Out of touch
In his article yesterday, "The Republican Party needs a leader who leads," Rick Santorum demonstrates again how out of touch he is with the nation. He says: "I believe America is a center-right country." If that were so, he would not have lost his Senate seat, more liberal members of Congress would not have been elected in the past two years, and Barack Obama would not have defeated John McCain. As the youngsters say: "Mr. Santorum is so yesterday."
S. Reid Warren III
I read with awe Rep. Chaka Fattah's proposal to give students a $4,000 tax credit for 100 hours of community service. ("Fattah touts education tax credit for public service bill," Tuesday).
The average student rarely pays that much in taxes. Simple arithmetic also shows we will be paying students $40 per hour for part-time work. This is nothing more than another welfare program in volunteer clothing. Fattah must realize that a substantial number of his constituents supporting families do not earn that sort of hourly wage. Education is extremely important, but those of us who are not financially advantaged realize the value of state institutions, community colleges, etc., of which there are many in our region.
For once, I hope Charles Krauthammer is right ("Where Obama will veer left," Monday), although he couches it as a warning in saying the president-elect will "effect a domestic transformation as grand and ambitious as Franklin Roosevelt's." As I read history, and have observed in my 82 years, most of the programs that have built the American middle class have come from Democratic administrations, from Roosevelt to Clinton. Reagonomics slowed the growth, and the Bush administration has diminished it. Krauthammer says Obama wants "a new green economy, universal health care, a labor resurgence, government as benevolent private sector 'partner.' " I say, Amen.
Teachers union leader Ted Kirsch's letter Saturday ("Union choice") offers misleading information on the so-called Employee Free Choice Act. A recent Zogby poll found that when American voters were presented with neutral language describing the key provisions of the bill, a majority of both Republicans and Democrats opposed the act. They objected to many of its provisions, in particular the "card-check system," which would replace the traditional, democratic, secret ballot with a system where both union organizers and employers can identify which way employees voted, subjecting them to the risk of intimidation or retaliation.
Hamas' leader in exile says the six-month truce with Israel will not be renewed. In recent weeks, more than 200 rockets and mortars have been fired from Gaza, by Hamas and its allies, at Israeli communities. During the past six months, rockets have been fired continuously at Israel by Hamas. That Hamas can even describe the conditions at the Israeli border as a "truce" calls into question the credibility of all of the claims it has made since its violent takeover of Gaza more than two years ago.
I hope Lee Iacocca will be considered for automobile czar if it's decided we need one. His ability to pay back a $1 billion loan, with interest, from the government in the 1970s - much to everyone's amazement - helped Chrysler continue producing cars and should make him everyone's favorite.
Sunoco CEO Lynn Eisenhans says her company plans to use its Ohio refinery to process crude oil from Canadian tar sands ("Sunoco CEO's cost-cutting agenda," Tuesday). But this product carries a heavy environmental burden. It has three times the greenhouse-gas emissions per barrel as oil from anywhere else in the world, and mining it destroys vast tracts of forests and streams. If Sonoco cares about the environment or climate change, it should insist that its Canadian partner capture 90 percent of the greenhouse gases it emits, or use nuclear energy to mine the sand.