Re: "Metro finding more cracks in rails," Feb. 2
Thursday's Examiner article left out a potential cause of cracks in Metro's rails. Pounding occurs when a rail car wheel is out of round. As the wheel spins, the heavy side of the wheel exerts stress on the rails because of centrifugal forces.
Pounding gets worse in acceleration, much like a washing machine with an imbalanced load during the spin cycle. If the out-of-balance condition is severe, the wheel will leave the rail and pound down on it repeatedly.
Metro needs to check where the cracks are occurring in relationship to their stations. If the cracks are somewhat concentrated in the acceleration area past the stations, pounding is likely the cause.
Twice, I have been in rail cars that vibrated so badly I thought the cars would jump the track. Both instances were reported to the station masters, with the car numbers provided, but they seemed disinterested.
Freezing federal workers' pay won't fix deficit
Re: "House votes to continue federal worker pay freeze," Feb. 1
Republicans like to say that the rich deserve to keep what they have earned. But couldn't you use that same logic to say that federal workers also deserve what they have earned over time while advancing up the GS ladder?
And if taxing the rich does not bring in much tax revenue, as these same Republicans maintain, denying pay raises to federal workers for three years won't save much money either.
Republicans fight like hell to protect the Bush tax cuts for the top 1 percent while also insisting that eliminating them will not help to reduce the deficit. They can't have it both ways.
Congress will never eliminate its own perks
There are many excellent ideas to repair our broken Congress. They include:
* Term limits;
* Requiring Congress to abide by all laws they impose on the American people, including participation in the same health care system and Social Security;
* Public-funded campaigns; and
* The elimination of tenure and pensions, requiring members to purchase their own retirement plans like the rest of us.
The problem is that nobody in Congress will support these ideas.
The solution is to convert these ideas into action by supporting citizen representatives who refuse to accept special-interest money, are independent of any political party, and agree to serve a limited term. Serving in Congress should be an honor, not a career.
Billy D. Clifford