state without the ubiquitous pollution of outdoor advertising?

Birney Montcalm, Winston

IMMIGRATION

Illegal-immigration fight in no way akin to racism

As one of the millions of black Americans who demand enforcement of our borders, immigration and employment laws, I understand that we must honor real immigrants by stopping the line jumpers. I understand that the first groups hit by the crime of illegal immigration are African-Americans and native-born Hispanics.

I understand that we are throwing our own poorest under the bus in a rush to prove how benevolent we are, by treating illegal aliens (from anywhere) as victims and heroes.

I have had more than enough of endless comparisons to Jim Crow, “racism”, Klan rallies and “hatred and anger” whenever the majority of citizens like myself speak up for enforcement and justice under the law.

The anti-enforcement hucksters should stop the race-baiting on illegal immigration. It is not fooling anyone.

Inger Eberhart, Acworth

ENERGY

Tap our own resources for the fuel that we need

I get pretty tired of the chant that we are “addicted to oil.” The whole world is addicted to oil. It is the No. 1 fuel for the world’s economic engine. Our problem is that we are dependent on others for our oil.

This is intolerable. We have massive amounts of oil, natural gas and coal available within our own borders. Until technology develops for alternative sources for energy, it is in our vital national interest to become self-sufficient in the energy resources that we have readily available. We can lead the world in developing alternative sources of energy from a position of strength far more effectively than from weakness.

Grant Essex, Woodstock

Weather and Traffic