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Letters

Editor
Northern Virginia Daily

Sir:

Insurance and pharmaceutical lobbies, along with conservative PACS, are spending millions daily to kill health-care reform.

No wonder the inspector general’s report suggested the public is being “ripped off” by insurance companies. They use the fear factor against a public option, saying that a “government bureaucrat” will come between us and our doctors, making medical decisions. The reality they don’t tell us is that an “insurance bureaucrat” already stands between ourselves and our doctors, making medical decisions.

The public option is opposed in defense of the free enterprise system. They say that the private sector keeps costs down through competition. But that does not happen. At the same time, they say that competing with a public option would kill the private sector. If the public option is more cost-effective, then it should be included in the final reform bill.

At least two plans are being floated to pay for health reform. One would tax top wage earners ($350,000 to $1 million-plus, net income). Given the tax cuts this group received from the Bush administration, and the “corporate welfare” of recent years, perhaps this approach is not so unfair after all.

Another plan would tax fruit juices and sodas, sugar-saturated drinks consumed largely by an already obese child and teen population. With diabetes rampant in this country — and given the increased burden to health costs by long-term treatment of chronic disease — perhaps a tax on “sugar drinks,” which contribute to the problem, is not a bad suggestion.

It is a national scandal that millions of Americans are without health insurance. In 2008 the people voted overwhelmingly for health reform, including universal coverage and a public option.

The lobbies, and the congressmen they’ve bought, must not be allowed to thwart the will of the American people again.

WILLIAM R. BALLANCE
831 Susan Ave.
Woodstock
July 20, 2009

Editor
Northern Virginia Daily

Sir:

All across America, elected officials on all four levels of government squander more taxpayer’s dollars in 24 hours than what every working man and woman can earn in their collective lifetimes.

Even if all four levels of government had every penny of money in America in their hands, it still wouldn’t be enough. Collectively, they already take 50 percent-plus of our incomes and that will likely increase over the next few years.

Stimulate the economy? Without an industrial base, there is no economy and already most of the industrial base has been overtaxed out of America while imported products flood our stores — an economic negative. Overtaxation of “we, the people” and businesses is the primary cause of the current recession and past recessions.

What jobs are available for the American people? Low wage jobs at Wal-Mart, Kmart, Target, Dollar General and Family Dollar, selling mostly imported products, and fast-food restaurants.

In my view, “we, the people” must enact a mandate requiring every elected official in America to actually work at Wal-Mart, Kmart, Target, Dollar General and Family Dollar or fast-food restaurants at low wages every other year during their term of office.

It’s also my view that “we, the people” must enact a mandate requiring every elected official in America to forfeit 50 percent of their salaries and benefits when the unemployment rate for working men and women rises above 5 percent.

Political corruption on all four levels of government has already financially destroyed America with overtaxation and overregulation perhaps beyond reversing. No taxation reductions equal no economic improvement.

A trillion-dollar-plus federal budget deficit? Forty-five states have budget deficits? Most county governments are overspending? Every major city and most towns have budget problems? Total financial collapse is on the horizon.

Elected officials are “we, the people’s” worst enemy and are guilty of financial treason, robbing us without guns or knives. “We, the people” having the right to vote on taxation issues would correct this serious problem.

An overtaxed, overregulated democracy cannot long exist.

AL ASBURY
101 Perry Trailer Park Road
Mt. Jackson
July 21, 2009

Editor
Northern Virginia Daily

Sir:

Just how long will it take to get this done? It has already taken far too long. If you have an idea, let us hear it but don’t stand and wring your hands that things are moving too fast. They certainly aren’t moving too fast for the more than a million Virginians who need help now.

I have had health care provided by the government for more than 40 years as a military dependent. It has not been perfect, but it has served my family well.

I’ve never had a bean counter in the room telling my doctor what to do to help me. I’ve chosen my own doctors and been well cared for through, the birth of two children, two bouts with cancer and 18 years of heart problems.

Nothing is going to be perfect, but what those 14.2 percent of Virginians need is for politicians to stop dithering and give them some help.

We can tweak it when and where it’s needed.

Above all, ignore the insurance companies who have dragged their feet for years because of their vested interest in the status quo.

Let’s be bold and try something new instead of cowering in a corner screaming “the sky is falling.”

