The Journal Gazette
Wednesday, August 07, 2019 1:00 am


Give consumers a break on utility rate hikes

Because of my age, I have sat through many of these dog and pony shows and realize that the decision on a utility rate increase has already been made, but at least I can put my two cents in.

Do you realize Indiana is the sixth state in the nation for the highest utility rates? On top of that, we are fourth in the country for what we pay for fuel. True, we are one of the best states to live in because of the cost of living. But we are also one of the worst states in the country for high-paying jobs.

I have been a businessman for over 30 years, and I know that I could never get away with passing my capital improvements onto the backs of my consumers. If I put a new roof on my building, I can't expect to ask my customers for more money that basically improves my infrastructure.

Now that I am on a fixed income, all these rate increases take a toll on my ability to spend on other items that help stimulate our economy.

I fail to see how all these increases every year or so are needed to keep up our service. Maybe the utilities should put some of the money they earn into improving their business model instead of giving it all to investors or corporate officers. You can only go to the well for so long before it dries up.

If more efficient forms of energy are available, those are what you should be pursuing instead of constant rate increases. Coal will be a thing of the past someday, and now would be a good time to evaluate alternatives.

George D. Smith

New Haven

Join states' effort to hold Congress accountable

Congress has once again set the stage to blow though an old debt limit like a drunk driver blowing through another stop sign on his way to what will surely be a devastating crash. We can blame the Republocrats and Dempublicans for the latest chapter of this never-ending saga of fiscal irresponsibility. Of course, there are always a few voices warning of what lies ahead, but the congressional leadership of both parties and the administration invariably urge raising the limit to avoid a calamity.

Is this any way to run a country? Could you run your family this way? “Hey, let's run up another credit card to the max or we will have to skip dinner at Ruth's Chris and we won't be able to gas up the BMW.” Let's face it: our government is irresponsible, undisciplined and completely lacking a desire to change course.

There is a growing movement for the states to send delegates to a meeting where they will vote to propose amendments to the Constitution that neither Congress nor the president can stop. One topic for discussion at the proposed meeting is to impose fiscal restraints (i.e., limits to spending) so that we stop piling debt on our children and grandchildren.

The movement is called the Convention of States Project. You can learn nearly everything about it at You can join about a million and a half other Americans by adding your name to the petition. Better yet, you can sign up to be a volunteer.

Gary Harbaugh

Fort Wayne

County Republicans need new namesake for dinner

Given the recent shocking revelation of former President Ronald Reagan's racist comments to then-President Richard Nixon, I think it behooves the Allen County GOP to re-name their annual Reagan Bean Dinner. It's unseemly to have the annual fundraising event linked to someone who would hold such reprehensible ideas about people of African origin.

Why not rename the function the Trump Bean Dinner, as the current occupant of the White House has no connection whatsoever to such ugly racism. Oh, wait ... never mind.

Bea Jonas

Fort Wayne

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