Readers Write 1/24

Everywhere you look, another state is having to cut services due to shortfalls. States are facing the task of raising taxes to operate, but all this does is place households in a reduced spending mode that hurts the economy again.

I have food for thought. In Georgia, we have the lottery. Why not allow horse racing? With Georgia 400 to the north, a track could be located away from the metropolitan area, which would still be inviting to locals and our bordering states. Many states that already enjoy horse tracks reap revenue from the taxes on the track and from a bolstered economy to the surrounding service industry. Not only would the track create jobs, but restaurants and hotels would flourish, too. The long-standing excuse that tracks draw the criminal is not a valid debate.

Just check with any of the smart states who are taking advantage of this windfall, like Florida. Wake up, Georgia. We need another source of revenue to ease the burden on us tax-paying residents.

Bob Durkis, Dunwoody

ENVIRONMENT

Retrofit vehicles to reduce emissions

With the recent declaration by the Environmental Protection Agency that greenhouse gases are dangerous pollutants, the city of Atlanta and businesses throughout the area are faced with the challenge of reducing the emissions and fuel consumption of their fleet vehicles.

There is no simple solution when it comes to improving fuel economy and reducing emissions of fleet and transit vehicles. This is especially true today, when there are limited resources available to address a multitude of issues.

It makes economic and environmental sense to investigate the benefits of retrofitting, before spending hundreds of millions on new hybrid vehicles. The realized reduction in fuel consumption and added years of useful life provide economic advantages, while reducing harmful emissions from a renewable energy source is environmentally sound.

Conducting a thorough vehicle asset analysis and having a comprehensive, executable plan in place are the best ways to conserve energy and maximize return on investment.

Sam Jones, president, Recaptured Energy Technologies

HEALTH CARE

Process of passing health reform obscene

President Obama has called recent bank bonuses “obscene.” But what does a taxpayer see as obscene?

The whole process of passing the Obamacare legislation has been textbook obscene. A large majority of Americans disapprove of this legislation. Yet how does it continue to move through Congress?

Taxpayer-funded bribes have been given in several states to secure the votes of senators in those states. They are using our money to buy votes for legislation we vehemently oppose. Now that is obscene.

Let me break it down. It is the political equivalent of my wife’s boyfriend taking her on a vacation using my money.

Attention, President Obama: Get the log out of your own eye, before you try to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.

Bill Webster, Peachtree City

POLITICS

If Krauthammer can’t say something nice ...

As a lifelong Democrat, I have found some likeable things about all of the presidents. While definitely not a fan of George W. Bush, I like that he stood his ground whatever his decision — like it or not. Ronald Reagan was a fresh change from the previous administration. That said, does Charles Krauthammer ever write anything positive about Obama? His attempt to get universal health care, his education or his being a good father? I am sure there is something good you can find to say that is not fodder for your column.

Aubrey Johnson, Riverdale

Perdue’s better than most state Republicans

As a former independent, and now an adamant Democrat, it seems strange for me to defend Gov. Sonny Perdue. Nonetheless, Jay Bookman’s piece “It’s probably too late for Perdue to take the helm” (Opinion, Jan. 15) unfairly says it’s probably too late for Perdue to show leadership. Let’s look at things in context.

A leader is someone clearly out in front of his group. However, if they are too far out front, they are no longer a leader — they are just someone out of sight. Consider who Perdue is leading. Georgia Republicans don’t really want to hold government accountable, they want it shut down. They want to carry concealed guns to church, bars and even the airport. They consider big tax cuts in the middle of a budget crisis. In that context, Perdue looks like a member of a vanishing breed: moderate, generally considerate Republicans. If we don’t all bother to vote next election, it can get worse.

David Bice, Kennesaw

Pat Robertson should be ashamed of himself

What pact did America make with the devil to deserve Pat Robertson? Shame on you, Mr. Robertson.

John F. Moore, Decatur

IRAQ

No true ‘victory’ possible in Iraq, Afghanistan

Sen. Saxby Chambliss has been telling us that we are seeing positive developments in Iraq. If that is so, why do suicide bombings occur on a weekly basis? Why does the capital city still go without electricity for much of the day?

Now, with the Afghanistan war in a downward spiral, he wants to remind us of the great progress there. He cites the construction of schools. He fails to mention that last year, over 150 schools were destroyed by the Taliban.

Our presence in these countries fuels anti-American sentiment. They view our presence as a deadly occupation. As such, there really is no “victory” for us. It is sad, but we need to face the truth of this situation.

Don McAdam, Sandy Springs

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