LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Irony is our watchword when we read that Brammo Inc. is raising millions of dollars from American capitalists to build its motorcycles in ... Singapore.

Is this because Americans don't know how to build such things? Or is there another reason? — Gerald Cavanaugh, Ashland

I am writing because of my outrage with the City of Eagle Point water/sewer bills that I have been paying regularly.

I moved here in November 2009 after purchasing my home through the USDA rural home loan program. I am a single mom, I work part-time and I have one child at home — he is 10 years old and disabled.

I went to the city of Eagle Point thinking that I only needed to come up with $119.27, and then was told to pay $221.07 (entire bill plus $40 shut-off fee). No pink notice on my door! But then I remembered, in the recent past we did qualify for a reduced program for water/sewer bills when we lived in Central Point last year.

I am now calling on Eagle Point to implement a reduced fee program for the water utility.

The city of Eagle Point could design their service application easily, by simply following the example of Central Point's discount for extreme hardship for those who qualify. On the city's website, www.centralpointoregon.gov, click on "I want to" then "Submit Hardship Application." — Roxanne Johnson, Eagle Point

The country faces two great challenges, high unemployment and high public debt. Can we address both problems at the same time? I doubt it.

One solution to high unemployment is to get the economy moving which, in turn, will create jobs. The $787 billion stimulus program approved in February 2009 was quickly ramped up and the spending has now peaked and will fall off over the next year or so.

The problem with this program is that it has increased the public debt. However, if the program has prevented the country from sinking into a severe depression and improved the economic outlook then it is a good step. Increasing economic output will reduce our government debt faster than any other measure that may be taken.

So, has the stimulus program worked? The majority of economists believe the economy would be in much worse shape today if there had been no stimulus program. Many also say that the program was too small to be fully effective (New York Times editorial by Paul Krugman, Sept. 7, for example).

The quickest way to pay down our debt is to get the economy moving again. — John Limb, Ashland

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