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Published: Saturday, 4/16/2011

Leasing turnpike too costly

Call it privatizing or leasing, but it is the same thing ("Turnpike may be leased, not sold, ODOT chief says," April 15). When Indiana leased its turnpike, the quality of its toll roads went down. Indiana toll workers lost their jobs. They were told they could reapply for their jobs with the private operator and be paid half of what they had been making.


That would destroy the few decent full-time jobs Ohio has left and replace them with a bunch of minimum-wage, part-time jobs — but Gov. John Kasich will be able to say he actually created more jobs. That is, if the private operator does not replace workers with machines, as a recent proposal espoused.


I guess a benefit to leasing the turnpike would be that the governor would get to line the pockets of his cronies and brag about how he fixed the budget in Ohio when he's running for higher office in Washington, D.C.


Toll workers handle transactions more efficiently than machines. They give directions, watch out for drunken drivers, and stop unsafe loads, among other things. The turnpike does not use tax dollars and all profits are put back into maintaining the roadway, which is why it is one of the best turnpikes in the country. The toll road generates revenue from all of the out-of-state cars and trucks passing through Ohio. Going toll-free would only eliminate these revenues.


Whether the private operator replaces all workers with machines or offers half of what current wages are, hundreds of turnpike employees would end up on the unemployment rolls. Many of their homes would end up in foreclosure.


The snowball effect would negatively affect the state's economy.


Divina Pappas
Maumee

 

Obama's become absentee president
USA Today reported last month that President Obama has played 60 rounds of golf since he became president. It's becoming clear that he spends very little time in Washington and keeps Air Force One in the air much of the time.


Now that he has announced his campaign for re-election, the political dinners to raise money will absorb the vast majority of his time and efforts over the next two years.


At a time when the United States needs a full-time president, we have a part-time one who is running all over the country raising political cash.


Americans deserve better.


Steve Von Gunten
Ryewyck Drive


America heading toward collapse
Our brave leaders in the logic-free zone agreed to a budget cut of $38.5 billion from a $3.7 trillion budget. To put that in perspective, the United States paid $24.4 billion in interest on our debt last month. As of October, 2010, China owned $906 billion of America's debt.


Rep. Paul Ryan (R., Wis.) has come out with a budget plan to reduce the deficit by $4.4 trillion over 10 years — which prompted Democrats and the liberal media to pull out the old playbook.


Grandma will have to eat cat food, children will starve, the poor will not get affordable health care, and our education system will be destroyed.

 

America's current financial path is unsustainable. We're headed down a road to bankruptcy and a collapse of our system.


Who is going to take care of Grandma, our children, our health care, and our education then? China?


Rob Kegerreis
Berkey, Ohio

 

What are leaders so proud of?
Last week, many Americans observed President Obama and members of Congress strutting around like peacocks.


They were patting themselves on the back, telling us what a great job they were doing in the effort to save our economy and create jobs.


Really?


Chris A. Mollis
Fremont



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