First, it was John Edwards, while campaigning in 2003 for the Democratic presidential nomination, chastising President Bush for doing nothing about some 43 million Americans who were without health insurance in 2002. Then last month, the Media Fund ran a TV ad in which John Kerry makes the same statement. This was followed by a Democratic National Committee ad this month that once again makes the same claim.
From all these ads, one might assume that the 43 million uninsured Americans are all attributable to President Bush's undoing. Incidentally, this number of uninsured represents about 15.2 percent of our country's population.
However, if one were to go back to Census Bureau data during President Clinton's term in office, you would find that the number of uninsured in 1994 was also 15.2 percent, but rose to 15.4 percent in 1995, to 15.6 percent in 1996, to 16.1 percent in 1997, and reached a high of 16.3 percent in 1998 when 44.3 million Americans were uninsured. Furthermore, most of these larger proportions of uninsured occurred during favorable economic conditions, whereas President Bush's took place during a partial recession.
Now the question is why is 43 million (15.2 percent) uninsured in 2002 so much worse than 44.3 million uninsured (16.3 percent) in 1998 when the Democrats occupied the presidential suite? However, in 1998, I don't recall the media ever saying that President Clinton was doing nothing about the high number of uninsured as John Edwards said recently about President Bush and has been implied in the TV ads.
Perhaps Mr. Kerry and Mr. Edwards should check on how the Democrats allowed the uninsured to reach such a high level before criticizing President Bush.
PAUL. L. ARNDT
Chatham Valley Drive
After the failure of many school levies on Aug. 3, we now see school boards seeking more levies in November. In Sylvania, we passed a levy in 2002 for 4.9 mills and the board is seeking another 4.9 mills this November. Toledo is seeking a renewal after several levies the past four years. When does it end?
If memory serves me correctly, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled it illegal to tax property owners for school levies and that an alternate way to fund schools should be sought by the legislature. I understand the federal and state funding cuts have put a hardship on schools, but the recession has put a hardship on property and business owners. We can barely keep our heads above water, let alone endure more taxes.
I own property in Toledo, but living in Sylvania Township keeps me from voting on tax increases in Toledo. This taxing without representation is wrong. States such as Kentucky allow people to vote in cities where they own property on issues that affect their taxes or rights. Why can't we do it here?
I feel that Gov. Bob Taft's 1 percent sales tax that ends next year should be made permanent and property taxes should be reduced by at least 35 percent. The 1 percent should be exclusively for school funding alone and nothing else. These revenues should be enough to fund the state school system. That way everyone contributes to the schools. Then property owners won't feel like we are renting.
The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) recently conducted air monitoring at several locations around Sun Refinery.
I inquired why Coy School was not monitored. Jennifer Freed from ATSDR replied: "TSDR attempted to get an air monitor at Coy School. That was our first choice. But we were not given permission."
Who from the Oregon School system refused to allow air monitoring at an elementary school by a federal governmental organization under the Department of Health and Human Services? The Oregon School administration and school board have a responsibility to allow such testing. Students, teachers, and parents have a right to know about the air in Coy School.
It is shameful that the testing was not done - it should be. Not allowing the testing implies something is wrong. Is it?
I hear a lot about family values in this election, but how about the value of a family's paycheck in 2004? The cost of higher education is going through the roof, utilities and gas prices are way up, and drug costs for our parents and grandparents keep going up after the Bush Administration passed its legislation to protect drug companies first.
The administration keeps bragging about its tax cuts, but state and local taxes have gone up so much that real people are not seeing any more money at all. Wages are going down, not up, for American families and if you have health benefits, which I do not, they cost so much more for both employers and employees that it is like just one more higher tax. Even veterans and the families of soldiers in uniform are being squeezed by this administration. At the convention, John Kerry said, "It is time for those who talk about family values to start valuing families."
Can the American family afford - get the pun? - four more years of George Bush?
John Kerry has a terrific vision: strength and hope in America. But we see no plan of action and we are sick and tired of hearing the same empty words over and over. Mr. Kerry is like a writer who utilizes very vague ideologies, has no sense of direction, and has such a passive voice that he becomes wishy-washy, to the extent that no one will publish him.
President Bush on the other hand has a terrific and specific plan of action, one that has shown results. He is like the writer who knows where he is going, how he is going to get there, and what he is going to achieve. He is the writer that everyone longs to publish. Mr. Kerry wishes for hope and strength, while George Bush already has it.
Some people driving vehicles with four wheels or more must start being more alert to the two-wheelers on the streets (and street corners). The recent rash of motorcyclists and bicyclists being struck, and in too many instances, killed, because of negligence or the claim that they "didn't see" the two-wheelers is totally out of my realm of understanding.
I have been a passenger on many motorcycles, ridden several bicycles over the years, and now own and operate my own motorcycle. My adult son, adult daughter, my brother, and my husband all own and operate their own motorcycles. For the most part it is an enjoyable experience. Whenever possible, we try to leave the congested city for more pleasurable riding in the rural areas around Toledo.
That's not always safer, witness the tragic accident where Rep. Bill Janklow of South Dakota killed a law-abiding motorcyclist and got off with little more than a slap on the wrist. To add injury to insult, we taxpayers are going to foot the cost of his legal bills and fines!
A coworker of both my husband and son, and his wife were critically injured in a car/motorcycle accident in a more rural setting. Last year, a local elderly man, who had already killed one motorcyclist and still had a driver's license, pulled out in front of a woman motorcyclist, striking her and causing the loss of a leg.
People need to be as alert to our presence as we must be to theirs. The bumper sticker on my van reads, "Look Twice, Save a Life, Motorcycles Are Everywhere."
The first time I voted in a presidential election, I was so proud and pleased that I imagined the Star Spangled Banner playing as background music in my mind.
In 2000 I voted for the least worst man.
This year it's a whole new ball game. I'll be voting for the lessor of two weebles.
North McCord Road