Letters to the Editor

August 8, 2005

Setting the

record staight

To the editor:

In response to Mr. Stanley's uninformed and opinionated article as appeared in the July 28th "Our Voice" I present the following:

First, the e-mail that was eluded to was not sent by the H.O.T. PAC.

The H.O.T. PAC does not use e-mail other than in notification of a meeting. All other information of interest is distributed via a monthly newsletter. Therefore all of the allegations presented by Mr. Stanley pertaining to the H.O.T PAC and the e-mailing are without merit.

Also, Mr. Stanley, by definition a PAC is biased or don't you understand that?

As for transferring these federal funds if they are not used for rail, you can try. But, Congress knows what they wanted the money to be used for, and it was for rail. Assuming you could redirect the federal funds, instead of getting four commuter trains serving five communities over 26 miles of track, you would be able to build all of a mile and a half of HOV lanes. Now there's a real bargain for you.

Contrary to Mr. Stanley's misrepresentation, Rep. [John]Yates [R-Griffin] did not imply that the trains would "contribute to the problem." What Rep. Yates wrote was "I believe that, if properly operated, this line can be beneficial to our traffic situation, however, I am not na–ve enough to think that it will solve the problem." We will have to use all the tools we have, because there are no magic bullets, and that includes rail.

Mr. Stanley states as fact that any funds spent on commuter rail will reduce each congressional district's allotment for that year by that amount. But if you take the time to read the state law, or even just Senate Bill 4, we find that transit projects and any funds that come from a "congressional earmark" (this commuter rail project is both of these) are exempted from the calculation, so roads and bridges won't lose funds from this. It's there in black and white for anyone to check, but then that wouldn't support Mr. Stanley's position.

As to the statements regarding assistance to the railroad, so what? How about the government's assistance to private trucking companies and to the airlines? How much more expensive would it be to ship by truck or plane if those modes had to build their own infrastructures? Mr. Stanley, you and I and all the other tax payers have bought and paid and paid and paid some more for the highways, bridges, and airports these private companies use, and we continue to support their operations and upkeep.

Mr. Stanley, why is it okay to subsidize the trucking and airline industries, to continue to build and maintain roads and not rail? The amount needed for operating cost is known, and there's no loss in road funds to Henry County. And ultimately, if the county and Hampton don't want the rail service, it will go to Griffin and that will put Hampton into a backwater position, but of course Mr. Stanley lives in McDonough, so why would he care?

Ken Smith


Tax and spend politicians burst our budget

To the editor:

Tax, tax, tax

They spend, spend, spend

They spin, spin, spin

Tax, tax, tax

Tax me now, tax me then

Dear lord, when will it ever end?

Tax, tax, tax

We want your bills

That's why taxpayers

Are turning so pale?

Tax, tax, tax

We need more money in our pail

We got to build another jail

Tax, tax, tax

Don't be still, pay yet another bill

We will break your will

Tax, tax, tax

Work, work, work until we hurt

They have a budget about to burst

Tax, tax, tax

Lower, lower, lower, not any more

Take it to the ones on the other floor

Tax, tax, tax

You must be on time with your dime

Jail time? No just your dimes

Tax, tax, tax

It's not time to squeeze my dimes

Don't want to spend jail time

So I have to pay my hard-earned dimes!

Please, please, please

I ask, what next?

Fees, fees, fees

Impact fees, unflinching they say

Inquiring I asked

Impact, repack, unpack, film pack

Six-pack, or should I pack?

This old redneck, bald-headed country boy

Still owes his dimes to the county store.

Friends, April 17 this year, we worked 100 percent for the government. We laugh and cry about the taxes we must pay. Seriously, what did our ancestors do before taxes were levied on us in many different ways? How did they operate before we had to have all kinds of permits on what, where and kind of places to live, farm and grow our families? Telling us it is for our health, safety and well-being. Is this true? There is more crime today, less punishment, more lawyers that postpone and delay, charging by the hour receiving our tax dollars. Can this be changed or have we come to far to change? You be the judge!

Malcolm Goss