Readers Write 12/03

DEFICIT

$28 billion isn’t an amount to take lightly

Regarding “Compromises don’t help Obama” (Opinion, Dec. 1): Why do commentators refer to sums such as $28 billion (the amount saved by the freeze on salaries for most civilian federal employees) as inconsequential — “barely a dent in the deficit,” as Cynthia Tucker wrote? How do buckets get filled? One drop at a time.

Sara Hines Martin, Acworth

STATE LANDS

Wilderness site’s price too high in a recession

I consider myself an environmentalist who now finds himself against a deal that would be extremely beneficial to the effort to protect our environment. After reading “State considers $28 million deal” (Metro, Nov. 30), I was left wondering if the Department of Natural Resources has any clue as to what has been going on with the Great Recession, and how it has impacted real estate.

I favor the purchase of the land, but certainly not for the amount offered. How could swamp land have increased in value when virtually all other property has decreased? Therefore (as much as it pains me), if I were voting on this decision, I would vote “no.” Jan Phillips, Dunwoody

TRANSPORTATION

Electric cars impractical for many commuters

The recent columnist Bob Miller (“Georgia can power electric car grid,” Opinion, Nov. 30) should point out the real-world result of using electric cars. Perhaps for those people who do not live in a major metro area (and whose commute is shorter), this solution will work. It isn’t the distance. It is the time.

How many people have a 220-volt outlet handy where they park their car — much less the money to have an electrician extend a weather-proof outlet to where they park?

Some people do park in their garage, but if their dryer is in the garage, they would have to unplug the dryer and hook up the car — with barely enough time for a 10-hour charge.

Taxpayers will have to subsidize this venture, and a means of providing mass-electricity stations. Given that environmentalists only want wind and solar power, good luck driving a Volt to work in Atlanta now, or in the near future.

I’ll just take the bus — since it’s powered by natural gas, and is usually empty. Problem solved. Tom Byron, Marietta

EMPLOYMENT

Welcome to our world, government workers

Regarding “Freeze in pay to hit 100,000 in state” (News, Nov. 30): Pam Gilbertz is feeling “singled out” because it has been suggested that civil government workers forgo any pay increases for the next two years. Really?

She needs to be thankful she has a secure job — quite unlike millions of taxpaying citizens who have been paying for her yearly government raises.

Most of us in the private sector have either experienced firsthand or know people who have not gotten a pay raise in the last two years. Some have taken reduced hours and pay cuts, or had their jobs eliminated. And she feels picked on because she might not get her annual cost-of-living increase.

We should all be so lucky.

Susan Noble, Woodstock