Friday, June 22, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Friday's letters: Nations can't tax their way to recovery

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

Misdirected anger

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

Amendment 8

Misleading initiative

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

Campaign 2012

Questionable input

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 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


Monday’s letters: College instructors need classes in active shooter training

Active shooter perceptions disproven | June 21We need active shooter trainingThe only guns that I had seen before coming to the United States of America were in glass cases in museums. When I came to America to get a Ph.D. in English at the Unive...
Updated: 4 hours ago

Friday’s letters: What a new Rays ballpark would mean

Rays exec hints at stadium timeline | June 15What a new ballpark would doThe Tampa Bay Rays 2020 organization is working diligently with local business leaders and civic organizations to rally support for the Rays’ new ballpark in Ybor City. The ...
Published: 06/19/18
Updated: 06/22/18

Thursday’s letters: On immigration there has to be a better way

‘Zero tolerance’ ignites outrage | June 20Find better way on immigrationOver the years I’ve voted for candidates from both parties. My observation of the Trump administration’s policy on immigration is not about politics. It has to do with having...
Published: 06/19/18
Updated: 06/21/18

Wednesday’s letters: Charters and traditional public schools each have their place

Public school as public good | Letter, June 17Both kinds of schools can workAs a mother and grandmother of children raised in both traditional public and charter schools in Pinellas County (and a 25-year supporting-services employee for public sc...
Published: 06/18/18
Updated: 06/20/18

Tuesday’s letters: Keep programs that fight AIDS

For author Biden, it’s a father’s gift | June 6Keep programs that fight AIDSAfter former Vice President Joe Biden’s recent visit to St. Petersburg, I noticed an article that he co-wrote with former Sen. Bill Frist. It reminded everyone about the ...
Published: 06/18/18
Updated: 06/19/18

Is anyone watching the money?Hernando County’s budget shortfall is ever changing going from $6 million to $11.5 million to $14 million to what is assumed a final number of $12.6 million. Who knows the budget shortfall could change again.Who’s watchi...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

Re: County OKs solar zones | June 8Plea ignored at solar plant hearingThe Pasco County Commission on June 5 voted to identify a utility-sized solar electric plant as a "special exception" use on agricultural-zoned land in Pasco County. What thi...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

Monday’s letters: Skip those plastic bags and save the environment

To save our seas, overcome congressional apathy | Column, June 16Do your part and skip plastic bagsEvery day we read about the shame of our landfills and oceans filling up with plastic bags, yet most people don’t care. My wife and I always carry ...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

White House defends splitting up families as ‘biblical’ | June 15The suffering of the childrenI am a mother and attorney with more than 20 years of practice living in Tampa. For the past three years, I worked as a magistrate in a Unified Family C...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Saturday’s letters: Community-based care requires community involvement

Fix foster care, and do it quickly | Editorial, June 15Involve the community itselfWhile the detailed article about the scathing state review of Hillsborough County’s foster care problems touched on leadership, a critical point was not addressed....
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18