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Your Views: Our government is undermining the American dream
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Over the past few years the cost of fuel has siphoned money to the point many Americas can no longer meet their financial requirements. With cost of fuel there is fewer dollars to spend, and many people are not able to control their budgeted needs. Instead of the government working to lower the cost of fuel, the government ignored the problem and contends we must get use to it. The fact is we are spending billions of American dollars to assist and protect these oil rich countries and this is the thanks we receive.

The government caused the housing mortgage problem by lowering the qualifying financial lending standards and then tightening them when they saw many could not make their payments. This has caused the housing market to peak and drastically decline, reducing the earning ability for those making a living from construction related products and services.

Instead of our financial institutions and their governmental regulators looking to find temporary solutions to the monetary deficiencies of many, they simply foreclosed. Now the banks have dumped much of the foreclosed products into the market, both developed property and housing, at a 40 percent to 50 percent discounted rate which compounds the problem because they have devalued all the properties they hold for their paying customers. A paying customer who had substantial equity supporting their loan has none and may be in the negative. This continues to compound even further because the paying customer no longer has any borrowing power.

With this phenomenon, the credit card companies are now reducing credit lines. If this continues our money supply will evaporate and there will be no way to recover.

Local government will be in a state of disarray when tax assessors are faced with the new assessment and appraisal values. Most communities could not exist on a 40 percent to 50 percent property tax value reduction.

To overcome the financial problems we have lowered our interest rate which could reduce worldwide investment in America. At the same time our American dollar is reaching an all-time low worldwide ($1 equals 0.65 Euro). If foreign countries want to own American properties, they can purchase it for about 33 percent of its real value.

The construction industry has stabilized the economy when all other markets were down. For years, the country has depended on the construction industry to bridge the economic follies of poor policies and regulations instituted by politicians, legislators and lending institutions. They have weighed it down with expensive permits, rules and regulations, and now have cut the heart out of it by devaluating its markets.

The values created by the construction industry have made this country the strength and envy of the world and yet we continue to undermine its importance by regulating it beyond its ability to produce. It is one of the last and only productive industries in America that cannot be out sourced to another country.

Our people cannot hold on to this country if our politicians, legislators and lending institutions continue to create policies that undermine the financial values required to keep it.

David A. Derusha

Rep. Mills gives in to marsupial madness
What on Earth is James Mills, R-Gainesville, doing down at the statehouse?

On the same day that he warned of imminent invasion from the nation of "Irania" in support of his anti-immigrant vehicle-seizure bill, Mills also introduced a bill to ... wait for it ... REQUIRE a license and insurance for owners of wallabies and wallaroos. I think that idea needs a bit more time in the pouch.

If Mills would propose a bill to require foreign nationals to obtain Georgia licenses and Georgia insurance, there would be no need for his other bill. The "seizure" bill would turn our state into a giant car lot by stealing cars from any person who gets pulled over for a ticket and doesn't have a notarized letter from the U.S. attorney general stating she or he is a U.S. citizen.

The revenue generated from issuance of licenses and insurance policies alone would be a tremendous economic stimulus package for Georgia. Also, other motorists would see their insurance premiums drop as the number of uninsured drivers on the road also drops.

With all the real problems facing the people of Hall County and Georgia such as water, education, taxes and transportation, it seems Mills' time could be better spent elsewhere than at the zoo.

Arturo Corso

Why slow down traffic while workers are idle?
Traffic is back to normal speeds on the new four-lane stretch of Dawsonville Highway even though DOT has chosen to maintain 35 mph. Since no significant work has been done since before Christmas, it's ludicrous that DOT would choose to ignore reality.

It would be refreshing if DOT adopted the policy most states have when doing major road work and for the most part drop speed limits only "when workmen are present" which allows for a little reason when none are working (90 percent of the time).

Do we Georgians really have to expect the incompetency and downright stupidity we so often experience at the hands of DOT?

W.A. Van Valkenburgh

Kind stranger helps pay for wrestlers' meal
I would like to say "thank you" to a very kind person.

My son and two of his friends went out to eat following a very long day of wrestling at the Gwinnett Arena. Two of these three boys had made their way to the state competition with months of grueling work. They could finally eat without the worry of what it would do to their weight.

A man noticed their wrestling attire and asked if they had been to the tournament. After affirming they had, the kind gentlemen congratulated them and went on his way. As he was leaving, the waitress informed the boys that they man had given her an extra $10 to go toward their meal. What a very nice thing for this man to do!

Wrestlers tend to work extremely hard to fine tune their craft with very little acknowledgements. As a mother, I wanted to say "thank you" for your kindness. Those boys felt like a million bucks that you did that for them!

Heather Cannon
Flowery Branch