UNFAIR TO LANDLORDS
The vast majority of landlords are small, individual owners who have a few rentals ("What to do about rent," Aug. 19). Many of these are working people who used real estate investing to add to their portfolio for retirement. They have mortgages, property taxes, insurance, maintenance and utilities that continue to be due, yet, due to the moratorium, they have no income to pay these expenses. This means they are at risk of losing significant retirement savings and having their credit score destroyed.
Sadder yet are the number of renters who refuse to pay their rent despite being fully employed and able, not because they don't have the money, but simply because the government says they can get away with it. It was understandable to have a short-term moratorium in the outset of the pandemic. Now going on one-and-half years, it has been stretched by politicians to benefit a certain number of people while destroying the rights and investments of another group of people.
Government should never be able to destroy one class of citizens in order to help another class of citizens. All Americans should be aghast that the government has, without legislation, destroyed the rights of a group of citizens at the stroke of a pen by a bureaucrat.
What if politicians decide that cars are critical to people being safe and no one has to pay for a car? What happens when food is deemed essential and people who don't want to pay for food can just take it for free? Sound ridiculous? That's what the government has done on rent. What is next?
NOT AN EMERGENCY
The eviction moratoriums were never meant to protect people from having to pay their bills. They were an emergency measure by a government claiming to be temporarily overwhelmed by a once-in-history pandemic, where they just simply didn't have the ability to get financial aid out in time.
But they've had 17 months now to catch up. It's no longer an emergency. If the government wants to choose people who are deserving of free housing, then they should do so, and pay for it, not force other people to house them for free.
The moratoriums are a false promise and a scam. In the end, it runs middle-class housing out of business, reduces choices for tenants and monopolizes housing under big corporations.
The emergency is over. We have vaccines. We have jobs. It's time for personal responsibility again.
NO PLACE FOR HATE
On Aug. 13, I saw a neo-Nazi recruiting sign posted on a public utility pole at Bradfordton Road and Old Jacksonville Road. I understand that the same sign appeared at other locations in Springfield over the weekend, most notably at one of the entrances of the Koke Mill subdivision.
I am not Jewish. I am not "woke." While I listen to National Public Radio, sometimes its perspective makes me angry. I believe Black lives matter, but so do all other lives.
The neo-Nazi signs were shocking and are unacceptable. It should be a wake-up call that we do not live in a sheltered community where extremism does not exist. And while our hearts ask how this is possible, recent national events tell our heads something different. We should be vigilant and not let such public recruitment efforts for hate (and likely undemocratic) groups go unchallenged. Mr. Lincoln's hometown deserves better.
Mayor Jim Langfelder should convene a public meeting to address these symbols of hate and recruitment efforts. He should be telling us what he, and the city, are doing to make sure such unmistakably clear expressions of intolerance have no place in Springfield.