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Your Views: State revenue office seeks to clarify story on Deal meeting
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I am writing to clarify certain facts stated in your article, "U.S. Rep. Deal faces ethics complaint from watchdog group." (Aug. 26)

The article seems to imply that the Department of Revenue proposed a complete elimination of funding for the salvage inspection program in the state budget totaling $1.7 million. The department has never proposed to eliminate the entire salvage inspection program. That program encompasses not only vehicle inspection but also the issuance of certificate of title to owners of salvage and rebuilt vehicles.

The department’s proposal was to reduce funding for the state inspection portion of the program by $693,850. Privatizing the inspection portion of the program would not eliminate the need to issue new titles and the expenses that go along with that process.

Second, the context of one portion of the story might lead a reader to believe that Commissioner Graham felt "challenged" by Rep. Nathan Deal during meetings that took place in January 2008 and March 2009. That is not accurate. The proper context of that statement was in response to an inquiry as to the atmosphere of the meeting and the position of the department.

Reg Lansberry
Department of Revenue, Tax Law and Policy Section, Atlanta

It’s time for all Americans to take full responsiblity
"US society offers great escape from responsibility,"Thomas Sowell in the Aug. 26 Times, was a great piece of work that all true Americans should pay much attention to.

Let us take a look at responsibility, which has, without a doubt, helped build "America." Even after the discovery of this land, it took a lot of responsibility to make it what it is today. I am glad that my ancestors helped to make it a nation, but with the help of our creator, we are second to none. That alone aught to be enough to make you stop and take a long look at where we may be headed if we don’t redouble our efforts in responsibility and other worthwhile endeavors.

I believe God has allowed man to do things. For example, slavery has been over for many years, and there are many millions of people left behind in Africa in much worse shape than any of us.

Having the freedom of choice is not always good unless you maintain a standard of "enough is enough." Excess tolerance will always bring about decay. I think we have somewhat failed when we have allowed decay to become common, whether it be moral or otherwise. It is no longer fit for what it was intended for.

The fact that the U.S. society as a whole is not what it used to be is because maintenance has become less important among many people, and that has become a serious matter that responsible Americans ought to take seriously. A good example is that some colleges that do seminary work for pastors, preachers and teachers are taking the word "Bible" out of their college name for fear that someone may become offended. That can be another case of "US society offers great escape from responsibility."

Our nation, government and society is, I believe, one of the best, but we allow and tolerate too much abuse from many occupants in the name of freedom. Even freedom can become a liability if not used in the right way. School and company professionals can vouch for this because many parents, schools and companies have people in their midst who fit in this category. Little can be done to correct it if there is no cooperation among the people and the different bodies to make worthwhile and lasting corrections.

It is not too late, but all responsible people of the U.S. are going to have to face up to our problems and handle them with rightful responsibility. All must work together to accomplish this goal. There is room for improvement in the family, in the school, in the workplace, in society and all branches of government from city through all others including county, state and federal. It is a must if we intend to clean up our society.

Jesse Jenkins
Gainesville

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