Letters: Stimulus, salaries, trucks
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Kai Ryssdal: We get comments one way or another about almost everything that airs on this program. But far and away it’s our commentaries that get the most listener reaction. Both pro and con. And as in the most recent example — corrective.
Last week we heard from David Frum about the economic benefits of the president’s stimulus package. The multiplier effect is what that’s called. A lot of you wrote to disagree with his opinion. That happens not infrequently. And a lot of you, like, say, Nicholas Battafarano from Notre Dame, Ind., took us to task for not checking our facts more carefully.
NICHOLAS BATTAFARANO: David Frum’s commentary repeated a divisive fallacy that is echoing around in the national debate about the economic stimulus package. He claimed that it provides funding for a high-speed rail line from Las Vegas to Disneyland. This is patently untrue. The nonpartisan Web site FactCheck.org debunks this rumor.
We checked as well. Page number 237 of the stimulus package if you’re reading along. There is money in the plan for a high-speed rail, $8 billion to be precise. Nothing though, about a route from Disneyland to Vegas, or any other route. There is a proposal out there for a high-speed train from Vegas to somewhere in Southern California, it’s just not part of the stimulus plan.
Moving right along, Chris Richter wrote about last week’s business of sports interview with Diana Nyad.
CHRIS RICHTER: The piece seemed to suggest taxpayers do not foot any of the bill for coaches’ salaries. My alma mater, the University of South Carolina, pays its head football coach a salary of $257,500 a year. The same goes for the basketball coach, who draws a $250,000 salary from the state.
Diana was talking specifically though about the University of Connecticut. So we called them. The university controller told us UConn basketball coach Jim Calhoun’s salary is paid by the athletic department and that department raises its own revenues from ticket sales, endorsements, boosters and others. We’ve got a call in to the University of South Carolina to ask them about Mr. Richter’s point. They haven’t called us back yet.
Finally this week, trucks. Sadie Babits reported on a proposal by the trucking industry to let bigger rigs on the road presumably saving time, money and fuel. Like Kay Bridges of Sausalito, Calif., a lot of you had a better idea.
KAY BRIDGES: There is a great way to ship more than one trailer of goods at a time with no additional congestion on the roads. It’s called “the train.” Help cut pollution, and take cars off the roads. Ship by rail.
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