Readers Write 8/5

Plan must start small, be easy to understand

I’ve got a simple suggestion for any group that wants to start fixing Atlanta’s traffic congestion: Put together a plan that starts small, and is clearly explained, and sell the plan to whomever you want to pay for the plan.

Based on the recent polls and the news stories, it seems the biggest reason people gave for voting no for T-SPLOST was that they just didn’t see a concrete plan that was easy to understand. There were plenty of complaints about the mix of transit and road projects. But, for most people, the whole thing just didn’t address the common sense question, “What exactly am I paying for?”

The other thing that was off-putting to many was the size and scope of the proposal. If we’ve got a problem in the metro area, then let’s start with some plans for the metro area, and restrict the plans and the money-raising to the metro area. Once you start asking people in Moultrie to pay the tax, you necessarily have to give them something — and the whole thing balloons into the bloated monster that was just killed.

RALPH LORD, DUNWOODY

Leaders must absorb vote of no confidence

I hope that Atlanta’s political and business leaders recognize that the T-SPLOST referendum was, at least in part, a referendum on the credibility of their leadership. The result of the referendum is a strong vote of “no confidence.”

NEAL MANNERS, ATLANTA

Disturbing when so many seek to hurt

Frank Bruni so eloquently stated in his July 29 column, “Religion perverted by hate” (Opinion), what my wife and I have found ourselves discussing lately: as Christians, it hurts us that so many politicians and neighbors spew hate in a way similar to that which Michele Bachmann has done, and continues to do.

We all far short of the true tests of our faith, but many of us do not make it a daily practice to be intentionally hurtful, as she and others are doing. That the fundamentalists and far right have decided that only they are the faithful and patriotic is very disturbing.

MAX EPLING, CANTON

No disrespect meant to Atlanta

Should there be any doubt, I would like to unequivocally assure all Atlantans of the high regard with which we hold the United Kingdom’s relationship with Atlanta, Georgia and the U.S. Clearly no insult was intended by the omission of an Atlanta postcard in the video at the London 2012 Opening Ceremony. I regret that any citizen of Atlanta should feel the least bit slighted. My hope is that all can fully enjoy and find inspiration in the cultural and sporting spectacle of London 2012.

ANNABELLE MALINS, British Consul General, Atlanta

U.S. debt

No matter who wins the next presidential election, the next five or six presidents need to focus on two things. They must instill in Americans that freedom does not last without personal and corporate responsibility. Those future presidents also need to convince all of our citizens of the importance of a declared, long-term national war on our debt. As we did during our two world wars, this means everyone must sacrifice: meaning slightly higher taxes for those in the top 25 percent of earners, and slightly lower benefits for others. What are you willing to sacrifice in the long-term war?

JAMES DUFFY HICKEY, ATLANTA