Wednesday, April 25, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Friday's letters: Competition drives the economy

Campaign 2012

Competition drives the economy

In a recent speech, President Barack Obama accused Republicans of advocating "economic Darwinism." I think he has unknowingly put his finger on the main difference between Republican economic ideas and his own.

Darwinism. Adapting. Getting stronger. Getting bigger. Growing. Surviving. Evolving. I'll take some of that.

Every business in America, whether it's the shop on Main Street or the large corporation, is engaged in economic Darwinism. If they aren't getting up every morning and working on improving their products and services, and reducing costs, they know their competitors are, and their survival is at stake. And who is the beneficiary of this intense competition? The consumers who vote for winners with their wallets. This competitive system has more than any other single characteristic accounted for American exceptionalism.

This is contrasted with President Obama's economic plan, which appears to be based on a redistribution of wealth.

Michael Green, St. Petersburg

Paul Ryan

Good for some, good for all

I'm an old woman, and Paul Ryan insults me when he tells me I don't need to worry about his plan to end Medicare as we know it because it won't affect me. If it's such a great plan and better for my country, why wouldn't I want it to affect me?

Furthermore, I'm outraged by the implication by any politician that when I vote my main concern might be whether I'll have to change doctors. For over 30 years, as an American military wife, I used a form of socialized medicine provided for our troops and their families: I felt fortunate to see the same medic twice. Yet I was the envy of most civilians for having this care.

Beverley J. Combs, St. Petersburg

Restoration comedy

Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan spent last weekend talking about "restoring the promise of America" and "restoring America's greatness." Fantastic, I thought. Someone gets it. Someone finally sees that the Citizens United decision, the Patriot Act and the Guantanamo Bay prison are all concepts that are foreign to our American ideals and heritage. Someone finally sees that these types of policies are taking America the wrong way and need to be reversed to bring America back to greatness.

So are they pushing to let the Bush tax cuts expire and thus "restore" our tax rates to 1990s' levels, when our government deficit was shrinking and our economy was booming? Are they talking about "restoring" our privacy and civil liberties by repealing the Patriot Act? How about just restoring common sense by clearly stating that corporations are not people and money is not speech? No, the only "restoring" they seem to want is restoring the same ridiculous lawless environment that got us into this mess in the first place.

Lee Kasner, Tampa

A sense of entitlement

How ironic Mitt Romney has selected Rep. Paul Ryan as his choice to advocate an assault on the country's social aid programs. Ryan has served 13 years in a body that epitomizes a sense of entitlement — the right wing of the House of Representatives, which has flatly refused to do the country's business since President Barack Obama's inauguration (yet whose members have a better health care plan than 95 percent of the American populace).

Michael Henry, Bradenton

Modernizing Medicare

Your paper's headlines and the Democrats you support try to scare retired people like me with the thought that we will have our benefits cut by Paul Ryan's budget plan. That is "pants on fire" by your PolitiFact measure.

The goal, Ryan wrote in his budget's preface, is to modernize Medicare for "the realities of the new century." His aim is "not to retreat from the commitments made over the past eight decades, but to fulfill them." In short, to preserve retirement security and the social safety net.

The core problem is that open-ended Medicare buys services whose costs are rapidly increasing. It is a "defined benefit." Ryan wants to move to a "defined contribution," where seniors would get a fixed-dollar subsidy to buy private insurance. Seniors who desire more generous benefits would pay at the margin. This shift to "premium support" would change the incentives in health care and make medicine more accountable to patient choice.

Today, Medicare's arbitrary fee-for-service price controls pay the best hospitals and the worst hospitals equally, regardless of quality or value. Under premium support, networks of providers would be competing for consumers and become more efficient over time, instead of billing taxpayers for negative productivity.

Eugene Belote, Dunedin

Where's diversity in debates? | Aug. 14

Diversity not just skin deep

Please tell Eric Deggans that there is more to diversity than just skin color or gender. The scheduled moderators for the debates includes one left-of-center moderate (Jim Lehrer) and, arguably, three liberals. Where is the conservative or libertarian? True diversity would represent several different viewpoints regardless of the physical characteristics of the moderators.

Peter J. Dawson, St. Petersburg

Time for debate over; time to act Aug. 13, letter

Technology has answers

We can act now to reduce climate change by modifying our coal-burning power plants.

Instead of shutting down coal power plants like Big Bend, it may be possible to modify them so they will become our most important ally in the fight against global warming.

The Chinese are developing a fire-hot thorium-powered reactor that has the potential to replace the coal-burning boilers in mega-power plants like Big Bend. Big Bend's coal storage yard is large enough to accommodate high-capacity atmospheric carbon dioxide scrubbers. These temperature-swing gas separation scrubbers can use cheap, safe baking soda dissolved in water to draw carbon dioxide from the air for safe injection into the ground.

Using energy from the thorium reactors, the plant's extra nonpeak electricity can be used to power these scrubbers to remove carbon dioxide from the air.

If all the world's 1,200 mega-power plants are modified this way, it may be possible to remove all of global warming's carbon dioxide from the air in perhaps 50 years.

Jim Holm, PE, Sun City Center


Thursday’s letters: A surgeon responds to story about a needle being left in a baby’s heart

All Children’s surgeon left a needle in a baby’s heart | April 22My view as one of the surgeonsI am one of the physicians discussed (but not interviewed) in this article. Whatever the motive for such an article, I disagree with many of the claims...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Wednesday’s letters: How we plan to improve foster care in Hillsborough

Improving foster care inHillsborough | April 19, editorialOur plans for helping kidsThis editorial poses many good questions. The Department of Children and Families’ peer review report is expected to be released soon. And while we welcome the an...
Updated: 10 hours ago

Pasco Letters to the Editor for April 27

Stop Ridge Road extension, reader saysWhen I spoke at the Dade City meeting of the Pasco County Commissioners on my opposition to the Ridge Road Extension, three of them responded, but only when my three minutes of free speech expired, and I could sa...
Published: 04/23/18

Monday’s letters: Term limits don’t work

U.S. Senate campaignTerm limitsdon’t workGov. Rick Scott has begun his run for the U.S. Senate with TV ads promoting term limits for representatives and senators. Aside from the probability that this would require a constitutional amendment, I think ...
Published: 04/22/18
Updated: 04/23/18

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

Tuesday’s letters: Student journalists push to save their newsrooms and independence

Save student newsroomsAs professional newsrooms shrink, student newsrooms have become an increasingly important source of local coverage, holding not only our universities accountable but also local government. We write these articles, attending meet...
Published: 04/20/18
Updated: 04/24/18

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