Democrat should do its homework

Published 11:09 pm Saturday, March 7, 2009

First of all let me express that I am an employee of the Natchez Transit System. I write this rebuttal without any prompting from anyone within the structure of the city and this is solely my opinion as a taxpayer of Natchez.

This rebuttal is in response to your editorial, which was in The Natchez Democrat on Feb. 27, titled “City must tighten up before worst.”

Since you have singled out the Natchez Transit System for a case in point, allow me to ask you a few questions.

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a) Are you in the habit of writing editorials about cutting jobs without performing any research before hand? Surely you must understand that cutting jobs is quite extreme.

b) Do you even have any knowledge of basic economics?

c) Do you really believe that all of the construction we had last year, which drove up the sales tax, was going to last forever?

Natchez Transit picks up over 4,000 people per month. This figure does not account for the dialysis patients who must receive care every other day. This figure also does not account for the patients we take to hospitals in Jackson and elsewhere.

Our passengers may be going to work, college, the doctor’s office or shopping. They may be poor, disabled, lower middle class or elderly.

Many of the elderly are taken to the Natchez Senior Center to Adult Day Care or senior programs so that they may mingle with their peers. They also receive a free lunch and much love.

The other passengers are working at jobs so that they may better themselves. This gives them extra money with which they spend and pay sales tax. In some cases it helps these people get away from welfare and other programs.

Passengers go to the doctor. The doctor, in return, receives money which he or she will spend which results in sales tax.

Passengers go to the grocery stores, clothing stores, drug stores, etc. These merchants will spend their profits on items, which produces sales tax.

If I and other drivers for Natchez Transit have our jobs cut, we can no longer pay our rent, mortgages, car notes and insurance. We can no longer afford to buy groceries and other items. This results in less sales tax.

You might also look into the fact that Natchez Transit does not receive as much money from the City of Natchez as it does from other sources too numerous to mention in this rebuttal.

Please, next time you feel the urge to end a person’s livelihood, do some homework. I would be more than happy to let you ride with me one morning. I start at 5 a.m. You would have a drastic change of opinion.

Even though you didn’t sign your name to your editorial, I am more than happy to sign my name to this rebuttal.

Charles A. Bader

Natchez Transit driver and Natchez resident