Clinton Global Initiative
We can't tax our way to recovery
At the Clinton Global Initiative this week, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton shared her views that taxes should be collected in a more "equitable manner," especially from the "elites" in every country. Isn't "elites" an interesting term for those who have accomplished some measure of financial success in their lives, usually due to hard work, determination and risk-taking?
She goes on to say, "It is a fact that the elites in every country are making money. There are rich people everywhere and yet they do not contribute to the growth of their own countries." This statement is either a staggering admission of economic ignorance or pure political demagoguery meant to fan the flames of class warfare.
Presumably, Clinton places no value on the basic concepts of capitalism, which are the ultimate drivers of growth and job creation. Speaking of taxes, I wonder how she reconciles her demand that equity requires the rich (whatever that might mean) to pay more in taxes when the top 10 percent of income earners in the United States already pay 70 percent of all income taxes collected?
At what point will Clinton and others like her be satisfied — perhaps when the last drop of blood falls from the open vein? We know that there is no way to tax ourselves out of this predicament, especially by punishing the job creators in our economy. We must get government spending under control. Until that time, punishing our most financially successful citizens will only make our problems worse.
Edward Sutton, Tampa
Pakistan hit by deadly riots | Sept. 22
Muslims are not happy. They are not happy in: Gaza, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Iran, Iraq, Yemen, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria and Lebanon.
So where are they happy? They're happy in: Canada, Australia, England, France, Italy, Germany, Sweden, the United States and Norway.
They're happy in every country that is not Muslim-majority. And whom do they blame? Not Islam. Not their leadership. Not themselves. They blame the countries they are happy in. How dumb can you get?
Jeff Mikres, Palm Harbor
Let voters beware. They are being told that Amendment 8 is the "Religious Freedom" amendment. In fact, it undermines the separation of church and state spelled out in our state Constitution.
Any group or sect claiming to be a religion could not be denied tax dollars if this amendment is passed. It would allow taxpayer money to be used to fund religious schools. Finally, it requires no oversight or accountability.
Please do not be misled by the title of the amendment. It is simply another attempt to undermine public education by siphoning money from our already grossly underfunded public schools.
Shelley G. Foster, Clearwater
Two questions are plaguing my conscience as we approach the November election:
First, why is a foreign leader so involved in my presidential election? Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has as much relevance to our American election as does Stephen Harper, the leader of our biggest trading partner, Canada.
Second, why are Florida judges and the system they protect being targeted for removal? Diversity respects all aspects of the truth. Bullying tactics are immature.
So please, no foreigners in my election and no cliques in my justice system.
J.M. Logan, Indian Rocks Beach
Contracts with teachers approved in Pinellas Sept. 25
Extra time will be missed
As a hardworking teacher in Pinellas County, I feel that the abolishment of early-release days is a huge letdown. While I understand parents' stances, I believe that teachers' voices are not always heard.
I must arrive at least an hour and a half early every day to complete a never-ending pile of paperwork and lesson planning. I take care of people all day and do not have the luxury of completing my work during my actual "work" day. Every teacher I know puts in countless hours at home.
I am frustrated when I hear from folks who don't have any idea what teachers have to deal with that we should not complain and that we have our holidays and summers off. It is those breaks that keep us going and sane throughout the year.
Don't get me wrong: I love helping my students reach their full potential, and I am fulfilled every day. But the loss of our Wednesdays is just another example of how teachers are not considered over others' uninformed thoughts.
Michelle May, St. Petersburg
'Fast and Furious' | PolitiFact
Pattern of prevarication
President Barack Obama's recent statement that the "Fast and Furious" operation began during former President George W. Bush's term has been ruled false by PolitFact.com. This is another example of how he will lie rather than have his administration admit to a tragic and stupid operation.
And to top it off, he has the gall to call the destruction of our consulate in Libya and the murder of our ambassador and three other Americans a "bump in the road."
Then at the United Nations, Obama again said that act was due to the video — when it was a planned terrorist attack on the anniversary of 9/11.
Our president continues to disgrace us with his lies and inaccurate statements that are clearly made for political purposes.
Leon Wittig, Hudson
GOP's bid to unseat justices is bad politics Sept. 26, Sue Carlton column
Holding judges to account
In the United States sovereignty resides with the people — not the judiciary, nor the executive and legislative branches. We, the people, have the right to call all these branches to account.
Judges are not omnipotent. The fact that so many lower court rulings are overturned should disabuse anyone of that notion.
It is naive to believe that politics plays no part in the appointment of judges. Any observer of the process by which our Supreme Court justices are appointed can see that politics play a major role in who sits on our highest court.
I look forward to being able to cast my vote in whether to retain these judges and I like the system that allows me to do so.
Donald Haverstrom, Spring Hill