Letters to the editor - Tuesday (9-25-2012)

  • Posted: Monday, September 24, 2012 12:01 a.m.
    UPDATED: Monday, September 24, 2012 4:24 p.m.

Perhaps missing 'monkey' will spur toy donations
On Saturday, Sept. 22, between 11 a.m. and 4:11 p.m., someone took the "Monkey on My Back" from near the BP station at Catawba College. Humphries, a stuffed toy monkey, had two years of experience as an ambassador creating awareness for fundraising purposes. Simply put, Humphries was a lead-in for discussion about "Toys for Tots" or other "Toys for Kids" riding events. In addition to toy runs, Humphries attended fundraising rides for injured riders, School Tool Rides and other special fundraising events. If you haven't figured it out by now, Humphries used to ride the position of rear guard on a motorcycle. In an attempt to turn this not-so-newsworthy non-event into something positive, I challenge the person or persons who acquired Humphries to donate a new toy to Toys for Tots this coming holiday season. Please get anyone who knows how you acquired Humphries to donate, too. I challenge anyone who is reading about Humphries' abduction to donate at least one new toy to a charity gift-giving event this upcoming holiday season. After all, a child's smile or laughter is a wondrous thing to behold, and the toy that you give will bring joy to a child. - Carolyn Overcash Cooleemee

What we know about Mitt
What do we know about Mitt Romney? (1) We know he is secretive. He has been reluctant to release his tax returns for the obvious reason that he must have things to hide. What else is he hiding from us? What would he hide from us if elected? (2) We know that he would push for tax cuts for millionaires, such as himself, just as another millionaire, George W. Bush, did. This is one more example of the rich taking care of the rich. (And we know what happened to the economy under Bush.) (3) We know he will do or say anything to get elected. Virtually every claim he has made against the president is either misleading or an outright lie. (4) We know he is doing a poor job of managing his campaign. The most memorable thing about his convention is the Clint Eastwood fiasco. He has made so many mistakes - for an example, remember his criticism of the London Olympics while visiting London - that all sorts of pundits feel free to give him advice. How can he possibly manage the country? (5) We know he has no core belief regarding the issues facing the country. He has flip-flopped on all of them. He inevitably bends toward the strongest force at any given time. If elected, the strongest force will be his own vice president, who holds very extreme positions on these issues. If both the president and House Republicans refuse to compromise on these extremist views, as they did earlier this year, there is virtually no chance the fiscal and eonomic problems of the country will be solved. This is hardly a favorable character portrait and reveals how risky it would be for this man to become president. - Stephanie Derr Salisbury

Who'd have bet on GM?
When I read Steve Pender's latest rant (Sept. 18), a thought occurred to me. Could it be that Mr. Pender was one of those people who bought GM bonds or stock at a deep discount in the expectation the government would step in and save his investment/gamble? He certainly seems much more concerned about those investors than the workers. Let's look at his claims. GM went into bankruptcy on June 1, 2009, after reaching agreements among the major bond holders, creditors and workers. Non-union employees' pensions were protected under ERISA, contrary to Mr. Pender's statement. Like Mr. Romney, Mr. Pender appears to have favored a "normal" bankruptcy. Let's see how the top three bankruptcies fared; WorldCom, Washington Mutual and Lehman Brothers. All three have been broken up and sold for parts. Were there any American investors with $40 billion available to bet on GM? I didn't hear anyone crying out for a piece of that action. Who then? Think Chinese, Japanese and possibly Korean automobile companies, backed by their governments, eager for a chance to own the American automobile market. Wouldn't that have been great?? A Sept. 17 USA Today article pointed out that TARP has almost broken even, with $503.9B paid back out of $507.1B invested or 99.4 percent! So far, investments in banks and AIG have earned about 2.7 percent annual interest. Not bad for a much maligned program to save the economy. Oh, and there's more to come. We still own about 22 percent of AIG ($33.60 a share on Friday), 26 percent of GM ($24.61) and loans to a number of banks. Finally, the Chevy Volt's $50,000 loss per vehicle. This apparently is based on a Reuters article quoting estimates from consultants. GM terms their estimates "grossly wrong" and points out that investment includes extensive research and engineering which will apply to future generations of electric cars. Further, the estimate is based on cars sold thus far instead of the lifetime total, which is simply bad accounting. With that said, using Mr. Pender's $700M investment and Reuters' cost estimate, over the lifetime of the Volt GM will still break roughly even. Without documented proof, I prefer to believe GM rather than the consultants Steve Pender and Reuters rely on. - Jack Burke Salisbury

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