To treat oil addiction, raise the gas tax | Feb. 3, commentary by Sen. Richard Lugar
More Republican nonsense
Sen. Lugar's call for a "$1-a-gallon tax or some greater amount" is pure Republican bunk. While he would offset this new tax with a "decrease in payroll tax, which is paid by every working American," he fails to point out that this would be a huge tax cut for the corporate giants of America.
Once again, the Republicans demonstrate that they believe in dribble-down economics. The working folks of America would be burdened with a gas tax that would increase their everyday driving costs.
In return the corporate giants would enjoy a huge drop in their matching payroll taxes and would be writing off their increased gas taxes as an expense. As to be expected, this harebrained idea comes from none other than the Weekly Standard, the bible of the neoconservatives who led us into the Iraq disaster.
While there are few who would question our need to deal with our oil addiction, a more reasonable solution would be to ration this commodity as we did during World War II. If done properly this could even prove to be a bonanza for the working folks who could sell their unused ration of gas to the wealthy so they could continue to wallow around in their gas-guzzlers.
James F. Donelon, Seminole
Push this idea
Sen. Lugar, Thomas Friedman and Charles Krauthammer make compelling arguments in support of "net-zero gas tax." The benefits to this country are so obvious that it should take priority in the legislative bodies and executive branch of government to proceed with utmost speed.
Of course "net-zero" is the telling descriptive. Beneficiaries are the consumer, auto industry, the balance of payments, and many other troubling issues the United States now confronts.
The Times should continue to bring this all-encompassing solution to the forefront for public awareness and support.
Earl Concors, South Pasadena
A super thank you
Congratulations to Dick Beard and the Tampa Bay Super Bowl Host Committee. Super Bowl XLIII, and all of the festivities surrounding the big game, was an enormous success.
Everything was top notch. From the hotels to the restaurants to all of the volunteers, everyone went above and beyond to pull off a fantastic celebration. We here at the South Florida Super Bowl Host Committee tip our hat to you.
No detail was overlooked. No request too big or too small. It's obvious your planning was meticulous, which was reflected in the tremendous media coverage. I especially want to recognize all of those in the law enforcement community who handled this enormous event with incredible professionalism. They are important partners in this effort.
Finally, to the residents of the Tampa Bay area: You made all of us feel welcome and left us with great memories, and for that, you should be very proud.
You set the bar high and we can't wait to see you in South Florida next year for Super Bowl XLIV.
Rodney Barreto, chairman, South Florida Super Bowl Host Committee, Miami Gardens
Obama needs the GOP | Feb. 3, David Broder column
David Broder tells us that President Obama should continue to seek bipartisan support for the badly needed economic stimulus package. Nonsense. The president will get nowhere trying to appease the Republicans in Congress.
Look at the senators and House members from the GOP who still remain in Congress. There are no moderate Dwight Eisenhower types left. What remains is a collection of hard-core right-wingers from safe GOP districts, mainly in the Deep South. And what they offer is nothing more than warmed-over Reaganism and other failed ideas like additional millionaire tax cuts.
We just had an election, remember? And what the American people voted for is strong progressive leadership and bold action without apologies.
Scott Cochran, Tampa
Not everyone's on this wagon Feb. 3, PolitiFact
This item makes no sense and seems to be completely incorrect on the face of it.
The quote from President Obama does not say or imply that there is no disagreement about the need to spend. It implies only what he has said elsewhere, that people expect the government to act, to do something to stop the downward spiral.
You do him and the nation a disservice by distorting the meaning of the quote, and you make yourself look foolish misinterpreting what is printed just above the misinterpretation.
Ron Milavsky, Tampa
On Tuesday President Obama admitted he'd " screwed up."
In just three weeks of his presidency, this person has demonstrated incredibly poor judgment in his selection of those who will be a part of his Cabinet.
During the campaign, many pointed out his inexperience and immaturity for this job. Having three weeks with four or five poor judgments makes one very apprehensive, to say the least.
C.O. Wells, Clearwater
Wow, a person of authority, the president of the United States of America, actually admitted that he made a mistake. How refreshing is that? I really can't remember that happening before! There's hope for us yet.
John Taray, Tampa
Abortion disdains science Jan. 28, letter
Life vs. humanity
The letter writer is correct that life begins at conception, but the question is whether this life is immediately endowed with humanity, rather than being a vessel for humanity under construction.
We who believe in the scientific universe, rather than the biblical universe, do not think a fertilized human egg is immediately endowed with humanity. If life alone were reason to grant rights, then cows, pigs, chickens, even fish, would have them. We would be wrong to eat these animals. Some religions believe this, but most of us in America do not.
Certainly in the first trimester of pregnancy, we of scientific sensibilities do not regard the developing fetus as a human being. We therefore have the right to terminate a pregnancy. We do not believe we are destroying a human soul.
We have the right to organize our lives according to the religious or philosophic principles in which we believe. Making all abortions illegal would be like forcing us to be vegetarians because all animal life is deemed sacred.
Arthur Volbert, St. Petersburg
There's more to reality than what science offers | Jan. 28, letter
Righting our realities
This wonderfully written letter got me thinking. There is much more to reality than reason, facts, data and evidence, and science hasn't caused us to love to our neighbors, but neither has 2,000 years of sermonizing about values, meaning and spirituality.
Maybe it's best to let the scientists pursue their facts, data and evidence and the rest of us concentrate on getting our own realities in order.
Deb Hall, Clearwater
I marvelled at the birth of the octuplets in California last week. Now I wonder: Just what was the mother thinking? I also question the motives of the doctor, to say nothing of ethics, who helped a woman already a mother of six children, have more. She could have donated the embryos to women battling infertility.
Just because a woman can have so many children doesn't mean she should. Nadya Suleman's actions are selfish and irresponsible. She's divorced and unemployed. Even if she did have a job it would be impossible for her to provide physical and financial care for so many children, eight of them newborns, on her own.
One assumes that additional assistance, medical and financial, will be mandatory for them and their siblings, and government agencies will pick up much of the tab.
More than anything, I have concerns about the ultimate well-being of all 14 children in Ms. Suleman's care.
Eugenia T. Ceaser, Clearwater
Ridiculous expectations | Feb. 2
Criticism too broad
This letter starts with: "Just when I had hoped African-Americans would get their act together …"
Excuse you! How on earth do three young hoodlums reflect the state of an entire group? The writer's comments prove the adage that white people are judged as individuals while black people are judged as a group.
Granted, someone in the family of one of the suspects made some idiotic statements. Regardless, most of us have our act together, and people like the letter writer should stop reducing black America to the lowest common denominator.
Joseph Brown, Tampa