M.D. Jackson
310 Amherst St.
Winchester
July 23, 2009

Editor
Northern Virginia Daily

Sir:

Was the front page story in today’s issue a first consequence of closing the rest areas on I-81 or just another example of a trucker inattentively tailgating?

We will never know. What we do know is that there have been four unnecessary deaths of innocent people in Shenandoah County in the last two or three months, caused by tractor-trailers slamming into the back of stopped or slowing passenger cars. Every time we travel on I-81 we see strings of trucks traveling nose to tail at or above the speed limit. These are wrecks looking for a place to happen.

In the basic Virginia state motorcycle safety course riders are taught to travel two seconds back from the vehicle they are following and four seconds back on wet roads. This is in spite of the fact that motorcycles can stop shorter than any four-wheel vehicles except open-wheel race cars such as Formula 1 or Indy racers.

Trucks typically travel about one half second apart. That is barely over the reaction time required to hit the brake peddle. No wonder we have these senseless deaths. I would like to see the state police enforce rules about tailgating, but I’m afraid that is like wishing for snow in July.

A few days ago we encountered fog coming south on I-81. I opted to get off at the first exit, which happened to be Woodstock. I hope all of you will be that cautious. And if you come upon stopped or slowed traffic, please stop or slow down well behind the vehicle in front of you and turn on your flashers. Let’s not any more of us add to the fatality statistics.

Al VanDeGriek
P.O. Box 67
Basye
July 25, 2009

Editor
Northern Virginia Daily

Sir:

Virginia lawmakers recently passed a bill to outlaw texting while driving. I think next on their list should be banning what could arguably be considered a more dangerous pastime: driving with small animals in your lap, hanging out the window.

It is absolutely beyond me how anyone can consider this to be an OK practice. What could be any more of a driving distraction than having a live animal in your lap, struggling to stand up and obstructing your view or access to the vehicle controls?

Anyone who defends this action obviously needs a reminder of what an out-of-control vehicle is capable of and that driving is, at best, a privilege.

Travis McKinney
20487 Cool Fern Square
Ashburn
July 27, 2009

Editor
Northern Virginia Daily

Sir:

The bill now before the House, HR2749, will actually make our food supply less safe than it already is. The best insurance of safe food in this country is a vibrant network of small farms selling directly to the consumer. They are not the problem but part of the solution.

Just when “Buy Fresh, Buy Local” is an idea that is getting traction around the country, this bill would stop that movement dead in its tracks because it would put an insupportable and unnecessary burden of time and money on the small farmer.

The bill should exempt all small farmers and concentrate its efforts on our centralized industrial agricultural system, which is so efficient at both making money and spreading food-borne illness to wide swaths of the population.

Learn more about the Food Safety Enhancement Act here: www.ftcldf.org/news/ news-15june2009.htm and take action if you want to ensure your right to choose the source of your food.

Ellen Ussery
P.O. Box 67
Hume
July 28, 2009

Editor
Northern Virginia Daily

Sir:

Change comes slowly in a small town, but when something happens, it is instantly noticed, but not always applauded.

Recently, residents and travelers alike have seen the activity of workers and equipment building sidewalks and roadside curbs in neighborhoods that never before had such conveniences. Then we saw the painted intersection crosswalks that never existed before.

Now we have the most sparkling jewel of improvements: large pots of blooming flowers hanging from the light standards in and about Main Street, Front Royal. They’re akin to holiday lights in the summer and they are striking indeed.

Travelers, visitors and natives alike have commented in our presence about these beautiful flowers and their remarks have all been positive. It’s another distinctive addition to our town. It speaks well of the committees, organizations and other angels who haven’t given up on making this historic area shine and prosper.

It does our hearts good to say “well done” and we lead the applause of your good works. It certainly shows.

EDWARD N. POWELL
DOROTHY M. POWELL
218 Jamestown Road
GRETCHEN BENNETT
603 Remount Road
Front Royal
July 22, 2009

Editor
Northern Virginia Daily

Sir:

This unwarranted federal seizing will have the same impact as the CPSIA-08 did: Strangle small American farmers and do nothing to curtail the practices of foreign/corporate growers.

Any legislation needs to be focused and well-thought out instead of a huge bill no one has read or understands.

I request that you oppose this measure until it becomes a scalpel instead of a scythe.

William Jennings
18 Greenfield Road
Luray
July 28, 2009