Waiting in line for history; Pinellas' setup benefits the GOP; and GOP's voting law created long lines | Oct. 25
Absentee ballots good for all voters I was once again disappointed by the St. Petersburg Times' GOP-bashing during this election, specifically the three articles on Oct. 25 about the GOP limiting access to early voting and encouraging absentee ballots (also called mail ballots). These articles were used to once again make the GOP look like the bad guys, instead of the good guys.
Let's look at the facts and benefits of absentee voting: One phone call to the Supervisor of Elections Office will get you an absentee ballot sent to your residence (or wherever you want) at no cost to the voter. Voters can complete the ballot at their convenience without having to leave work early or arrive late, disrupt any daily activities or family responsibilities, or stand in long lines and risk their health. One 42-cent postage stamp is all it costs to mail the ballot back to the Supervisor of Elections Office.
The Times would better serve their readers by writing about the benefits of absentee voting for all rather than making it a partisan issue. The Times missed a golden opportunity to do the right thing and educate all voters. I guess your headlines created more drama and controversy than "Absentee ballots benefit every voter."
And please don't bother to thank the GOP for trying to save each voter and the government precious time and money. That would be unthinkable for the Times.
Frank Reinhart Jr., St. Pete Beach
Finally! An honest reporter! The article, Pinellas' setup benefits the GOP, verifies that Democrats are spoiled, undisciplined people who require special handling and pampering.
Remember when we use to have a single Election Day?
Donald Muller, Seminole
Make office nonpartisan
It may not have been intentional, but two headlines on Page 1B of Saturday's paper reveal just how far our election process has deteriorated. First there was the headline Pinellas' setup benefits the GOP, and just above that was the subtitle of a related story, For some, early voting's a hardship they won't skip.
We should be outraged that a partisan election official has the power to attempt to influence the outcome of an election, and equally outraged that voters are regarded as heroic for showing up and waiting as long as it takes to exercise their right. Certainly these actions are not within the intent of the Constitution, nor within the duties of the supervisor of elections.
Isn't it time to take politics out of the voting process by removing the Legislature and partisan election officials and establishing a bipartisan commission to determine where and when Florida's citizens vote?
Dennis McCallum, St. Petersburg
Do we want to empower those who do not pay?
According to the Tax Policy Center, as stated in Saturday's Wall Street Journal, "Mr. Obama's tax credits would increase the share of Americans who pay no income tax to 48% from the estimated 38% this year."
That's not too far from 51 percent, at which point the elections in this country would be controlled by those who pay no share, let alone a "fair share" of the taxes.
Is this where we want America to go? Being "governed" by those dependent on government handouts is not what made America great.
Peter Ford, Tierra Verde
My thoughts relate to Warren Buffett's support of Barack Obama for president. Buffett, whom I admire greatly, has stated that he pays taxes at a lower rate than his secretary does. The rich have so many loopholes to avoid paying taxes.
Neither John McCain nor Obama seem to want to address the real issue of our archaic tax code and that the true solution is the imposition of a flat tax above a certain excluded limit of income. This would seem to be the fairest approach in generating tax revenues and reducing costs.
Michael Howatt, Palm Harbor
Capitalism has no pity | Oct. 25, letter
The laws of physics have no pity either. Just like with economics, if you jump off of a cliff, you will fall.
The letter writer has a problem with marketing, in which case he should exercise his free choice to buy or not buy what he wants and leave others free to choose also.
Like so many others, he wants to "have his cake and eat it." Capitalism is wonderful when it produces the goodies he likes but evil when others have different tastes. He reminds me of the city kid who has no idea that milk comes from cows and eggs come from chickens. Products come from malls and it's all automatic.
There is also private charity and a myriad of social programs. What does he want us to do, give away free houses?
Leonard Martino, Tampa
Tax reality vs. fantasy | Oct. 22, editorial
Remember the '90s
Why can't anyone who is so upset over Barack Obama's plans to eliminate the Bush tax cuts remember the '90s? Remember those heady days before the 2000 Bush tax cuts when we had economic growth, low unemployment, a bullish stock market, reasonable interest rates and budget surpluses?
Yes, high income earners and companies paid more in taxes than they do now, but they were still doing quite well, and the nonmillionaire class in the United States was clearly better off. In those days, innovation (not tax cuts) led to the formation of new companies and wealth that hadn't even been imagined in the '80s (e.g. Google, Amazon, eBay).
Conversely, ever since the tax cuts for the wealthy were enacted and deregulation became the mantra, our economic growth has been fueled by borrowed money that can't be repaid, house values that were illusory, and derivative instruments that have undermined the soundness of our financial system.
Could it be that the fear of "wealth redistribution" by certain Americans is really just a case of self-interest over the greater good? It's funny that so many of these same people claim to be good Christians.
Pam Saari, Dunedin
Restoring America's standing | Oct. 25, editorial
A Muslim problem
It is hard to believe that the St. Petersburg Times can write about "repairing the United States' image in the Muslim world." Muslims have perpetrated numerous atrocities against the United States over the last generation, as well as against other countries with which we have friendly ties.
It would be more appropriate for the "Muslim world" to repair its own image.
James Robert Vaughn, Oldsmar
VA mishandles hundreds of documents Oct. 24, story
Vets deserve better
This article made me very mad. I cannot believe that the men and women who have served our country are being treated in this manner. We are spending millions of dollars in other countries, yet we shortchange the staff that handles the claims for our vets.
Many of them are losing their homes, living on the streets, or dying because of this stupidity. Hopefully, members of Congress will get involved and remedy this situation. These people deserve better treatment.
Thomas Bobbitt, Clearwater
Palin stylist paid more than adviser | Oct. 25
At first blush the article on Sarah Palin's stylist being paid more than John McCain's foreign policy adviser seemed outrageous but, on reflection, it's probably appropriate. After all, Palin does look better than McCain's foreign policy.
Tom Flinn, Sun City Center