Pike County Times
The Pike County Times, PO Box 843, Zebulon, Georgia 30295. Click here to donate through PayPal. Becky Watts: Phone # 770-468-7583 editor@pikecountytimes.com
 
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Welcome to the Pike County Times.com Letters to the Editor Page.

These editorials reflect the opinions of their authors and don't necessarily reflect my personal opinions. Feel free to express your opinion with a letter to the editor to: editor@pikecountytimes.com.

Letter writing guidelines are as follows: I do not have a word limit. However, all editorials must be respectful even when hard points are made about any topic including local, state, or national politics.

If I have a problem with an editorial, I will let you know by email and it can either be resolved or not printed because I will proof your letter for grammatical errors, but I do not edit letters based on content. And last but not least, your editorial must be accompanied by your name and a county or city of residence.

 
Thought for the Week

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
 
The Big Lie We Tell Ourselves in the Budget Process

7.18.17

Dear Editor,

Like many Americans, before I ran for and was elected to Congress, I could not comprehend why our nation’s leaders could not seem to balance the federal budget. Any family or business owner must do this every year, so why was Congress failing?

When I became a member of the Committee on the Budget, I saw firsthand how the Congressional budget and spending process enables Congress to avoid the true drivers of our annual debt and deficit. No matter the party in the majority, the results always seem to be the same.

A budget resolution is essentially a blue print of how we determine our long-term priorities, while the appropriations process determines how those priorities are funded in the short term. Because of our mandatory spending obligations, automatic federal spending not subject to annual oversight, there is no vehicle to resolve our long-term priorities and our short-term necessities. Currently 70% of anticipated revenues must be reserved for mandatory spending programs like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. This leaves just 30% of the budget for the rest of our obligations like national defense, highways and education.

Because of this discrepancy, it is impossible to balance the federal budget in one year. Instead, Congress lays out a blueprint that shows the policies required to balance the budget in ten years. This plan can include a combination of cuts, revenue growth and mandatory spending reforms. Often, this is viewed more as a vision than as a concrete policy plan, and year after year, these policies are not enacted.

What we need is the legislation courage to follow through on a realistic policy plan to balance the budget and curb our out of control spending.

To solve this problem, the usual political rhetoric must be put aside if we are to avoid a fiscal crisis. Otherwise, any idea put forth by one side will be vilified by the other and we will find no middle ground. This solution will certainly be difficult and even politically uncomfortable, but the alternative is a string of broken promises and a burden on future generations.

Changing the Congressional budget and spending process is fundamental to addressing the potential fiscal crisis facing America. This is not ultimately a conversation about numbers and money, but one about the Americans who are relying on the commitments we made to them. As a member of the Committee on the Budget, I will continue to urge my colleagues to have the courage to change the tenor of political discourse and take action to keep our promises to the American people.

Congressman Drew Ferguson
3rd District Representative for the State of Georgia
ferguson.house.gov

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The Value of Interest Deductibility

7.10.17

Dear Editor,

While federal health care reform has dominated recent headlines and airwaves across the country, another less publicized, but equally important, issue is also unfolding in Washington. Currently, the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee is holding hearings on our country’s outdated tax code. Significant and meaningful tax reform is much needed and could spur economic development not only in Georgia, but throughout our country. However, one of the changes being discussed, the removal of interest deductibility on business debt, would be detrimental to Georgia’s economy, as well as our nation’s economy as a whole.

In fact, research conducted by Ernst & Young shows that limiting interest deductibility by even 25 percent in order to finance a lower corporate tax rate would curtail economic activity in Georgia by almost $1 billion. Businesses of all sizes and sectors use debt financing to grow. Major industries in Georgia, such as manufacturing and construction, which together employ hundreds of thousands of Georgians, would be negatively impacted in the long term by limiting or eliminating interest deductibility.

