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Letters to the editor

OPINION May 7, 2023 at 4:00 a.m.

Open hypocrisy

Dear editor:

The new governor has censored books, free inquiry, classroom discussions, acknowledgment of sexual gender, sexual orientation and complete history of Black culture.

Her voucher system in education LEARNS will result in siphoning thousands of public dollars from Arkansas public schools to pay for private and religious education where "indoctrination is common" when she earlier declared that "Schools must educate, not indoctrinate." This suggests open hypocrisy! And readers should remember that private and religious schools are not required to accept "all students." Add to these facts that the cost of this new system is projected to be $343 million by its second year. How does such cost affect small public schools already producing quality education? Many will likely be forced to close when about $7,000 per transfer student will go to the private or religious school rather than to the public one.

Governor Sanders' own ideas of appropriate religious indoctrination as well as "Christian Nationalism" (that means making our government not secular but religious) are being heavily injected into this LEARNS system.

Where is the separation of church and state in this new education scheme? Where and how is our national Constitution being followed? Have the readers who thought this new thing sounds good due to the raise in salaries it brings considered how many million dollars the various lawsuits are going to cost, lawsuits already being organized? That is our public tax money!

The governor is simply building her base of ultra-right folk in preparation for her run in the future for president of our USA! She makes it all sound great and thousands of Arkansas voters have not considered the full ramifications of LEARNS! Woe to public education in our state if this program is fully implemented, and woe to the average taxpayer's wallet!

Dr. John W. "Doc" Crawford

Arkadelphia/Hot Springs

'Borrowed' time

Dear editor:

As of December 2022, the Social Security Trust Fund has asset reserves of $2.8 trillion dollars. This is an increase from $47 billion dollars at the end of 1986.

At the same time, the U.S. government has "borrowed" more than $2.8 trillion dollars from the Social Security Trust Fund and pays to the fund an average interest rate of only 1.5%. The loan is backed by special non-traded Treasury securities which represent about 9% of the total U.S. debt of about $31.1 trillion dollars.

Social Security and Medicare receive revenues from a separate tax paid by wage earners and their employers. They add nothing to the federal debt.

When lawmakers say that Social Security benefits and Medicare need to be cut to balance the federal budget, they are lying. What lawmakers should do is increase the interest rate paid and begin the process of repaying this debt.

Social Security and Medicare are not entitlement programs. They consist of money paid by wage earners and that money belongs to "We The People."

John Grillo

Hot Springs

A right to be free of fear

Dear editor:

Twenty-eight percent of our population has been impacted by guns; my family included. Gun rights, accelerated with Reagan and Trump, made gun ownership legal for the mentally ill. Politicians have been buying votes on the blood, rights and lives of the innocent for 63 years. Supported by the NRA, they will not change and are complicit and compliant with their wishes at the expense of the innocent.

Reagan Republicans said if we deregulated guns and let anyone buy and carry as many as they wanted, wherever they wanted, it would clean up crime and put the fear of God in the politicians. "An armed society is a polite society," a bumper sticker said during Reagan's time. The NRA promoted the lie that our Founders put the Second Amendment into the Constitution so "patriots" could kill politicians. Five Republicans on the Supreme Court twisted the law and lied about history to make guns more widely available.

We do not have a "polite" society nor politicians that listen. People are killing children and not politicians. Our gun carnage is unequal anywhere in the civilized world. We have 12 million hunters, but many of the 400 million guns are sold to people with the intent to use for crime and thoughts of overthrowing the government. People have a right to be free from the fear of guns. The Second Amendment needs amending and politicians refusing reasonable constraints voted out.

Jerry Davis

Hot Springs

Have hope

Dear editor:

The harder life gets, the more crucial hope is.

Throughout tough times, we are best to look ahead. This is where hope is. What we do today can help or hurt our tomorrows.

Be aware of what is going on and vote. Voting did not come easy for many people decades ago. As late as 1954, Indians -- Native Americans -- were kept from voting in some states.

Today, Americans are up against the diseases, the higher prices on food, gas, utilities, etc. The natural disasters are never-ending and we face the threat of a nuclear World War III.

So, in a word, hope, for a better future. Listen to survivors of war, of the Great Depression, and of all disasters. We must all have hope through the hard times and remember all of the good and simple things in your life.

I believe it will get better.

I have hope.

Paula Woodman

Hot Springs

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