Letters to the editor

Cut property taxes and slash government spending

It is imperative that we cut our county property-tax rates by at least 50 percent this year. Shortly, your property taxes will more than double, given that the next real-estate-value reassessment is imminently upon us.

Remember, the inflationary pressures of the national debt, unfunded Social Security and other entitlements, pork-barrel politics, plus massive numbers of real-estate salespersons representing sellers and fixing prices through monopolistic MLS and other unfair trade practices are driving prices into the stratosphere.

Otherwise, expect more tax delinquencies among the poor and [expect] those on fixed incomes [to be] forced to sell their homes or let them fall into complete disrepair.

Alternatively, we could cut governmental spending and services by at least 50 percent, including personnel salaries and the number of employees on the public payroll. Hopefully, the salary cut alone would convince most [public employees] to quit and return to the private sector.

Privatize or leave entirely to the private sector almost every governmental service.

Political patronage and public-worker unions must be outlawed. A civil-service work force that openly defies the will of the public and elected representatives is the greatest evil — i.e., postal junk mail, IRS collection practices, and the air-traffic-controllers strike.

And, most importantly, the county, along with all state and federal-building projects, must be scrapped completely. End all pork-barrel boondoggles. Recreational facilities, especially, should remain exclusively in the private sector. Public lands should be for preservation, not recreation or exploitation. Remember all public-works projects cost at least twice as much as comparable private construction.

We should be having everyone work out of home offices with all records and communications by Internet computer access.

Hold court in the school auditoriums and church sanctuaries. Let government make do and innovate technologically, rather than beggaring ourselves and our children.

— J. Geer

Truck drivers don’t appreciate stupid suggestions

After reviewing the letter sent in by Norman C. Smith, entitled “Restrict trucks on highways” [Dec. 24], I just had to make a comment … It’s very obvious this gentleman is educated well beyond his intelligence. I have never heard such crap in my life.

First off, Mr. Smith, there [are] millions and millions of trucks on the highway. You can’t tell me that you passed all these trucks on your short trip to New England and Florida. … I know there [are] some bad drivers out there, and you probably saw some on your little trip, but most of these drivers are the best drivers in the world. …

I drive a tractor & trailer part time. I’ve got hundreds of accident-free miles of driving. My full-time job … is [as] a law-enforcement officer. I deal with bad drivers every day I work. And, Mr. Smith, each day I work, I see everyday drivers, like yourself, who cause problems for professional drivers who drive these tractor & trailers more miles in one year than you do in your lifetime.

Also, Mr. Smith, you need to check and see just how much taxes these trucking companies pay each year. It’s not the everyday driver like yourself [who] completely pays for these roads. Trucks have probably more right than you do on these roads.

And for your stupid idea of [abandoning] all long-haul trucking, I would give this country [one] week, and it would start to cripple. The rail system can’t handle what [they’re] trying to haul now. Grain is piled up in the Midwest now because of problems with the rail system.

I think you better get your facts straight before you make a fool out of yourself again, Mr. Smith. This trucking system is here to stay, so get used to it.

I do feel that the bad drivers are causing the general public to get the wrong idea about the trucking industry — but don’t say all drivers are bad just because a few ruined your trip. With time, laws will change, and trucks will be safe on the highways. But until then, don’t make those stupid suggestions. It’s very obvious that your solutions won’t cure the problem.

— Lester Bishop

Terrific Kids article was outrageous

Your recent story about the Terrific Kids program [Dec. 10] is outrageous and a distortion of facts. As a member of Kiwanis Club of Asheville and past chairman of the Terrific Kids committee, I have seen the benefits of the program. Children are inspired to improve behavior, punctuality, teamwork and self-esteem. Any child, with a little effort, can qualify for an award.

Your article indicates that Terrific Kids awards are sold for profit by Kiwanis clubs. This is not true. No child has ever paid a penny for a Terrific Kids award or the certificates, pencils, etc. associated with Terrific Kids. These are provided free of charge by Kiwanis clubs and their corporate sponsors. The only sales involved are from Kiwanis International to some individual Kiwanis clubs who choose to purchase from Kiwanis International instead of developing their own local supply sources.

I hope you will publish this letter to set the facts straight.

— G.M. Lakins

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