I have dedicated my public service to caring for our most vulnerable citizens, and I am cautious of any tax reform package that could hinder our economic growth. Getting our federal tax code right is not just about business. A growing and prosperous economy gives us the resources needed to care for important areas like mental health and improved foster care, and bad policies that shrink our economy would hit these areas the hardest. As a state representative, I am in favor of tax reform and reducing the tax burden on all our state’s citizens and businesses, but we must be careful about how we implement reform so that we do not cause harm to hard-working Georgians and our state’s economic growth.

Sincerely,
State Representative Katie Dempsey (R-Rome),Chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Human Resources
Representative Katie Dempsey represents the citizens of District 13, which includes portions of Floyd County. She was elected into the House of Representatives in 2006, and currently serves as the Chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Human Resources. She also serves on the Economic Development & Tourism, Energy, Utilities, & Telecommunications, Health & Human Services, Higher Education, Rules, and Transportation committees.

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What if Hillary Clinton had won?

6.27.17

Dear Editor,

Things would be VERY different at this point in the presidency if former Secretary Hillary Clinton had won. I say this based on what she has done and said over time which are the best indications of what she would do.

Clinton’s election would not have changed the Republican majorities in the House and Senate thereby resulting in grid lock. For starters she would not have appointed Neil Gorsuch for the Supreme Court nor anyone who interprets the original intent of the Constitution. Therefore it is probable that we would continue with 8 Justices as happened between Scalia’s death and Justice Gorsuch.

Clinton’s cabinet appointments would most likely include many who served under President Obama and/or are inside the beltway types so no “drain the swamp.” Nonetheless I seriously doubt that the Republicans would be the obstructionists that the Democrats have been regarding her appointments.

Since the government departments are still filled with Obama people it is doubtful we would witness the present “traitorous” unmasking and leaks.

Clinton would not use twitter like Trump uses it because the press generally likes her and she is more PC. Further the shutting down of free speech at public meetings and on campuses and malicious acts epitomized by Kathy Griffin’s bloody head of Trump would pretty much go away under Clinton. This is due to a heavy leftist bias by academia and the entertainment industry.

We would not be embroiled in charges of Clinton being complicit with the Russians. However there are many serious accusations about her warranting investigations but I doubt any of these would get the media attention Trump is getting.

An intriguing question is whether she would fire FBI Director Comey. Be assured if she did there would not be the hue and cry that is still occurring with Trump’s legal firing of him.

On issues like religious freedom and right to life which Trump supports she would not.

It is doubtful Clinton would change much in the budget nor propose tax decreases. Instead she would probably implement costly federal programs since she believes in big government. Additionally she would not add hundreds of thousands of jobs as Trump has already negotiated nor restrict illegal immigrants.

Also it is doubtful Clinton would challenge some very unfavorable trade deals leading to increasing trade imbalances, remove any of Obama’s job killing Executive Orders/regulations nor insist that NATO countries pay their fair share as Trump has done. Net/net fewer good jobs, higher expenses and less revenues leading to larger annual deficits and about $23T of debt by 2020.

Clinton supports sanctuary cities. When you combine this with more liberal courts due to her appointments, less vetting of immigrants and less of an agenda for the rule of law it is understandable why most law enforcement officials favored Trump.

The Obama/Clinton/Kerry reign left N. Korea as a nuclear threat, Syria still unsolved, increasing radical Islamic terrorism, courting Iran vs the rest of the Middle East as Trump is doing and stagnation in Afghanistan and Iraq. Therefore Clinton would not change much of substance to counter what she was a part of creating. Further she supports a smaller military so she would have fewer options.

The most unhinged attacks against Trump were when he withdrew the US from the Paris Climate Accord which Clinton supports. Trump supports reasonable environmental policies but not the billions of dollars for the Green Climate Fund. Harvard trained MD and Pulitzer Prize writer Charles Krauthammer called the Accord “nothing but hot air, a failure and a voluntary set of vaporous promises.”

Clinton would continue Obamacare (ACA) keeping taxes which will total over $1T. How she would restore competitive insurance plans with adequate and affordable coverages is anyone’s guess.

In summary Clinton would probably continue much of what we’ve experienced over the past 8 years which 60,000,000+ of us feel was leading to a disaster.

