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SC’s time, money better spent
on upgrading existing roads
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Re: Jan. 26 letter from Rep. Alan Clemmons, “I-73 progress not confined to South Carolina”
It’s understandable that the chairman of the National I-73/I-74/I-75 Association, Myrtle Beach Rep. Alan Clemmons, is optimistic about interstates. His recent summary of I-73 activities in North Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia painted a rosy picture of a darker reality.
There is little or no funding for I-73 in South Carolina or any other state the interstate will traverse. The West Virginia segments are being constructed piecemeal. Virginia has seen little interstate activity and the bills to set up a joint subcommittee on I-73 are more public relations than progress. In North Carolina a majority of I-73 is being built by upgrading existing roads rather than building a new interstate; a model that we could duplicate here in South Carolina, where we have no permits or funding for a new construction interstate. I-73 in South Carolina is not a priority and has a negative cost/benefit.
Rep. Clemmons would better serve his constituents and South Carolina if he focused his efforts on upgrading 38/501 and widening SC 9 and US 521. Improving our existing roads provides greater capacity, more economic opportunity and multiple evacuation routes. If other states want to waste taxpayer dollars on I-73 let them, but let’s not make that mistake here.
The writer is North Coast director for the Coastal Conservation League
Elected officials need to focus
on needs of Americans
I am writing about how Congress went on another 10-day vacation without voting on extending unemployment for more than 1.3 million people.
We have been without benefits since December. That was our only income in this jobless, not-hiring-people-over-50 time.
I have been working and paying taxes for 40 years.
Sending money to other countries is a crime when people in our own country are starving.
Rates that enrich investors
part of reason for divide
There has been so much recently about the gap between rich and poor and how to close that gap. It is a divide that will ruin any country.
It is my belief that once again the banking system is to blame. The well-off have the money available to pay cash for large purchases whereas the average Joe has to use a credit card or arrange other financing (not talking mortgages here where the interest rate is around 4 percent). Want a new TV or stove? Use your credit card and pay 21percent on the unpaid balance.
And there is the problem. With rates that high, the banks become wealthier to pay their investors while the debtor is on a merry-go-round where it takes 300 years to pay off the debt if you just make the minimum payment required. The advertising says “low minimum payments” but the truth is that you never get out of it and just have less and less money to spend. There should be a law limiting what interest rate is allowed.