I am writing this letter in response to your editorial on Aug. 8 in which you were in full support of having the nation's taxpayers continue funding TVA's non-power programs and for your endorsement of wanting TVA to be "the" energy provider for this area.

I strongly disagree with your board. TVA is a great example of a government institution that has run amok. Why you continue to support this cumbersome dinosaur is beyond me. Currently there are private energy companies -- the "Entergy Co." being one of them -- that are convinced that they can provide cheaper utility rates to us than TVA is doing.

According to a congressional study, TVA has run up so much debt that it is now completely unfeasible for a private utility to purchase it. And despite the fact that they are currently billions of dollars in debt, they refused to cut out their company yacht from this year's budget in which over $100,000 was spent to entertain TVA officials and their cronies during the fiscal year of 1996.

It seems like many folks, in particular the editorial board of the Daily Journal, are against government waste unless the waste is spent in Northeast Mississippi. Our nation's debt will never be paid off if we and the rest of the nation continue to take this short-term, selfish approach. Right now TVA has an economic development office in Tupelo when already we have CDF which has received national acclaim for the job they have been doing. Is this not a great example of wasteful duplication? I have been informed that we have a number of these wasteful pork trough offices sprinkled throughout the tri-state area.

In closing, let's allow the free enterprise system to run our utility system. Lower utility rates for our citizens is better than the status quo of allowing a bloated government agency to have it. And let's have the willpower to cut out TVA's non-utility programs and return the pork money back to the taxpayers of Northeast Mississippi. It's the right thing to do.

Robert K. Gaines


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