Bush to leave record deficit | July 29, story
President leaves economy in tatters The July 28 editorial cartoon by Mike Luckovich about the economic impact of the current administration and the announcement of the almost half-trillion-dollar deficit created by it will be a legacy hard to surpass.
This administration has been either complicit in the excesses that have strapped our economy or has been negligent in its responsibilities to oversee and regulate it. This administration has fostered policies and ignored laws to support the activities of its big business partners. Even if an administration wants to reduce the government's size and cost along with the burdens placed on business, it still has a responsibility to ensure that activities of these businesses do not jeopardize the overall health of the economy.
The complete debacle of the Enron collapse after it had manipulated the energy markets and probably provided significant input to our national "energy policy" brings into question the effective regulation of the business sector. The mortgage and housing crises along with bank takeovers only further illustrate that the administration turned a blind eye to its regulatory responsibilities.
Over the terms of this administration the dollar has fallen dramatically compared to the euro and other currencies. The costs of goods and services have increased. Jobs are being lost not just to overseas companies but also to the slow economy and its multitude of problems that this administration has downplayed or ignored for too long. Some businesses and individuals will never recover what they have lost.
Many of us and our children will continue to pay for the economic faults of this administration. The devastation of the economic well being of our country will be a long remembered legacy of this administration.
Dale Gottschalk, Hudson
Bush to leave record deficit | July 29, story
A sorry legacy
It was said some time ago that President Bush wanted to leave his legacy like other presidents who are remembered for their outstanding contributions in office. Well, Mr. President, you indeed will leave your legacy.
President Bush will end his eight years in office leaving our country in the worst shape of its history with a record national deficit while there was a budget surplus when he took office. We also have two wars on terrorism, one of which was totally needless, draining us monetarily, costing American lives and bringing us no closer to victory than we were five years ago. He leaves the country with a housing crisis and people living day-to-day trying to avoid a recession. I could go on but my space is limited.
President Bush will indeed leave his legacy. Unfortunately, it is not one I would brag about.
Jack Burlakos, Kenneth City
Deficit hits us all
Shame on you! How can your editors think that the Aisenberg case deserves much bigger play on the front page than President Bush's record deficit, kind of like it was a side note?
My life and the life of this nation will be affected by this deficit for decades to come. This should have been your biggest headline. Give me a break.
Kate Maxwell, Clearwater
Who is responsible?
The conservatives' claim that the Democratic Congress is responsible for the failing U.S. economy and soaring gas prices is ludicrous.
Let's start with the costly war started by the Bush/Cheney administration, and the tax cuts for the most wealthy. Is the resulting massive debt the responsibility of the Democratic Congress? I think not.
The claim that failure to expand offshore drilling created the high gas prices is absurd. Worldwide supply and demand pressures are what caused today's prices. Expanding offshore drilling would have negligible impact on prices, but could do serious damage to Florida's beach economy. The Democratic Congress has been exploring alternatives to replace oil with renewable power, but Senate Republicans have been blocking incentives for energy created by wind and water.
Let us look at the housing market and failing mortgages. The current administration has a history of deregulation and ignoring the greed of real estate investors. Home equity losses and higher foreclosures have more to do with unsavory lending practices and some bad decisions by homeowners than they do with congressional activities.
The last time we had a stable, peacetime economy with no deficit, a reliable housing market, and low gas prices was under a Democratic administration.
Sol Helfand, New Port Richey
Another blow to justice | July 30
My goodness. Talk about an inappropriate selection of a guest columnist to pontificate on party politics and partisanship. Jamie "the wall" Gorelick is famous for using her influence in the Justice Department to blunt the investigation of contributors Charlie Trie and John Huang to the Clinton-Gore political machine.
Even worse, she used the same authority to impede the cooperation of the CIA and the FBI under Louis Freeh in acquiring pre-9/11 intelligence. Zacarias Moussaoui was in custody at the time, and a search of his computer files could have possibly prevented the attacks on the World Trade Center.
And yet she was appointed to serve on the 9/11 commission, which attempted to shift blame to the Bush administration for not "connecting the dots."
Joseph Hill, Panama City
Bill Maxwell, in his July 6 column (Disappointment ahead for Obama faithful), states that he has little regard for Barack Obama's campaign because of its "inherent falsity." Perhaps, in an election year, many statements made by politicians may be overlooked. Some can have terrible consequences.
It was shocking to see the report of presidential candidate Obama being quoted as saying Jerusalem should be the capital of Israel. This naive statement is another indication that Obama is ill prepared to lead this country in these dangerous times.
Since the founding of the Jewish state, more than 60 years ago, the world community has consistently stipulated that the rights of the indigenous Arab peoples in the territory must be maintained. Implicit in that stipulation is the insistence that the ancient city of Jerusalem remain as an entity providing free intermingling of Christian, Jewish and Muslim faiths.
Obama's soothing platitudes promising peace and an end to terrorism are admirable. However, he surely must know that this issue has been the main flash point for violence in Palestine/Israel for decades. Either Obama has stooped to the lowest level of pandering for votes in November, or he is ignorant of the ramifications of his statement.
This should frighten all of us.
Ralph E. Montgomery, Indian Rocks Beach
A speech full of mush | July 28, David Brooks column
A healing vision
It is really unfortunate that the Times chose to give such disproportionate attention to this David Brooks column. Brooks attacks Barack Obama because the senator chose to give an optimistic, unifying speech in Germany instead of rattling sabers and using the belligerent, confrontational language that has been such a destructive part of the foreign policy of the United States over the last eight years.
Of course Obama is aware of the difficulties involved in trying to undo the damage that has been done by the Bush administration. He is aware that because of Bush's dismissive attitude toward the community of nations, the United States is held in contempt throughout much of the world, and he has presented specific solutions to many of these problems on his Web site and elsewhere
But the occasion of his speech in Germany was not a time to present a laundry list of foreign policy initiatives. It was a time to present his healing vision to the world.
Dennis Clarke, Tampa
McCain attracts more funds from lobbyists July 27, story
As usual the St. Petersburg Times and the New York Times slant things to help the Democratic Party and make it appear that John McCain and the Republicans are the only ones taking money from lobbyists.
Not until the sixth paragraph do we find out that the Democrats have received $4.7-million from lobbyists and the Republicans $3.3-million. The lobbyists gave three times more to the campaign committee for Senate Democrats, and gave 20 percent more to the campaign committee for House Democrats than to the House Republican committee.
News reports are supposed to be unbiased but they rarely are in the St. Petersburg Times or New York Times.
Tom Bennis, Sun City Center