From the Tennessean Letters Page

Beautify America, and put people to work

To the Editor:

While cycling and enjoying last Sunday beautiful weather, my wife and I noticed much more trash than normal on the roadsides. We hear daily about the $900 billion bailout package working its way through Congress and how it could balloon to over $1 trillion.

Rather than throwing billions at already wealthy big business CEOs and a few of their closest friends, why don’t we take a fraction of that amount and hire working people to spruce up our country from coast to coast?

Think about how impressive our roads could be if we put 100,000 people to work cleaning them up. Employing 90,000 workers at $15 per hour, plus 10,000 supervisors at $20 per hour, for one year would cost $4.9 billion. Payroll taxes, workers comp, and health insurance are included.

Throwing in vehicles to carry them around (bought from GM and Ford), along with necessary back office personnel, brings the figure to about $5.3 billion, less than 1 percent of the proposed “stimulus.”

Put similar numbers to work on parks, inner cities and other public places, and we would truly have America the beautiful again. Our leaders will never pursue a simple answer that helps the common worker, but they need to be held accountable for the taxpayer dollars they are wasting.

Doug Vaughn, THOMPSON’S STATION 37179

Thanks for the idea, Doug. Beginning March 1, thousands of volunteers will be picking up trash around the United States during the Great American Clean Up sponsored by Keep America Beautiful. Join us.

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