Letter: TOPS program an asset paid for by La. residents

The Advocate’s opinion about the TOPS program appears to be at odds with the people who make up this great state.

Everyone whom I have ever discussed the TOPS program with is in favor of it. To have a program that will assist our children in an education at a university, trade school or community college and is based solely on their ability to succeed in gaining that education is a credit to this state, not a liability.

You cite “The Louisiana Legislative Auditor’s Office reported nearly half of the college students awarded TOPS scholarships between 2002 and 2008 lost their award, costing the state about $165 million.” Talk about putting a spin on something!

Heck, if people lost their award, the state doesn’t have to pay anymore. That’s NOT losing money; that’s saving future dollars.

Let’s be clear. People pay the taxes that the government runs on. We pay the sales tax, the income tax, the property tax, and if a business is taxed, that cost is passed on to the consumer; yes, that’s us again.

Now, help us with providing an opportunity for our children to attain an education after high school. Stop threatening us with the destruction of a good program.

And folks, beware of Greeks bearing gifts, because whenever a legislator wants to make an improvement on TOPS, it will invariably reduce the benefits it provides, I guarantee.

Bill Salmon

respiratory therapist

Denham Springs