YOUR OPINION: Letters to the editor

By NEMS Daily Journal

Legislature’s lost its passion for the people
News reports on both the T.V. and in the local newspapers reflect that the key issues that are dominating the state Legislature include the following:
• Efforts to change the Workers’ Compensation system to make it more difficult for an employee to get Workers’ Compensation benefits.
• Time and efforts spent to round up individuals who are not here legally and have immigrated to Mississippi.
• Time and energy spent to get passed a voter ID legislation.
• Time and energy spent to challenge the Roe v. Wade ruling with respect to abortion and to eliminate opportunities for poor women in Mississippi to get an abortion and to force them to go out of state.
• And efforts to curtail the power of a Democratic attorney general’s office, which efforts had been criticized by former attorney general and Supreme Court Judge Ed Pittman.
The emphasis should be what happened to the day when we were concerned about the individuals who go to work every day and work for some company and might get hurt on the job. I suggest you ask anybody who has worked for a big company and tried to draw Workers’ Compensation benefits. Most have to retain an attorney. Ask them how good the system is.
What happened to efforts in the Legislature to improve our public school system? What happened to the efforts to put in legislation to improve our community colleges and make them better?
Why has the Mississippi leadership lost interest in pursuing the causes of education, rights of the working employees, and rights of those who do not have a big lobbyist funding their cause? What happened to fully funding our public schools?
What happened to the Legislature that fought for the rights of working people, fought for the rights of the middle class, fought for public education? What happened to that Mississippi Legislature? I suggest the leadership in the House, Senate and governor’s office has lost the sense of what is important to the people of this state.
Gene Barton
Chairman, Chickasaw County
Democratic Executive Committee

Healthy lung advocacy sought on March 28
Save the Date: March 28 is Healthy Air Call-In Day!
On Wednesday, March 28, volunteers from across the country will be coming to Washington to fight for air on our 2012 Capitol Hill National Advocacy Day. Please add your voice to our advocacy day and join with thousands of supporters across the U.S. by calling your U.S. Senators and asking them to stand up for the Clean Air Act and for public health.
The Clean Air Act is once again coming under attack. The Senate may vote soon on a resolution that would permanently block the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) lifesaving Mercury and Air Toxics Standards. Introduced by Sen. James Inhofe of Oklahoma, the resolution (S.J. Res. 37) would prevent the long-overdue cleanup of life-threatening toxic air pollution from power plants. This bill would endanger our children, our communities, and human health by exposing the public to unsafe levels of toxic air pollution.
In order to maximize the impact of these calls to the U.S. Senate, please wait to make your calls until Wednesday, March 28, when you receive the talking points in your email. Also, please ask your family and friends to participate in the Healthy Air Call-In Day as well.
Thank you for joining together with us on this important day to fight for clean air!
Want to do more? Use hashtag #HealthyAir on Twitter and ask your followers to participate on the 28 too. Also, post on your Facebook status: “On Wednesday, March 28, call your U.S. Senators and tell them to support clean air!”
Paul Billings
Vice President, National Policy and Advocacy
American Lung Association
1301 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Suite 800
Washington, DC 20004

Presidents can’t raise or lower citizens’ taxes
I read Rick Atwater’s letter (March 4)Sunday with interest. He takes some breathtaking flights of fancy describing the supposed absolute power of Barack Obama.
To start with he says Obama is the most divisive president in the last century. Was Mr. Atwater out of the country during the terms of Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon and G.W. Bush? Vietnam and Watergate ripped this country apart and, to a lesser extent, so did the second Gulf War. Compared to the political turmoil of those times Obama’s term has been relatively tranquil! He also says none of the 99 percent are buying $25,000 plates at Obama fundraisers. I bet none of the 99 percent are funding the Super PACs that are throwing millions of dollars around like Monopoly money in the GOP primaries either. As for his claim that Obama’s opponents are called racists for criticising him, of course most of them, perhaps 90 percent or more, are not racist. However, I have personally heard racial comments on Obama in the workplace and in church and would be happy to testify to it on a stack of Bibles if Mr. Atwater wants proof of it. Just because Mr. Atwater may not have heard racial comments personally doesn’t mean there aren’t racists out there, small in number to be sure but present all the same.
Now then let’s look at the Constitution. Mr. Atwater correctly says nothing in it lets Obama raise taxes. Does he also know nothing in it lets Obama or any other president cut taxes either? There’s a simple reason for this – the Constitution gives Congress and Congress alone control of the purse.
The GOP candidates – Romney, Santorum and Gingrich – who say they will cut taxes know as well as Obama that they cannot legally do so. If any of them are elected they will have to wait for Congress to send them a tax cut bill to sign
Richard Wilkinson

Click video to hear audio