Sunday, April 22, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Sunday’s letters: Taking the bad (layoffs) with the good (bonuses)

Companies are giving back | Dec. 28, letter

Taking the bad with the good

The letter writer takes a jab at the Times for not mentioning the bonuses supposedly given employees due to the Donald Trump tax plan. His sources are TV and Facebook, which we all know are very reliable. Conveniently left out of the letter was the fact that both AT&T and Wells Fargo, the bonus givers, announced layoffs of 1,000 and 900 employees respectively just before announcing the bonuses. The sources for this were AT&T and Wells Fargo. So before we go about patting Trump on the back for helping employees get a bonus, let’s consider the cost to those who have lost their jobs to pay for it.

Ray Day, Spring Hill

To beat Trump, think like his supporters
Dec. 27, commentary

U.S. as world’s piggybank

Opinions like that of Andrés Miguel Rondón remind us why we voted for Donald Trump. We are tired of being the world’s monetary bank, the army that protects the world and services every disaster across the globe, yet is criticized for everything we do. The United States is in debt largely because we give billions every year to countries across the world who feel free to tell the United States what to do and when to do it.

Rondón should return to his native Venezuela and fix his country. Before he leaves Madrid, maybe he can help the Catalan people who have been oppressed by the Spanish government.

Pat Dalton, Clearwater

U.S. says it negotiated $285M cut in U.N. budget | Dec. 26

Meaning of generosity

U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley says U.S. generosity toward the United Nations is unappreciated, citing the vote by many nations against the U.S. position about moving its embassy to Jerusalem. Obviously she doesn’t know the meaning of generosity. If you’re being generous, you can’t attach a bill to your generosity.

Joe Jones, New Port Richey

Congress

Corrosive influence of cash

C-SPAN’s Washington Journal aired a presentation on Dec. 21 with two political experts as the guests who were there to give grades for the job that the two houses of the U.S. Congress have earned so far.

One guest, James Thurber, a distinguished professor of government at American University and founder of the Presidential and Congressional Center, provided an overall grade of D-minus for both the House and the Senate.

Ultimately, a caller from Tampa stated on air: "The poor grades which the House and the Senate, both Republicans and Democrats, have earned … arise from their necessity to answer to and spend 75 percent of their time drumming up large campaign contributions from wealthy donors who largely … profit at the expense and loss of the vast majority of U.S. citizens, leaving only 25 percent of their time doing a very poor job legislating."

The caller continued: "This corrupt plutocracy all resulted from the three Supreme Court rulings of Buckley vs. Valeo (1976) equating the graft of big money in political campaigns to freedom of speech; Citizens United vs. FEC (2010) opening the door to super PACs and then McCutcheon vs. FEC (2014) opening the door to dark money in political campaigns."

Immediately in response to this caller’s statements, Thurber stated: "He should be on C-SPAN. He hit the nail right on the head."

So, in today’s choices between Republicans or Democrats, one can only, for the most part, simply "pick your poison."

John I. Campo, Tampa

Industries counting tax law benefits
Dec. 27

A successful formula

In a shameful display of anti-Trumpism, this Associated Press article states the benefits of the 2017 tax reform to the categories of businesses and employers, but seems to feel obligated to put in negative disclaimers:

• "Yet mainstream economists have expressed mainly doubts that workers will benefit much from corporations’ lower tax burdens."

• And in speaking of tech companies: "But their employees may not have cause to rejoice: CFRA analyst Scott Kessler predicts that tech companies will use most of the money they repatriate to buy back their stock and pay shareholder dividends."

One can always find "analysts" who will say what you want to hear. I assume that’s the reason the AP didn’t interview well-known economist Lawrence Kudlow for its article.

