Letters To The Editor

Friday, May 9, 2003 at 1:00am

Bennett: moral yet not without flaws


Dr. William Bennett has been, is, and will continue to be in the vanguard of this country's war against immorality, vice, crime and corruption. The people, organizations, syndicates and forces lined up against his wholesome sense of idealism will fail in their carefully planned strategy to disarm him and the forces of good.

Bennett's character has a strong moral base, but he is not without flaws. One of his flaws has been gambling, which is defenseless because of the social ills (prostitution, liquor, drugs, and corruption in business and government, et. al) it brings about.

What gladdens the hearts of the people on the edge of my world is that when he is confronting the flaw in his own armor he is willing to face up to it, admit it, and conscript enlistees - family, friends, church, the press and the world - to move with him to bring about victory against his gambling.

Good people who step forth to defend the virtues for which Bennett stands can positively help him by referring him to individuals who have the expertise to chisel out the bullet hole he shot in his own armor, fortify the weak spot, smooth it off, metal-blast it, give it a smooth finish, and get on with the battle of life.

On my edge of the world, we accept Bennett's quest for morality, but not his quest for gambling. May the Lord save and keep him. We need and want him, minus his gambling.



Is Bush tax logic sound fiscal plan?


The Bush administration argued when it came into office that tax cuts for the rich were needed during a surplus in order to give people their money back. The administration now argues that big tax cuts for the wealthy are needed when running a deficit in order to stimulate the economy.

Meanwhile, basic services are being slashed around the nation. Schools are cutting back the school year. States are eliminating health-care coverage. And the federal government appears to be descending into debt for the foreseeable future.

Perhaps members of Congress should ask themselves if the ultimate extension of the administration's tax logic - tax cuts for the wealthy at every opportunity - is really a sound fiscal plan for a nation with so many under-funded public needs?



Ought to be laws against stupidity


Every year when floods cripple our area and do millions of dollars in damage, I stare in disbelief at man's stupidity. Builders that build in flood-prone areas and the government that allows them to should be run out of town. I guess it is greed or ignorance that leads men to do stupid things.

Flood-prone land usually sells cheap, allowing developers to make more money on unwise, uninformed buyers. No one should build on land that has ever flooded because it definitely will flood again. Today maps are available to locate floodable areas so no one has to guess.

It won't do any good to rebuild because the area will flood again. It ought to be a crime to build in flood areas and sell the property to another person. There are enough natural disasters in the world not to build in a disaster just waiting to happen.



Let's put teeth in lending laws


As a former chief executive officer of a financial institution specializing in mortgage lending, I am fascinated by the activity the state government is now undertaking to curb excessive interest rates and fees charged by mortgage lenders. There is no doubt in my mind that a portion of the lending community is abusing innocent homeowners by charging excessive fees and failing to disclose in simple terms the risks associated with the loans being offered.

It is not new legislation that is needed but rather an enforcement of existing federal regulations that apply to all mortgagees of record. The state of Tennessee is not filling its fiduciary responsibility to enforce the lending laws presently on the books.

Call the agency regulating mortgage lenders and ask how many investigators are employed and how often do the lenders get examined. Greed is an unworthy human emotion, but passing additional regulations that are not enforced in a prompt and judicious fashion is just adding on to the problem.

Predatory lending is a disgrace to all in mortgage lending, but our industry wants to see that existing laws and regulations are properly disclosed. I am firmly convinced that the addition of 50 examiners in the Department of Financial Institutions under prudent direction will control predatory lending and even disclose discriminatory lending policies occurring in our state.

I will volunteer my time in an effort to create the staffing needs of an effective examination vehicle to protect innocent mortgagors from undetected abuses by licensed and unregulated mortgage lenders. Let's get with the program.



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