Off-Base And Ludicrous

To the Editor,

I read your paper because I enjoy your points of view and your salty language. Your reporters are often more correct in summarizing the important issues facing Tucson than the larger papers. Vicki Hart's column is always important and Jeff Smith is great.

Mailbag However, I am writing today in support of Lindsay Ireland and her family ("Defending Ireland," Letters, Tucson Weekly, November 7). Your portrayal of the Irelands is so far off-base as to be ludicrous in the extreme. To feature this family as a nest of money-grubbing, cigar-chomping, evil and dirty capitalists is so ridiculous it causes me to gag.

Fortunately, the Irelands have lived and worked in this community for a long time, and people know who they really are as well as for what values they stand. They are altruistic, involved, well-educated and liberal. They also have a lot of class--a virtue your unsigned columnists of The Skinny should work to achieve. (Even the skinny slogan is hackneyed: "We're back!" Yech.)

--June McWilliams-Ford

Starr Crossed

To the Editor,

What's wrong with this picture?

In Tucson, The Tucson Fire Department and Channel 9 conducted a successful telethon to raise $25,000 to purchase a "FireCam," an infrared seeing device to allow fire-fighting work in smoke-filled structures.

Meanwhile, the City Council asked for $38 million in loans and tax breaks to build Starr Pass Resort.

In Phoenix, the biannual Special Education Cost Study completed by the Arizona Department of Education found unmet special education costs in the amount of $38 million.

Meanwhile, Arizona taxpayers will give Dial Corp. $1 million in cash and a $1 million low-interest loan to keep the company headquarters in Arizona.

If our state and city governments can't meet the financial needs of our emergency services personnel and schools, how can they give away our tax dollars to private corporations? Our elected officials should be making and administering public policy and affairs instead of acting like venture capitalists. If they want to join with the private sector so badly, perhaps we can accommodate them at the next election!

--James P. Needham

Social Insecurity

To the Editor,

Regarding "The Great Social Security Scam" (The Skinny, Tucson Weekly, November 21): Whether you trust the stock market to do well forever is completely besides the point. What matters is that we're currently forced to fork over a substantial part of our paychecks to the federal government (which, unlike taxes, is non-refundable at year's end, regardless of how little one earns) to finance transfer payments to another generation and especially the federal budget deficit, all for a few measly percentage points of interest above inflation. Any decent mutual fund will beat that by a hefty margin even if the stock market crashes.

You are so blinded by your class-warfare rhetoric about Wall Street that you'd apparently rather accept a 5 percent annual return from Uncle Sam than a 20 percent return from a mutual fund manager. Why? If you want to continue to have the government manage your retirement money, go right ahead, but leave the rest of us alone to make more intelligent investment choices.

--Erich Saphir

To the Editor,

In "The Great Social Security Scam" (The Skinny, Tucson Weekly, November 21), The Skinny invited us to read a Mother Jones article that claimed the Social Security system could be saved by an 18 percent hike in the Social Security withholding tax, so I did. That article based its rosy forecast on the cashing in of the Social Security trust funds, which are "invested in U.S. Treasury bonds."

Wotta crock. The government can't legitimately back its own bonds! Here's an analogy: My wife brings home her paycheck and lends it to me, and I go out and spend it. That money is now gone. I could issue "family bonds" to her, and even sell them to others, but her paycheck is still gone.

Similarly, the Social Security Trust Fund is gone. It was used to buy bombers and toilet seats, pay off defaulted school loans, and spread government compassion among the poor. When those bonds are redeemed, the government will have to borrow money or force taxes on us to pay for them.

I'll bet The Skinny isn't 25, starting a career and thinking of a family, all while looking ahead at the blob of baby boomer weenies who are going to turn 65 and start mewing for a government handout. Those clowns are going to live longer and cry louder than any group before them. I'm 42 and have planned my life so that our children and grandchildren will not have to be forced by the government to support me. You should be advising your younger readers to do the same.

--Tom Jaquish

Gun Play

To the Editor,

Regarding Jeff Smith's column "Bang, Bang--You're Free!" (Tucson Weekly, November 27): Please thank Smith for "I'd rather be free than safe." I've been searching for the concept to communicate to my fellow non-gun owners the reason why controlling guns is as bad as controlling what we read.

The issue is not about guns, it's about power. If and when We The People decide to repeal the Second Amendment, then it will be "legal" to control firearms. Until then, it's very important to remember that Freedom is what it's all about!

--Sean Casey

Easy Street

To the Editor,

Regarding "Sunday Drive" (The Skinny, Tucson Weekly, November 21): Not everyone lives in Sam Hughes or the Barrio or wherever you deem to be the PC abode-area epicenter of Tucson.

There are fine neighborhoods on the southeast side of town that the Golf Links/Aviation Highway serve, along with the new UA campus where my son will enroll next fall.

He can be at school in 12 minutes and I can be downtown in 16.

No-growth also could be applied to the sensitivities of the knee-jerk proponents of that attitude.

--Tom Brady

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