Readers Write 10/20

GOVERNMENT

‘Effective’ much more important than ‘limited’

During every election season, we hear the mantra about “lower taxes” and “limited government.”

The message seems to be effective for getting votes, but we need to take a look at what this really means.

The legacy of “limited government” has brought us E. coli in our spinach; salmonella in our peanuts; an oil spill that was one of the worst environmental disasters ever; lack of enforcement that has cost billions in tax revenue; and the list goes on and on.

We habitually blame the underfunded and understaffed people who are forced to work in these “limited government” agencies, at the federal and state levels.

I hope someone in politics starts to convert the “limited government” mantra and mindset into “effective government.”

Effective government saves money and saves lives. And, “effective government” provides an environment where state and federal employees have the resources and personnel to do their jobs effectively.

Dave Miller, Lawrenceville

POLITICS

Elected officials must make the hard decisions

The federal government and many states are in serious financial trouble and will have to reduce spending.

It is easy for me to make a list of all the things I would like to have. I cannot afford to buy everything I want. The government has the same problem.

It is obvious that our belt-tightening means that some good programs will have to be reduced.

Unfortunately, the current crop of politicians in Washington is not capable of rational decision-making.

When anyone suggests cutting a particular program, someone from the other party will say, “That’s terrible! So-and-so wants to take away your [whatever it is]. Don’t vote for those cruel people.”

Since a politician’s top priority is getting re-elected, this will frighten him into backing off. Nothing gets done to cut spending.

I don’t know how you will find a candidate who is immune to this, but we have to do so. Otherwise, our country will continue its plunge into debt, dysfunction, and poverty.

Term limits for members of Congress would be a good start, but that would be very difficult to accomplish.

Bill Whitlow, Norcross

GOVERNMENT

It’s the companies that put coal miners at risk

I read Earl Hider’s comments with some amusement (“If collapse had been in U.S., they’d still be buried,” “Readers write,” Opinion, Oct. 18).

I share his opinion, but it’s hardly the EPA, UMW and OSHA that would be at fault. Try telling that to the families of the coal miners killed in West Virginia this year.

When you’ve got companies like Massey Energy, which flagrantly disregards any notion of safety and doesn’t mind paying fine after fine (rather than actually doing things right), our workers are at far greater risk than those men who survived their ordeal in Chile.

Scott Piehler, Suwanee