Our Washington leaders need to get a backbone and do everything in their power to help the American people first instead of having spending sprees.

We are the ones paying taxes and our "leaders' " wages. It is an obligation for them to put the American taxpayers as their priority. Instead of banks or other institutions receiving a stimulus to be used all in the wrong places, Congress should freeze capital gains taxes at 0 percent for two years and cut payroll taxes. This would turn on the job-creation.

President Obama and Congress are disbursing the "TARP" money without any strings attached. Bank of America gave stimulus money to China? AIG leaders are getting rewarded for their mistakes? I don't understand how this is motivating the American economy. We ought to keep the money right here in the United States and inspire American taxpayers and workers to get the economy going again. Observing "Made in the USA" alone will prosper the American economy.

Give the stimulus back to the American people. We will use it to pay bills, invest, for home improvements, purchase health insurance, and each individual may decide on what is needed for her or his own stimulus and personal need. — Patty Frausto, Central Point

Damian Mann's article "Questions arise on usefulness of citizen involvement committee" referencing a slowdown in building activity has roots in past law.

LCDC blames Jackson County for failing to generate citizen involvement on land-use matters when it has only itself to blame. Senate Bill 100 and Measure 49 are the cause of all the rules and regulations, sky-high fees, stalled process and limitations that have eliminated private property owners' incentive to develop their land, ultimately stagnating the tax base.

Cowardly Jackson County commissioners are to blame, too, for sending federal judge-approved Measure 37 claimants to the Appeals Court, violating their oath of office to protect and defend citizens' rights.

It seems a better use of the committee would be to redirect their objectives and efforts to oppose land-use controls by helping landowners succeed in land development. Private property and the right to use it as desired is what made America the greatest nation.

County commissioners would then learn they could make more landowners happier with the honey of freedom than the sour grapes of control. — Robert Thomas, Grants Pass

On March 17, the Mail Tribune published an article about the rent control bill, HB 3196. I am very much in favor of this bill.

It does not keep landlords from raising rent on manufactured home spaces. It just ties the increase to the Consumer Price Index. As it is now, an unscrupulous landlord can raise the rent any amount he/she wants to as long as they give a 90-day notice. That is not to say that all park owners do that. Many of them are very fair, and I don't think this bill would cause them a hardship.

A lot of people live in manufactured homes because they can't afford to buy a stick-built house. Most manufactured home owners are senior citizens or low-income people. They have an investment in their home and can't just move if the rents become unaffordable. At this time, with the terrible state the economy is in, people can't afford to have their rents go higher.

I urge everyone to write to their representatives and senators and ask them to support HB 3196. It is a very good and fair bill. — Christine Mitchell, Phoenix

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