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What Do You Think?

September 28, 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: Do you think steps being taken to stabilize the U.S. financial system will succeed?

"The taxpayers (now or our grandchildren) will be paying for a long time to try to reimburse banks, etc., for losses they incurred because they issued loans that they knew wouldn't be repaid. I think the government has played right into the hands of the people who have already made megabucks. All those in office who sat by and watched this happen or who OK'd it with their vote should be voted out. And still, not one finger has been lifted to help the borrowers who thought they were chasing their dream with help from the profiteers. Badly managed businesses in the U.S. are supposed to go down the tubes, not be rescued by the government."

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"While there is a chance oil could help us, average Americans wouldn't feel the effects of that for years while the environment would. By the time the oil would start helping us, we could have alternative energy sources up and running, which would help us indefinitely, while oil would run out eventually. Congress has tried to pass alternative energy legislation, but the Democrats have a slim majority and are having a hard time getting anything too controversial through. With this next election, they will gain a greater majority and we will be able to see much more progress coming through. We need to take advantage of our other resources before it is too late, both economically and environmentally speaking."

"I agree we need to start now, but have not seen any attempts by this Congress or the last to do anything. We need to realize we are not dealing with just fuel. There are thousands of products that rely on oil for their creation, from plastics to medicines. I think the politicians promise a lot, but deliver little and have no intention of delivering anything, and I mean both parties. It's easy to blame the other party and I'm sure Bush will be blamed for the next eight years if the Democrats win when they don't deliver, and the Republicans will blame the Democrats if things don't turn out well. The truth is, both parties have let us down. I can see this and so can a lot of other people. If there was someone else to vote for besides the present candidates who I felt could do better, I would vote for them, but they would not deliver because they would have no power and be the scapegoat for Congress."

"The devil's in the details and no one wants to tell us the details. As I see it now, just two days ago the Bush administration wanted Congress to give $700 billion to the Treasury secretary to spend as he wants and Congress better act quickly or the Bush administration will blame Congress if the economy continues to deteriorate. I would like to get $700 billion to reward my friends - maybe the president won't have to hit the speaking circuit after all to 'replenish the coffers' if he leaves office in January. Did anyone else hear that haste makes waste? And some of that money could go to foreign banks to buy bad debts on their books. Call me skeptical, but I have seen more than enough of Bush/Cheney to know that they may not be even close to the truth. If they do get $700 billion with no strings attached, I'll bet that they are back before January demanding another $700 billion or more. McCain has a plan - who knew he was an expert on the economy. Not even McCain knew that."

"I am so tired of hearing about how banks and politics have caused this mess. The root of the issue is that people borrowed more money for homes than they could afford. Everyone was riding the greed wagon and the wheels fell off. Who gets to pay? The people who had enough common sense to keep their financial affairs in a sensible margin. You have CEOs of failing companies getting multimillion-dollar parachutes and homeowners who bought more than they could afford because they were trying to make a buck getting bailed out, and the people who managed things properly to begin with get to foot the bill. There needs to be more than bailouts. There needs to be accountability."

The second question was: What concerns you most about plans to run a high-voltage transmission line through parts of Maryland and West Virginia's Eastern Panhandle?

"Routing the lines so as to have the least impact on residents is most important in my opinion. I know of small towns in West Virginia and probably elsewhere where substations and large towers are already the predominant landmarks. The reward for enduring those facilities over the years is to be inconvenienced even more because of tie-ins."

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