In an article in Time in September, Kudlow and co-author Brian Domitrovic wrote about the success of the tax cuts made during the Kennedy/Johnson and Reagan presidencies. The following positive observations are about the benefits to our economy that came from tax cuts like those included in the 2017 reform:

• Given that his spending had proved a flop (on his campaign promise to "get this country moving again"), Kennedy … (initiated) a plan to cut income tax rates across the board, from 20 percent to 30 percent apiece. As Kennedy’s tax-rate cut … was … implemented … the nation embarked upon an eight-and-a-half-year, uninterrupted run of growth at just over 5 percent a year.

• As president in the 1980s, Ronald Reagan said repeatedly that his own tax cuts were taken from the Kennedy model. The major tax-rate cut of 1986, which took the top income tax rate down to a five-decade low of 28 percent, passed the Senate 97-3, as the nation enjoyed a long run of growth comfortably over 4 percent per year.

• The Kennedy-Reagan policy mix of tax rate cuts in the context of a strong dollar remains untried in the 21st century, a now nearly 16-year period of unprecedented economic sluggishness.

The two greatest political figures of the last 60 years gave us the model we need today to set our great nation back in its natural groove of growth again.

Terry Kemple, Brandon

Comments

Sunday’s letters: Problems with high-speed rail

Thanks, Gov. Scott, for ghastly I-4 drives | April 18, Sue Carlton columnProblems with high-speed railIn her Wednesday column, the writer bemoaned the traffic on I-4 and blasted Gov. Rick Scott for turning down free government money for a high-sp...
Published: 04/21/18

Saturday’s letters: Don’t weaken rules on fisheries

Florida fisheriesDon’t weaken rules on fish stocksMembers of Congress are proposing changes to an important ocean law, the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, that would adversely affect coastal states including Florida.Since it...
Published: 04/19/18
Updated: 04/20/18

Friday’s letters: We owe it to our children to teach them history

If we don’t understand past, future looks grim | April 19, Daniel Ruth columnThe history we owe our childrenIt’s not often I agree with Daniel Ruth, but this article was spot-on. I’m not sure when the schools started ignoring Germany’s World War ...
Published: 04/19/18

Thursday’s letters: Gun research can save lives

Gun ownershipCommon ground: Find the factsThere are many areas in the current debate about guns and gun ownership where both sides must agree to disagree. But there is one area where common ground ought to exist. That concerns the need for continuing...
Published: 04/18/18

Wednesday’s letters:

Poverty and plenty in bay area | April 7, editorialStruggling poor are not a priorityI commend your newspaper for continuing to produce real and relevant news, particularly the recent editorial pointing out that a prospering Tampa Bay should not ...
Published: 04/16/18
Updated: 04/17/18

Hernando Letters to the Editor for April 20

Bar Association celebrates Law WeekPresident Dwight D. Eisenhower proclaimed May 1, 1958, as the first Law Day to mark the nation’s commitment to the rule of law. Every year on this day, we reflect on the significance of the rule of law and rededicat...
Published: 04/16/18
Updated: 04/17/18

Tuesday’s letters: Stop cooperating with ICE

Sheriff’s ICE policy blasted | April 10Pinellas should end partnership with ICEPinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri recently participated in a community conversation on his controversial agreement with ICE to voluntarily detain immigrants in the...
Published: 04/16/18

Sunday’s letters: The future of oyster production

Shell game | April 15Future of oyster productionThanks to Laura Reiley for an excellent synopsis of the current state of oyster production in Florida. The collapse of the Apalachicola oyster fishery is merely the latest example of the demise of a...
Published: 04/14/18

Monday’s letters: Public education is foundation of the nation

Voters beware of ballot deceptionApril 13, commentarySchools’ role underminedIt was with great pain that I read (not for the first time) that we must be aware of "ballot deception." Public schools were founded to make sure that future generations of ...
Published: 04/13/18

Saturday’s letters: Health Department should butt out

Judge: Grow pot, Mr. Redner | April 12Health officials should butt outThe Times reports that the Florida Department of Health filed an appeal to the decision allowing a man who is a Stage 4 lung cancer survivor to grow pot in his backyard for his ...
Published: 04/11/18
Updated: 04/13/18