Letters to the editor – Friday (12-2-11)

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 1, 2011

Keeping it local,
keeping it fresh
Enclosed is my check for the Postís Christmas Happiness fund, which I hope will be of help. I understand that vouchers are given to the children to redeem. My first thought was, is the Post requiring the vouchers be redeemed in Rowan County?
In the article from the Post on Nov. 19 about the ěCan Doî food drive, you made reference to an expiration date. In 99 percent of the cases, the expiration date has no meaning because canned goods will last 50 years or more. Nature provides an automatic expiration date in that the can become swollen, making it obvious that the contents are not edible. I am afraid that thousands of dollarsí worth of merchandise is discarded because of the governmentís requirements for an expiration date to be shown. Undoubtedly, the lobbyist or the manufacturers were successful in getting this law passed. It certainly was not needed except on items such as fresh milk, etc.
ó Ralph Ketner
Editorís note: Pat Spears at the Rowan County Department of Social Services says Christmas Happiness vouchers are issued to one of four vendors: the K-Mart stores in Salisbury, Statesville and Concord; and the Magic Mart in Salisbury.
ěSome of our county residents are closer to the Statesville and Concord K-Marts than they are to the Salisbury K-Mart,î she said.
Walmart is not used for Christmas Happiness because it will only issue gift cards and will not accept vouchers, she said. Gift cards canít be issued in individualsí names, they create no paper trail for accounting purposes and thereís no way to ensure a gift card is not used for tobacco, alcohol or adult products, she said.
As for the expiration dates on food, personnel at Rowan Helping Ministries have also said many products are still good beyond the manufacturersí ěbest byî date.
A super flop
The president ěsignedî the bipartisan supercommitteeís ědeath warrantî when stating the effort was ědoomed to failure.î
So, what did he do about it? Nothing! So, the committee ěfailed the country.î
This ěsupercommitteeî was established in Augustís 2011 Budget Act. The committee of 12 (three senators and three representatives from each political party) was supposed to come up with government cuts of at least $1.2 trillion over 10 years.
That act also called for $350 billion in cuts to the 2011 defense budget. With the committeeís failure, automatic cuts of $1.2 trillion go into effect over the next 10 years, including $50 billion per year from defense.
While some savings may be realized in defense, such deep cuts are unwise. For one, no state can provide for its defense; this task rests solely with the federal government and in todayís world is absolutely essential. Second, much of the defense budget is for about 3 million jobs (soldiers, sailors, airmen, etc.) and the rest for ěbuying military stuffî is spent on products made in America (think ějobsî).
What would a real leader have done to assure the supercommitteeís success for the country?
He/she would have called the committee to a White House meeting room and said, ěFolks, give me your cell phones and Blackberries. Together, you and I are going to resolve this budget mess. Our country deserves nothing less. We will remain in this room until we reach a solution. I have cots for us in the next room for our eight hours of sleep each day. We will take a 10-minute potty break every two hours. Meals will be brought in for us.
ěI assume everybody likes Chinese.
ěNow, letís go to work.î
ó Ty Cobb, Jr.