Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor

St. Patrick's Day

Get symbols, terms right for holiday

It pains the Irish-American population of the area to see a four-leaf clover on Irish pubs and T-shirts. The four-leaf clover better represents the 4-H Clubs. St. Patrick used the three-leaf shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity to the faithful. The shamrock has since become a symbol of Ireland. A second issue is pubs having a "St. Patty's" day event. If "St. Patricia" had a special day, "St. Patty's" would be appropriate. Inasmuch as we celebrate St. Patrick's Day, one can use St. Paddy's Day. Several people have noted that restaurants have corned beef and cabbage with garlic bread. Perhaps Irish soda bread would improve the meal, while saving the garlic bread for Columbus Day.

Richard Harney

Carolina Shores, N.C.

Senators

Graham flouts conservative ideals

If you want to know why Sen. Jim DeMint is preferred by conservatives, you do not need to go very far.

Just look at all that Sen. Lindsey Graham does and that DeMint does not.

Graham should have the courage to copy Sen. Arlen Specter and join the Democratic Party.

There is no liberal bill Graham dislikes. Whether it comes from Ted Kennedy, John Kerry or Chuck Schumer, the more progressivist the better.

He will side and vote with legislation on immigration, "cap and trade" and other issues his constituency is against, and he will hurt the USA in the long run.

I sincerely hope that in November most of the progressivists - yes, they exist in both parties and in the GOP they are called RINOs - will be dumped and replaced with men who will place serving the country above all and who will listen to those who elect them, we the people.

Renato Nunes

Murrells Inlet

Cigarettes

Tax would cut health risk, help state

The S.C. Senate can play a pivotal role in improving critical health concerns by passing legislation to increase our state's lowest-in-the-nation cigarette tax to at least a dollar a pack. Smoking remains the leading preventable cause of premature death in this state. It costs each household in South Carolina an estimated $560 annually for smoking-caused government expenditures, regardless of whether a household member smokes.

We all know the health care costs from smoking are enormous in tax dollars and medical costs. Often overlooked is the personal cost of lung cancer, emphysema and heart disease to those stricken and to their families, friends and co-workers.

HB 3584, legislation to increase our 7-cent cigarette tax, was sent to the Senate nearly a year ago. Our state is contemplating deep budget cuts with severe consequences that will affect many of our citizens. Increasing the cigarette tax will reduce overall smoking (and youth initiation to smoking) while raising state revenues. Bringing HB 3584 to a vote in the Senate cannot come soon enough.

How many reasons do we need?

June Deen

Director of Advocacy, American Lung Association in South Carolina & Georgia

Nancy Cheney

Director, Government Relations, South Atlantic Division, American Cancer Society

Yarley Steedly

SC Director, Government Relations, American Heart Association

Smoking

Tax food industry, instead

Here we go again. Let's tax those demon cigarette smokers. I have a better idea, rather than tax a small portion of Americans because of their addiction, let's tax the majority of Americans for their addiction. Namely food. I have read that obesity is of epidemic proportions in this country. It will cripple the medical field in years to come. I have never heard cigarette smoking described in either of those ways. My solution, rather than tax cigarettes, tax the food industry. Let's say .01% for regular restaurants, .03% fast food restaurants and .05% for buffet restaurants. Billions raised to pay for health care. Problem solved! Then maybe I would not have to listen to someone who is 150 pounds overweight tell me my second hand smoke is killing them. Americans are quick to condemn me and say I should pay extra for my addictions. I think it is time they look in the mirror and decide food is their problem, not my smoke. Let them pay for their obesity. I'm already paying for my cigarettes.

Benjamin Herschler

Myrtle Beach

Budget fix

Raise cigarette tax, save teachers' jobs

The best fix for our budgetary problems.

We have no-smoking in restaurants, hospitals, some office buildings, even some towns and some bars, so we all acknowledge the dangers of smoking and second-hand smoke.

We face problems for many teachers - forced time-off, lower pay. We are also talking in the House and Senate about cutting programs to disabled children - at a huge cost to them and their families.

Yet our cigarette tax is only 7 cents, while the national average is $1.34. This ought to be a no-brainer, folks.

Up our cigarette tax to the national level.

Do we really need more cigarettes sold than teachers rewarded and programs for people who so desperately need them?

We might even save some lives in the process, by making cigarettes too expensive to buy and thus inspiring some people never to start or to stop.

Sarah Field

Pawleys Island

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