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What Do You Think?

May 25, 2008

Editor's note: Each week, The Herald-Mail invites readers to answer poll questions on its Web site, www.herald-mail.com. Readers also may submit comments about the poll question when voting. Each Sunday, a sampling of edited reader comments will run in The Herald-Mail.

Last week, there were three poll questions.

The first question was: Should government-backed mortgages be provided to homeowners who are facing foreclosure?

"The more the government tries to fix anything, the more broken it becomes. Stay out of it ... and the market will balance itself."

"Many people are facing foreclosures because they borrowed more than they could afford to begin with and the greedy institutions who gave them the loans and knew they couldn't afford the loans approved them. It is like a parent always bailing their child out of trouble - they depend on the parent and do not take responsibility for themselves. The government has become that parent and so the failures will continue."

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"People need to learn responsibility for their own actions. It may seem cruel, but if someone bails you out every time you make a mistake, you are going to keep making the same mistakes."

"The state governments should force lenders and borrowers back to the table. Our elected officials should demand that the parties involved try to rectify the situation on their own accord first. Yeah, both parties are going to lose money, but it keeps the burden upon those who were solely involved in the first place. The same creative thinking that got us into this mess can be used to get us out."

"The government should do nothing and allow the chips to fall where they may. Any action taken by the government will do one thing and one thing only - make it take longer to actually come full circle."

The second question was: Should government employees be permitted to take government-issued vehicles home with them?

"Sure, as long as they are not used for personal use."

"Even in the case of emergency on-call personnel, the city would fare far better by paying mileage for personal vehicle use on a case-by-case basis because there are simply not enough cases to justify a take-home vehicle. Especially those that live outside the city! Common sense needs to prevail here. Gas is just far too expensive to give out perks like these on the taxpayers' tab."

"Police should be allowed to take vehicles home. The vehicle in a community acts as a deterrent."

"Especially with rising costs, the employee should pay a commuting charge. Also, vehicles should be assigned only to emergency call-out category employees. The government should not assign vehicles to employees just because they hold a high position unless warranted by circumstances. Having Maryland State Police vehicles on the road constantly is a benefit to the citizens and offsets the cost of off-duty use of the vehicles. Fuel costs may force changes in these policies, though."

The third question was: Will the price of gas have an effect on your plans for the Memorial Day weekend?

"It will not affect my plans because I try to avoid long distance travel on major holidays unless necessary. The heavy traffic is the reason."

"Chicken, shrimp, beer ... no need to go anywhere."

"It seems to me we are headed back to where we were as kids growing up. Can't afford a car or if we can we can't afford the fuel to take it anywhere except on special trips to see family and friends."

"Who says we are American born and bred, and we have rights, WRONG! It's not hurting President Bush's pocket, he's getting rich off of the troops that have died by his hands ... Bush owns shares in foreign oil, right in the very country our boys are fighting & dying in ... Release the reserves in the U.S., Mr. President!!!!!!!!!!! Recession is HERE!!!!!!"

"Surely the high price of gasoline is having an effect on travel. When I was a youth, we didn't travel far by car anyway. In the 30s and 40s. But we did have good bus and train service; and we can again if cars become too expensive for travel."

"Hopefully the high price of gas will force Congress to allow us to go after our own oil and not let us continue to be at the mercy of other countries who only like our money and give aways to them.We need to break the hold of the enviromentalists on this country or we will have more job loses and the economy will get worse. The high cost of gas effects every aspect of our lives. Is the polar bear more important than our children and grandchildren?"

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