Trade disputes torpedo G-7 summit | June 10
Canadian visitors are owed apology
Like many Pinellas County residents, I’m pleased that we receive thousands of Canadian "snow birds" as part-year residents. Not only do they enhance our economy, but by and large they are outstanding guests. I wish those Canadians with whom I’ve developed friendships were here now so I could apologize personally for the boorish, even scurrilous attacks by President Trump on Prime Minister Trudeau.
There doubtless is room for honest disagreements about tariffs, but that doesn’t excuse Trump’s "diplomacy" by personal vilification of our allies’ leaders. Even while the president attacks friends who share what we used to think were America’s values, he praises dictators and strongmen like Russia’s Vladimir Putin.
I doubt any apologies will be coming from the White House as one of Trump’s chief aides suggested there is a "special place in hell" for Trudeau. Gov. Rick Scott has spoken in the past of the great importance of Canadians to Florida’s economy. Is it too much to hope that he or Sen. Marco Rubio will apologize to our Canadian friends on behalf of the state of Florida?
Tony Branch, Madeira Beach
Trump seeks balance for U.S.
It’s hard to understand why the Tampa Bay Times in its stories on tariffs fails to point out that Canada already imposes a nearly 300 percent tariff on American dairy products. I would classify this as an imbalance between our two countries. Yet you make Trump the bad guy for going to bat for America. All he wants is fairness with all countries on tariff issues.
One last fact about Canada: Its military budget this year is a little over $20 billion. The U.S. defense budget is $613 billion. Is it too hard to conclude that Canadians feel they can spend less on defense because U.S. taxpayers foot a big bill that also protects Canada?
Joseph Wynne, New Port Richey
Running out of time, cash for entitlements | June 10
High earners should pay more
I have no problem with millionaires and billionaires collecting their Social Security checks as long as they contributed their 6.2 percent tax on earned income. What I have trouble with is that this 6.2 percent is capped at $128,400. That means if you earn $128,400 or $10 million, you will still only pay $7,960.
What is wrong with paying your fair share no matter how much you earn? If this cap were eliminated it would alleviate if not eliminate future Social Security shortfalls.
I can see why many young workers feel that they are contributing to a system that will not be there for them when they most need it.
Tim Halvey, St. Petersburg
Women’s summit draws protests | June 10
Protesters don’t speak for all
Demonstrators at U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis’ Women’s Summit stated that the topics were belittling. Evidently the 250 people who registered for the summit did not find them belittling.
It is possible that the demonstrators were indeed demeaning those who registered by implying that their interests were of little consequence. Maybe the demonstrators would have been more enthused if "Costume Design for Creative Protesting" was one of the topics offered. However, like this protest, it might not have attracted enough people to be a worthwhile offering.
Janet Burt, Odessa