Rep Jeff Brown (Ret)
LaGrange, GA

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Praise for the J. Joel Edwards Public Library

6.19.17

To whom it may concern,
[Note from the Editor: This letter was written to the commissioners in support of our library.]

I wanted to write your office to let you know how pleased I am with the J. Joel Edwards Public Library and your continued support.

I was concerned several years ago when the staff was replaced, but I have been very impressed with Rosemary's efforts to revitalize our public library. I believe she has worked tirelessly to make the library a welcoming place where children and adults are encouraged to use the resources available to broaden their minds and opportunities.

I first became impressed with Rosemary because of the Summer Reading Program she organizes for the children in our community. My two girls, now 9 and 12, have attended many of these programs throughout the years. My children have learned about astronomy, drama, rhythm, fire safety, K-9 Officers, music, art, puppetry, and science among other things. My daughter especially enjoyed the children's author, I think his name is Jose Lucia, who led a session with the children last year. He is an author and illustrator. My youngest thinks this might be a career to explore. I was thrilled to learn he will be returning in a few weeks to lead another session. Rosemary and her staff work to create a theme with decorations to get the local children excited about joining the summer reading program. Kids who read are able to earn small prizes as well as have their name drawn for a door prize at the end of the summer reading program event where their achievements in reading are celebrated. I think its terrific how much Rosemary brings in the community to assist in this event for the kids. My children look forward to it all summer! Dozens and dozens of children come out with their families to enjoy this special day! I can tell a lot of work goes into this event.

I have also been excited to see Rosemary and her staff plan programs for teens as well as adults. My daughter will not attend the teen program until next summer, but I am already looking forward to what she will have planned. I enjoy the Genius of the Week quizzes in the summer for adults to encourage them to read.

My family uses the library throughout the year as well. My daughters and I regularly check out books. The library has books that their schools do not. We can also get books through the inter-library loan system.

Sometimes we go so that we can use the free Wi-Fi because we are limited at home. I am able to update my phone which is a great asset to my family. I am sure other people in the community come to the library to do research with the available Wi-Fi...this is a wonderful asset of the public library.

I appreciate the computer access at the library for others. I realize some people in our community do not have access to a computer otherwise. These computers assist in research not just for school, but sometimes for job searches and other vital information.

The new furniture at the library this year was also greatly appreciated. My family was excited we could charge our phones, while enjoying the services at the library. I think this is fantastic. A person can enjoy the library without being concerned about using up all of their battery power. I had seen this furniture at the airport so imagine my surprise when I realized we had it in Pike County. It's modern and wonderful. I think this just continues to point towards Rosemary's effort to keep the library focused on reaching the needs of our community.

I appreciate all of the efforts you and your staff make to support Rosemary and the libraries in Pike County. I have not visited the library in Williamson, but I am glad it is there to service the needs of those who live nearby. I always go to the main library because I believe it has so much to offer me. Rosemary and her staff are knowledgeable and always so kind.

I have been telling Rosemary for years how thankful I am for her efforts to revitalize the library. I thank you and all those concerned who help support our local public library as well. I believe the library enriches the lives of its citizens.

Thank you for the work you and your staff do to help improve our community.

Sincerely,
Talena Smith
Pike County

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Pike County American Legion Post 197 Thanks the Community for their Generous Support

5.27.17

Dear Editor,

Post 197 would like to thank the great folks of Pike, Spalding, Upson, Lamar, and Meriwether Counties for their support during our Fundraiser on the Square as you traveled on U.S. 19 and GA 18 through Zebulon, Georgia on Friday, 26 May 2017.

We received enough donations to help fund our goal of construction material for a handicap ramp for Marion Gooden, a WWII Veteran with a diabetes related partial amputation to his foot. Marion will be coming home from the hospital next Wednesday and by Tuesday, the day before, we hope to have the ramp completed for his homecoming.

We could not have funded this project without your generous support from the great American public. Thank you!!!

Sincerely,
Bryan D. Richardson
Pike County American Legion Post 197, Commander

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