THE check is in the mail. Well, sort of! How many times have people fallen for that one?

I point that out after a story on the front page of The Herald Friday reported that Pennsylvania Acting Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar delivered a check for $118,312 to Mercer County to help with the cost of us being forced to buy new voting machines that included paper ballots.

While we appreciate the funds, the total cost of the machines is almost $1 million. 

However, we are told that plans are under way in the state government to help pay from much more of the cost, almost 80 percent. Supposedly Gov. Tom Wolf is working on getting a $90 million bond issue.

How many times have we been told that our state and federal governments would be supplying money for some project, then it is either vetoed or sent to some other program?

Remember a few years back when the state General Assembly said they were planning to cut their numbers and save the taxpayers a lot of money? How did that work out?

When it came time to make a final move, nothing changed. We still have one of the biggest and most expensive state governments in the country. And what do they really do for us? Try to name a few things that have really made your life better.

So I won’t be holding my breath until the check arrives at the county courthouse. And I’ll be ready to dig into my pocket when county commissioners tell us they have to raise taxes to help pay for the new voting machines.

Speaking of checks in the mail, can you imagine the insurance payments that will be going out over the destruction caused by Hurricane Dorian?

My heart bleeds for those poor people in the Bahamas and the East Coast where they lost their homes and even saw some deaths.

I remember when the tornado of 1985 swept through the area and wrecked much of Wheatland and parts of other communities, leaving death and destruction in its wake. Those sights will be etched in the memory of most of us forever.

But realistically, we all feel the effects of these massive tragedies. Our insurance rates are geared on a widespread national or even worldwide scale and naturally will go up from natural disasters.

If taxpayers’ money is distributed to help people in those areas of the United States, some of it is ours.

I am not bemoaning that we help people who are affected by these disasters. In fact at the risk of being called a Socialist, I am in favor of it. As part of the human race we need to help each other, not build a wall around ourselves and avoid the rest of mankind. 

Well, at least most of us are willing to help.

It will take a long time for some of those hard-hit areas of the Bahamas and East Coast to recover. 

And oh yeah, will somebody please help Alabama?

LYNN SATERNOW of The Herald writes this column each Saturday for The Opinion Page. He can be reached at

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