Please allow me to respond to the Oct. 19 letter, “Renacci knows what to do.”
“Cash for clunkers” was described as “a big bust.” Please remember that the point of the program was to prime the pump for auto sales.
Car sales soared during the roughly two months of the effort in the summer of 2009, then fell off in September, primarily because the supply of cars was depleted.
From October of 2009 on, sales have steadily increased. According to the National Automobile Dealers’ Association, sales of new vehicles have gone up every year since and are on track this year to surpass those of 2008, when we entered the recession.
And that is precisely what it was supposed to do, at a cost estimated to be roughly $4,600 per vehicle, a sound investment with an excellent outcome.
Regarding General Motors, if it had gone into full bankruptcy, it would have closed. There were no investors, no private loans available, to keep it afloat. Some pieces of GM might have been absorbed by other automakers.
Not only would GM workers have lost jobs, so would have tens of thousands working at automotive suppliers. This last fact was the reason both Toyota and Honda supported the government’s intervention.
They did so not because they are nice people, but because they use the same suppliers, and could not afford the disruptions to their supply chains.
And guess who else would have suffered in full bankruptcy? The dealers, such as Jim Renacci. Why? Because GM could have pulled the plug on them with impunity, disregarding state franchise laws.
According to the Wall Street Journal, declining sales left both GM and Chrysler with many more dealerships than they need. Isn’t that the gist of Renacci’s position? That what can’t be afforded should be cut? Yet he and the letter writer are unhappy that GM did so.
Was there a sweetheart deal for the unions? Sure, if reducing membership, closing plants, lowering wages and dumping retiree health care benefits is such a deal.
And if the writer wants to get a true picture of GM employment, don’t start in 2008, when it was foundering in the “free market.” Start in June 2009, when it was restructured.
GM, like the industry as a whole, has increased its employment, ironically starting the same month “cash for clunkers” passed Congress.
Let it suffice to say that the letter writer serves as a fine example of the path taken in much of our political discourse, not with an in-depth analysis of all the facts, but with fables that could easily begin with, “Once upon a time… .”
Paul J. Forestal
Avoid the ‘fiscal cliff’
The sequestration part of the upcoming “fiscal cliff” will deal a devastating blow to many needed programs that assist the most vulnerable populations. These across-the-board spending cuts would come as a result of our elected representatives’ failure to achieve bipartisan support for deficit reduction.
Everything would take a hit, even defense spending. Who is going to feel the effects the most? Seniors, people with disabilities, children and those struggling to find affordable, accessible housing or hold on to the homes they have.
The agencies we depend on to provide for our national safety and security would lose funding, which would result in reduced services.
We need to demand that our elected officials find a workable solution to avoid sequestration. I urge readers to write to their congressional representatives today.
Education gap in Ohio
I couldn’t help but notice the success of our five-county region’s public school districts, according to the Oct. 18 article “Summit school districts rate high in review.”
According to the School District Report Card 2011-2012 chart, 58 of 62 districts (94 percent) are rated Effective or higher.
In fact, 51 of 62 districts (82 percent) are performing at Excellent or Excellent with Distinction. Kudos to all the students, parents, teachers, administrators and everyone who support these schools. A job well done.
However, I also couldn’t believe the glaring disparity between public schools and charter schools, as highlighted by the related chart for charter schools.
Of the 29 area charter schools, only 4 of 29 (14 percent) were rated Effective or higher. In fact, there were no charter schools rated Excellent or Excellent with Distinction.
In other words, 25 of 29 (86 percent) of area charter schools were rated in Continuous Improvement, Academic Watch, Academic Emergency or Not Rated categories.
With the above in mind, understand that the nonpartisan Center on Budget and Policy Priorities reported that the Ohio General Assembly passed, and Gov. John Kasich signed into law, a state budget that cut $1.8 billion in aid to Ohio public schools.
According to Innovation Ohio, a nonpartisan organization dedicated to promoting public policy, the 2012 Ohio state budget included $771 million for charter schools, a $568 million increase over 2011.
Why is our Republican-controlled state government supporting miserably performing charter schools while at the same time undercutting exemplary public schools?
I suggest you keep this question in mind when you vote.
This is in response to the Oct. 19 article, “Paranormal fest at Medina library raises objections.”
The Rev. Mark Hartshorn should sit down, be quiet and mind his own business.
I am so tired of the minority pushing its views onto everyone else and thinking that everyone has to do as it says and thinks.
He can have his own Christian-based spiritual gathering and let those who want to participate join in, but don’t try to force others to do so.
Renacci has what the district needs
What the 16th U.S. House District needs most at this moment, U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci is vastly better able to provide than his opponent.
We badly need a Congress determined to decrease our national debt, without stifling economic growth.
We need one that promotes spending and regulatory policies that make creating jobs easier, not harder, because that is what reduces unemployment. And we need a Congress devoted to using fewer borrowed dollars to fund the federal budget.
The nation faces grave problems. Our vote is our most important contribution toward solving them.
Business-minded financial discipline is exactly what Renacci is offering. He has worked as a certified public accountant. Over nearly three decades, he created successful businesses and hundreds of jobs.
While serving as the mayor of Wadsworth, he balanced its budgets and increased its surplus.
Renacci understands accountability to taxpayers at the local level. His opponent this year, whose background is as a labor attorney, simply cannot match Renacci’s ideal qualifications to represent us in Congress.
What we get from Congress depends on the judgments we make about who we send there. Matching skills and experience with the job’s demands seems the most objective way to gauge a candidate’s fitness.
I know Renacci personally, and he is a truly decent human being. And I suspect that most voters can see through the typical mud-slinging Renacci now faces.
I will vote for Renacci this November because he offers exactly what this moment requires. I respectfully urge others to consider doing the same.
Mayor Gary F. Werner
City of Brunswick
Armstrong still lifts those with cancer
This is in response to the Oct. 15 editorial page cartoon about Lance Armstrong.
I worked in a small hospital in Alaska from 2000 to 2003, and one evening I took care of a young boy that had come home from school and told his mother that he had heard the story about Lance Armstrong and his battle with testicular cancer.
This young boy had learned what the signs of testicular cancer are, and told his mother that one of his testicles fit that description.
His mother was quick to call the family doctor, who told her to bring him right in to be seen in the office. The diagnosis of testicular cancer was made and surgery to remove the cancerous testicle was performed that same evening. Later surgery for lymph node biopsies gave evidence that the cancer had not spread, and the boy was cancer-free.
To this boy and his family, Armstrong was a hero.
Cancer has touched my family, and, as a nurse, I have taken care of people with cancer, but on the day this cartoon ran it became personal.
As I was getting ready to go to work, my dermatologist called and told me that a biopsy taken from my back the week before had come back as melanoma. Now I’m the patient, and I am inspired by Armstrong the cancer survivor and teacher.