Goldman-Sachs to pay $550 million. Wow! Largest against a Wall Street firm!

Then we learn that the $500 million represents two weeks of their yearly income. I suspect not much work got done at Goldman that day because all the employees were experiencing uncontrollable laughter ... they were probably planning a celebration party and, while they were at it, paying themselves some bonuses.

I suspect the $550 million is tax-deductible, which means we taxpayers are actually paying part of it for Goldman. And to think, the Securities and Exchange Commission is bragging about their accomplishment. The penalty should have been $1 billion! — W. Story, Eagle Point

As of late it seems every family-oriented activity requires a new tax base or an endless supply of dollars to be successful. One exception is the City of Medford Railroad Park.

This park is owned by the city but developed, operated and maintained by the five sponsoring railroad clubs and receives no public funding. Families can come to the park and spend the day riding trains, exploring railroading history and interacting with every scale from HO models to full-size railway equipment. The park clubs are absolutely dedicated to the idea that everybody participates and no one is required to pay.

In the current economy when the donations have lagged behind expenses I have even witnessed many members dropping their own money in the donation jars anonymously. God bless these clubs and their unselfish commitment to the families and children of Southern Oregon. — Sharleen Brown, Medford

Media doesn't have a memory, but I do.

Remember Bush tax cuts for the wealthy and how the IRS quit auditing the wealthy? You wouldn't remember the decrease in audits during the Bush years, because the media didn't cover it.

Now in 2010, audits of those earning seven-figure incomes have increased 30 percent. No wonder some wealthy individuals in this area have put up road signs bashing Obama.

Remember Dick Cheney saying deficits don't matter? This could explain why budget deficits ran so high in the Republican administration. However, when a Democrat is in office, the Republicans suddenly discover fiscal religion.

Remember Bush trying to privatize Social Security? Republicans are talking about privatizing Medicare also and will if they get elected.

Remember how real incomes declined an average of $2,000/family? You do, but you didn't blame it on the government. Remember Bush going to war in Iraq and not finishing the job in Afghanistan? Soldiers are dying needlessly thanks to that decision.

Vote wisely. — Dawn Sinnott, Medford

The BP crisis has shown how Obama's rhetorical style has impeded his effectiveness. No one expected him to "suck it up with a straw," but he did have the authority to intervene immediately and he didn't.

Nero fiddled while Rome burned, Obama for 56 days played golf and delivered jokes to the White House correspondents' dinner when he should have been on his way to the Louisiana coast.

His lack of immediate commanding action was perceived as a lack of leadership. When he finally addressed the nation, 50 percent of his rhetoric was a pitch for cap and trade. Obama has never run a company nor met a payroll, in fact, the only thing he runs is his mouth.

Obama lacks humility and class, always blaming others. He did not spend the formative years of youth growing up in America, so culturally he is not an American. Over half of his life he's aligned with radical extremists who hate America, and he refuses to denounce these radicals who want America to fail.

How can the administration stand up to terrorists when they can't even face Fox News? So, I will give your president the same respect you gave mine. — Jerry Hall, Medford

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