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Ohio lawmakers should increase state gas tax


Published: Sun, February 19, 2017 @ 12:00 a.m.

Ohio lawmakers should increase state gas tax

A recent Vindica- tor article expressing the outlook from the Mahoning County engineer on our crumbling roads should not be ignored. Ohio legislators simply need to bite the bullet and raise the gas tax. The price of gas has bounced up and down a bit but has stayed very low. Americans like their independence, like to drive and like their cars – they need roads. It’s time to pay for the roads.

Obviously, Americans have fallen out of love with small cars – the shutting down of the third shift at Lordstown is testament to that. If we don’t mind fueling up a Crew Cab or an SUV because of low gas prices, we should not mind paying a bit more per gallon of gas.

How many people do you know who have lost a tire or incurred worse damage to a pothole? Even more concerning is the potential for collisions as drivers trying to avoid a pothole cause an accident.

And what about the area’s public image? We are touting our potential as a high- tech job center. To continue that means bringing in new ideas and people. But can you imagine coming from the West Coast to stay at the new hotel downtown and having to navigate the many Third World trails we call roads in Mahoning County?

Auto maintenance repairs, higher insurance rates due to accidents and the area’s public image are all hidden costs that need to be considered. Just think, maybe better roads will inspire us to buy the Chevy Cruze again and not fear them being swallowed up by potholes.

And finally, our roads are buckling in part to dramatic changes in temperature, possibly due to auto emissions and climate change. Those who drive gas guzzlers will cry “No Way!” I say, “Ok! – just pay!”

Robin Schuler, Canfield

Trump’s foreign policy leaves lot to be desired

Never in our history has our commander-in-chief appeared more like an oversized bull in a delicate china shop than when watching President Trump navigate foreign matters and alienate multiple heads of state. We are not yet at the one-month mark, and our president already has made enemies of longtime allies from one end of the globe to the other. Whether it is a telephone conversation with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, informing him that Mexico will indeed pay for the wall to keep illegal aliens out of the U.S. or comments to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull of Australia, informing him that his phone call is simply the worst of the day – Trump has a real knack for destroying foreign relationships.

Where is the diplomacy that has been exhibited by past presidents? Dignity, confidence, a measured response and self-control are just a few of the essential qualities that I expect our president to possess. I have been watching for these presidential virtues to emerge. We certainly did not see it in the campaign. We did not see it in his tweets. We did not see it in his reaction to the inaugural attendance press report.

Despite my other concerns about Trump’s policies, I must rely upon him to represent our country as president. I am an American, and I need him to conduct himself in a dignified, intelligent, and confident manner. It is time to close his Twitter account and focus on how to articulate his position without inciting anger, which only further divides our country. The president of the United States is endowed with many powers; let one of these be the power to recognize when to be silent.

As defined by Henry Kissinger, “Diplomacy: the art of restraining power.”

Cindy J. Sarnowski, Poland

Planned Parenthood is a health-care provider

Planned Parent- hood should not be defunded just because it does abortions. Although President Donald Trump does not care to take this fact into consideration, the agency does much more than abortions.

Planned Parenthood provides affordable health care for both males and females, services that focus on sexual health and breast exams.

People all over the United States use Planned Parenthood as their main health-care provider. It has more than 10 million activists, supporters and donors, yet Trump still wants to defund it.

President Trump said, “I would defund it because of the abortion factor, which they say is 3 percent. ... But I would defund it, because I’m pro-life.” What the president does not realize is that some women have abortions because their pregnancies are life-threatening. Trump says he is pro-life. If he were, he would not be able to choose between the life of the mother and the life of her child.

If President Trump defunds Planned Parenthood, many people will not have access to health care because they cannot afford it. Nobody should have to choose between being healthy and paying their bills. Trump says he will, “make America great again,” but he has no plans of providing affordable health care, while other countries already have it. Instead of providing free health care for Americans, he is taking a health care system that provides for millions of Americans away without having a replacement for it. Does anything about that scream “great?”

If Trump does not take the time to look at the wonderful services Planned Parenthood provides, he will harm millions of Americans. For the sake of the American people, I hope he rethinks his decision to defund Planned Parenthood.

Victoria Remley, Poland


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