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Published: Sunday, 6/28/2009

Ohio sheep made wolf governor

We did not think that we had helped to vote in "a wolf in sheep's clothing." Now we see that Gov. Ted Strickland has proposed ravenous budget cuts that will do much damage to needed services, including library resources and the Early Learning Initiative program supporting child care, preschool, and health screening.

His wolflike strategies ironically include a proposal to allow 12,200 slot machines at the state's race tracks to raise revenue. This short-sighted strategy, one that he had opposed, is not a worthwhile gamble to solve the state's budget problems. Certainly anyone can recall that the Ohio Lottery, lauded for its potential to fix the state's school funding problem, has not worked out that way.

Like wolves, lotteries, slot machines, and casino gambling prey upon unwitting sheep who hope that their revenues, as well as the state's revenues, will increase. The financial outcomes will, more than likely, become endless howls and bleating.

Legislators seldom do what is necessary because they worry about their jobs if they propose tax increases that they believe will prolong the recession. Graduated income taxes have been shown to be ways to increase needed revenues to maintain services. People pay them according to their incomes, so that those with the highest incomes pay the most and those with the lowest pay the least.

It is ironic that people will, on the one hand, help the gambling industries reap profits at their expense but will, on the other hand, object to paying taxes to maintain necessary services.

It is very unfortunate that Governor Strickland is, sheepishly, allowing wolflike decisions in an attempt to solve the budget crisis.

Wally and Diane Pretzer

Bowling Green

Ohio's current budget mess is the result of falling tax revenues caused by the current economic downturn and a structural deficit created by five years of tax cuts.

The governor has provided a framework to close the state's budget gap that includes an additional $2 billion or more in cuts on top of already significant reductions. Things such as prekindergarten care and learning for low-income kids; science internships for college students; home and community-based services for the elderly and disabled, and public libraries are on the chopping block, even though they are well-designed programs living up to their promise.

Increasing numbers of Ohioans find themselves in need of government services, but the governor and lawmakers continue to protect a tax reduction that most Ohioans don't even realize they are getting.

In a poll conducted by Garin-Hart-Yang Research Group, only 8 percent of those polled said that their income tax rate has gone down - despite five years of cuts.

The human cost of the proposed cuts is simply too much for Ohio to bear. Coming up with a better solution will be a challenge, but with challenge comes opportunity. Policy makers in Columbus are squandering this opportunity.

Emily Campbell

Center for Community Solutions

Cleveland

Editors note: The Center for Community Solutions is a research and advocacy group.

On a recent Thursday, my garbage and recycling were to be picked up. However, before the recycling had been collected, I noticed the crew had placed my empty trash can in front of my clearly labeled recycling can.

Because I did not want them to bypass my recycling, I returned the empty trash can beside my house. Imagine my shock when I saw both cans had already been dumped into the garbage truck. Shortly after, a regular city garbage truck - not recycling - came along and picked up the neighbors' recycling.

We citizens are forced to pay the city whether we recycle or not. I do not mind taking my recycling elsewhere; I already take my newspapers and cardboard to a recycling center.

But because I pay for recycling privileges through city trash collection, I have been recycling my cans and glass that way.

I have a choice: let the city collect my recycling at one fee or recycle my own at a higher fee. I am all about green, and do not want the city to dump everything into the land fill.

Because I am forced to pay for this privilege, the city will get some recycling from me - but not much.

Lynn Horen

Zachary Road

South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, touting family values and condemning those who have strayed in his statements and political ads, has slip-slided his credibility away by having his own paramour in Argentina. Thank goodness for the investigative reporters in that state who helped expose his duplicity.

He has abandoned his family, the people of his state, his party, and all people who strive to lead a good and decent life. His drawn-out, narcissistic, deer-in -the-headlights confession should compel his constituents to recall him.

Joanne Tollison

Petersburg, Mich.

The advantage of gravel driveways and parking space is drainage. Concrete and asphalt add to the flooding problem by overloading the sewer system.

Some appointed officials seem to be unable to use common sense when doing their job. Creating more reasons to get more tax dollars reduces disposable income that is used for purchasing. Taking this income as a "tax" reduces purchasing power that in itself is taxed.

What gain is realized?

Don Mooney

Erie, Mich.

The streets commissioner's best argument in support of stone-paved parking being illegal doesn't hold water.

Automotive drippings are carried from solid-paved drives by rain runoff onto lawns, allowing them to leach into the aquifer just as with gravel drives.

In addition, what about the hundreds of ribbon driveways, those with two strips of pavement separated by open earth, scattered throughout the city that allow the same direct contact with the ground as with stone?

I believe the action of this overly officious administrator is only prompted by her desire to please the boss, of whom I look forward to casting my ballot for recall in the fall. I urge Toledo City Council to rescind this inane law and allow this highly paid person to carry on with duties that best suit her talents.

Michael O'Brien

Rambo Lane

Iranian President Ahmadinejad, in one of his rambling speeches recently, blamed Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for the attack on the Branch Davidians in Waco.

It's getting harder and harder to differentiate between the rants of a mad man and Rush Limbaugh.

Bill Pieper

Oregon

With the new trash and recycling bins, what is to become of unlimited collection since we, as taxpayers, pay for it? Will there be unlimited pickup once a month or is that a thing of the past?

Susan Tucker

Ogden Avenue



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