Letters to the Editor

By NEMS Daily Journal

Air cost differential from Tupelo expands
I see frequent concerns about the number of boardings at the Tupelo Airport and I see advertisements on TV encouraging people to fly from Tupelo.
I am no expert but I believe I know why Tupelo’s boardings are down.
A few years ago I could book a flight and the extra cost of flying out of Tupelo verses Memphis was usually less than $100. During the past few months I have seen cost differences ranging from $200 to $500.
Last week I booked a flight to Midland, Texas, and the cost from Tupelo was about $1,100 and the cost from Memphis was $600.
I really like to fly out of Tupelo but it just costs too much.
Forrest H. Barber • Baldwyn

Vocational emphasis would beat free college
Aren’t we trying to put the cart before the horse? Why talk about “free” college when it is the Tupelo public school system that needs fixed? Why hasn’t the vocational part of our school system been discussed?
Free college will fix all of the problems? Let’s get real. Not all students want to attend college after high school and not all high school students are college material. Those that want to attend college will find a way with grants and heaven forbid, even working. Those that don’t plan on attending college need an education that will help them find employment when they graduate.
A good vocational education program during the high school years will prepare and motivate students for life after high school. A good vocational program most likely will keep some students in school and reduce the dropout rate. Let’s improve the vocational programs first before trying to lure the non-interested into attending college with free handouts. Other than basic math, good reading and writing skills, knowledge of geography and history, a vocational course could direct students into sales, food service, electronics, computers, carpentry, welding, auto mechanics, etc.
Also, I am at a loss as to how a “free” college tuition can be given to all that graduate from the Tupelo High School and it won’t cost the citizens of Tupelo a dime (in new taxes). Somehow I don’t think this will work. Just check out how well it works at the national level.
We have too many free handouts now. Our problem now is that it is easier to take the free handouts than work for it. Something for nothing costs a bunch of money and those that are working or have worked will be the ones paying for it.
Terry Dufford • Tupelo

Protections needed on eminent domain
I find the Daily Journal’s June 6 editorial position supporting eminent domain seizures for private enterprises to be disappointing, at best.
The people of Mississippi need every protection possible to safeguard themselves from this mentality and at the top of that list should be the right to own property for as long as we care to own it.
Back when Fairpark was being hatched, the Tupelo Redevelopment Authority offered property owners along Main Street purchase prices well below what those properties were actually worth. If property owners in this state believe they would be treated fairly in cases of eminent domain, they are living in denial.
Fortunately, in most cases along Main, owners had the financial resources to fight within the legal system for better prices. However, in many eminent domain cases, owners often don’t have the finances to hire attorneys so must take what’s offered and uproot their lives.
Assuming the Supreme Court allows the issue of prohibiting seizure of private property for private enterprise onto November’s ballot, where it rightfully should be decided, expect an all-out campaign from Haley Barbour, Leland Speed and their cronies across the state to retain their right to seize property they deem necessary for economic development.
Voters should decide if that process be allowed to continue.
C. Richard Cotton • Saltillo

Cut other programs before seniors’ benefits
It is obvious that cuts need to be made in federal spending and the federal budget. What is not obvious is why Congress is so intent on cutting Medicare and Social Security, the two programs that most benefit seniors. Many seniors have worked their entire lives in order to have a secure retirement, are living on fixed incomes and are dependent on these programs in their retirement.
Congress is spending hundreds of millions of dollars on unnecessary programs, projects and grants that could be cut without having any adverse effect on seniors. Some that have come to my attention are:
“Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation” ($60 million), a program where American ambassadors can request grants to preserve the cultural heritage of their host countries, including preserving a Mongolian monastery, traditional Pygmy music in the Congo, et al.
“U.S. contributions to Asian Development Fund” ($356 million) provides “soft loan” funds at the Asian Development Bank, an international multilateral financial institution which provides loans to governments in the Asian-Pacific region, lending to countries in the region that are least credit-worthy due to lower per-capita incomes.
“U.S. Contributions to the United Nations Population Fund” ($400 million) for support and co-management of China’s population control program.
“Contributions to World Bank’s Clean Technology Fund” ($838 million). This fund has developed a wind energy farm in Mexico and a geothermal power plant in Indonesia.
“Federal Railroad Administration Funding of High-Speed Rail Projects” ($3.8 billion) for construction of rail lines that states would be required to support with annual operating subsidies.
These are only a very small sample of how tax dollars are being spent on programs, projects and grants that could possibly be cut or eliminated. There are hundreds more, which brings me back to my original question: Why is Congress targeting Medicare and Social Security?
Wilma White • Tupelo

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