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Making ends meet

    Like many families across the country, my own family is struggling to make ends meet, pay the bills and fill up the car with gas. Now President Obama wants to tax my family even more to pay for the trillion-dollar healthcare bill. But that’s not the worst of it. He is mandating that abortion be covered under the healthcare plan, meaning that my family will be paying for abortions, whether we want to or not.

    I am sure you have heard the spin that abortion is not in any health care reform bill.  Well neither is gall bladder surgery or the removal of tonsils.  Congress is trying to pass a bill and then later we will be told what is covered.  Who makes those decisions?  The Department of Health and Human Services headed up by Kathleeen Sebelius, who had close ties with George Tiller, late term abortionist.  Why do you think Planned Parenthood and NOW are lobbying hard to get this passed?  It is a government bailout plan for Planned Parenthood.

    Even though 50 percent of Americans are for pre-born rights and 70 percent are against tax payer funding of abortion, every attempt to exclude abortion from the healthcare plan has been voted down.

    Whether or not I am pro-life or pro-choice is irrelevant. Abortion does not fall under the guise of healthcare and is not a right. I believe it is my choice to decide whether or not I should be funding abortion and whether or not I should be forced to fund it under bureaucrat-run healthcare.

    Call Tom Perriello, Bob Goodlatte and Senator Warner and Webb and ask them to vote against any proposal that forces Americans to pay for abortion.


Janet Robey


Out of touch


    We have owned property in Bedford County since 1982 and retired here almost 20 years ago.  In all that time, it has become increasingly clear how backward and apparently out of touch the county Board of Supervisors is towards our educational system.  The supervisors continue to act like the right-wing Republican ideologues in the State legislature who never saw a tax they thought was required for the public good.  Their ideology so blinds them that they are incapable of balancing the true costs of adequate government.

    I have no children in the county school system, but I recognize that the cheapest educational dollar ever spent is the first one.  If we don’t put adequate resources up front, we will spend much more in the long run on law enforcement, prisons, social welfare, job retraining and overuse of other government services.  Even those on fixed incomes, who may have difficulty with taxes, should consider whether they must pay more in the long run because we didn’t care enough to do the job right the first time.

    Now for some statistics from the latest Virginia Educational Disparities report published by the Virginia Education Association to support my position.  Bedford County is the 24th largest school system in the state yet we don’t rank anywhere near that position on the 28 tables used to outline the disparities.  Most of the tables list 132 “localities.”  Bedford is 85h in receipt of State funds for education and 83rd in providing local funds.  We get less from the State because we so poorly fund local costs.  Bedford’s total costs for education are miserly by comparison to other jurisdictions.

    Bedford is 56th in the State in terms of our ability to tax (56th richest jurisdiction) but only 89th in our willingness to tax.  We have the resources to tax, but not the will. We are 128th out of 132 in the total cost of operation per pupil and just 83rd in local support of operations.  We are 114th in average salary of classroom teachers (unconscionable.)  There is more data but it is all equally as bad for our size county.

    Not only are these statistics bad, they are even worse than they appear because Virginia is such a poorly education funded State.  The Congressional Quarterly ranks VA as the eighth wealthiest State but 37th in per pupil K-12 funding.  Even worse, when average teacher salary is compared to the average salary of other workers, Virginia ranks 50th.  Could it get any worse?  It must be congenital!

    Zuckerman, editor in chief of US News and World Report, in the Sept. 09 issue quoting research said, “On average children with very good teachers will learn 1.5 years of material in a school year.  Those with a bad teacher will learn only half a year’s worth. . . .  There is more variation in student achievement between classrooms than there is between schools. . . .  Teacher effects dwarf school effects and are much stronger than class-size effects.”  In short, good teachers matter.  So how do you keep the best teachers in Bedford County with 114th ranked salaries?  We don’t!

    When will we learn “you get what you pay for?”  Our supervisors apparently haven’t learned yet, but we keep voting in the same right-wing conservative ideologues that can only think about the “current tax rate” and not balance it with the total cost of lack of educational support.  I can’t wait to read the rebuttals of the anti-tax crowd.  It should be entertaining.

David McLoughlin


Perriello does

it again

    Perriello’s September 8, 2009, newsletter once again shows how he just doesn’t get it. ...His whole September 8 newsletter is filled with boastful statements about his having written the American Opportunity Tax Credit and that it was passed into law, hidden in the Recovery and Reinvestment Act.  What nerve - or lack of sense.

    He brags about how this act provides tax credits for the cost of tuition and related expenses.  Perhaps he just doesn’t see that the money is coming from taxes.  There’s no magic fund in the sky!  There’s no hidden well in which we find money!  All he’s done is take money out of one pocket and put it in the other.

    It is the Liberal Democrat song over and over again.  If you can understand the gobbledy-gook in his letter and even begin to get an idea of who is eligible and who is not eligible, you’ll see that anyone who makes $80,000 to $90,000 per year does not benefit from this Opportunity Tax Credit. But, the low income people are helped a lot by this Opportunity Tax Credit.

    Of course, but who are they helped by?  Not the government, the government has no money of its own.  The government only has incoming taxes and they’re all spoken for so they can pay the debts Obama and his liberals mounted up with their previous “give aways.”  Perriello is increasing our tax burden under the guise of “helping people get an education.”

    There’s just no logic to it.

Serge Popper