How in good conscience can Gov. Rendell ask for emergency federal funds for truly needed programs when the state is committing a ludicrous amount of money to the albatross known as the soccer stadium in Chester? Have the new MLS team play at the Linc, which will not only save millions of dollars but even add revenue to the public coffers, with parking and concession fees. Yes, in a more positive economic environment, it would be nice to have a smaller, soccer-only stadium, but compared with the needs that exist now in this recession, it just doesn't hold water. Do the prudent thing: "Red card" the soccer stadium now before construction starts.
Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Columnist Karen Heller ("Another stadium plan that won't pay off," Tuesday) should understand this goes both ways; something that hasn't worked in the past may work in the future. The public-financing portion of the Chester stadium development is a small percentage of the overall cost of the $500 million project, which is about more than just soccer. This is such a small price to pay in an attempt to revive a struggling city.
We have what is known as a buyer's market when it comes to the various bailouts, so let's act like it. Just giving money without sufficient strings attached is rewarding bad behavior. Thus the only responsible approach is to provide the money, but with binding commitments on the part of the recipients. One way would be to fully reimburse the taxpayers by paying back loans with interest. A second would be to take common-stock positions. This approach is preferable since it doesn't increase corporate debt and only results in stock dilution. This could be a win-win for everyone. Companies could get healthy, the economy would get a boost, and initial stockholders would over time get stock-price appreciation. Best of all, taxpayers would not be left holding the bag.
I suggest we all start using the term
to describe the gambling operation that could end up in Center City. Perhaps then it will be easier to see its possible effects. Most of us instinctively know that few people will travel to Philadelphia to play slots if they don't live nearby; that the slots won't encourage high-end retail development; and that they will bring petty crime and prey on low-income residents of a city with a high poverty rate.
Re: "Insure everybody," Nov. 24:
Yes, we would all like universal health insurance, but requiring everyone to buy private insurance with the insurers' 15 to 25 percent overhead is an unaffordable waste of money. You note such a mandate makes no sense unless the insurance is affordable. Well, there is a way to do that and cover everyone. It is called single-payer health insurance, paid by taxes. There are versions of these proposals at the state and federal levels. Given our recession, pooling all of our health-care dollars is the only way that we can make insurance affordable, control costs, and preserve quality.
The lawless pirates off the coast of Somalia are back in the news, this time going after a U.S. cruise ship. Why can't the United States Navy employ one of the oldest tactics in naval warfare, that of deception? Take a couple of cruise ships, stealthily arm them with sophisticated weaponry, and cruise through the Gulf of Aden. Then, strike when the pirates take the bait.
Rick Santorum ("A bad choice for Obama," Thursday) has consistently shown himself incapable of objectivity toward Barack Obama or his party's stunning victories. He should spend less time trying to figure out how to defeat Obama in 2012, and strive to become a truly productive member of our great society by working to reform his own party.