Saturday, May 26, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Friday's letters: To grow U.S. economy, be like Ike

To spur innovation, cut stifling regulations | March 25, commentary

To grow U.S. economy, be like Ike

It was interesting to read Sen. Marco Rubio evoking the period of our country's fantastic economic growth — growth that made our economy the envy of the world. Rubio credits less regulation for this boom, but the period of great economic expansion was the mid 1950s. Dwight Eisenhower was president, and the top marginal tax rate was 91 percent. Corporate taxes were a flat 50 percent, with no loopholes or exemptions. Even so, the rich got richer and industry thrived.

Eisenhower used that revenue to hire and train hundreds of thousands of workers — largely veterans returning from World War II — to build our interstate highway system, thus creating a prosperous, blue-collar middle class that had the wherewithal to buy homes, cars and consumer goods. Manufacturers could produce more goods than ever because more families had the resources to purchase their products.

Fast forward to today. Rubio, along with the rest of the Republicans in Congress, are aghast at the thought of raising the marginal ceiling to 38.5 percent — less than half of what it was when Eisenhower created the world's strongest economy. They want to cut corporate taxes from 35 percent (as opposed to Eisenhower's 50 percent) and leave in place loopholes that allow many corporations to reap huge profits and pay no corporate taxes at all. And they consistently vote against bills proposed by the Obama administration that would create millions of new jobs rebuilding the infrastructure that Eisenhower built.

No, senator, we can't build an economy by rolling back regulations that protect our water supply and environment. We can't create prosperity by allowing those who already enjoy a huge share of it to cut their contributions even further. If we want to revisit the golden age of the American economy, we need to emulate Ike and demand that those with the largest share of the pie contribute the largest share of the revenue and put that money to work creating jobs.

Robert Sterling, St. Petersburg

To spur innovation, cut stifling regulations March 25, commentary

Make the polluters pay

I am delighted that Sen. Marco Rubio wants to create "a level playing field that doesn't pick winners and losers." I wonder when he will "spur innovation" by introducing legislation that eliminates all forms of subsidies for all forms of energy and requires polluters to bear the full cost of polluting our environment.

Thomas Eppes, Thonotosassa

Ill-equipped to lead

Please give Sen. Marco Rubio all the space he wants. Every time he writes he shows how ill-equipped he is to lead. His recent rant about Russia exposed his belligerent, war-first neocon foreign policy roots. Now his example of "stifling regulations" is nothing more than a list of the vague generalities politicians of his stripe love to repeat. Does anyone take this guy seriously?

Alex Malley, Hernando

Florida education

School success stories

Fifteen years ago, Florida began what has become nationally recognized as a revolution in education. Back then, by any measure, we ranked near the bottom nationally. Then came reforms under the "A-Plus Plan," which were revolutionary in scope but simple in concept: Set high standards, measure progress, hold schools accountable and give parents more options.

As a teacher, I have seen the positive results of these policies. That is why I am participating in "Learn More, Go Further," a campaign to share Florida's education success and the next chapter of that story as we move to higher standards and better tests.

Florida's graduation rate has improved by 25 percent since the 1990s. The academic progress made by our students is double to three times higher than their peers nationwide. We placed fifth in the nation in 2013 for the percentage of graduates who passed AP exams; and we have narrowed the achievement gap among white, Hispanic and African-American students.

Yet a substantial disconnect exists between the documented realities of Florida's educational successes and what the public believes to be the case. A recent survey found that only 8 percent of parents statewide and 4 percent in Tampa Bay accurately report that Florida schools are above average nationally.

As the next step in this process, Florida is implementing the Florida Standards. These standards are challenging as well as rewarding for teachers. They allow more opportunity for in-depth teaching. New assessments will require students to think critically and explain their work.

Teachers want students to learn more and go farther. These changes are a necessary part of that process.

Faye Adams, Wesley Chapel

Corporate overreach on religion March 25, editorial

Cost-cutting ploy?

I wonder what the financial gain is to the business owner who doesn't want to provide contraception coverage? If the court rules for these businesses, would it not open the door to every private business in the United States suddenly claiming religious objections, and if so, what proof would be required by the courts that these beliefs really exist and are not just a ruse to cut costs?

Leslie C. Welfare, Zephyrhills

The wasted life of Fred Phelps March 23, commentary

Proof is in the life lived

I don't think I have ever agreed with Leonard Pitts, but on this article I did. Claiming to be a Christian is one thing and living like one is another. Pitts is correct when he said God hates Phelps' wasted life. In fact, the people Phelps hated are some of the very people God loved so much He came and died for them so they could be reconciled to Him.

Carol Cameron, Tampa


Monday’s letters: NFL finally listens to its fans

NFL moves to endanthem protests | May 24NFL’s action comes too lateThe NFL owners are, after two years, finally growing some courage.Before these kneel-downs became the elephant in the room, team owners could have taken action to minimize the imp...
Published: 05/24/18
Updated: 05/25/18

Sunday’s letters: As Jews, we should not be afraid to criticize Israel

Published: 05/24/18
Updated: 05/25/18

Saturday’s letters: Bayshore fatalities didn’t have to happen

After two fatalities, speed limits cut | May 25Cameras needed on BayshoreOnce again, two pedestrians have died as the result of careless drivers who were speeding. Once again, the Times and other media outlets are filled with opinions about the c...
Published: 05/23/18
Updated: 05/25/18

Friday's letters: Thanks to jurors for fulfilling civic duty

May is Juror Appreciation Month Thanks, jurors, for your service Trial by a jury of one’s peers is among the bedrock guarantees that make our representative democracy exceptional. Without it, the courtroom fates of defendants and civil litiga...
Published: 05/23/18
Updated: 05/25/18

Thursday’s letters: Heated chemotherapy won’t treat most ovarian cancers

Heated chemotherapy has promising results | May 16Cancer treatment not a cure-all While we were pleased to see the story about ovarian cancer treatment, we are concerned that the article could mislead many patients. The treatment described has be...
Published: 05/22/18
Updated: 05/24/18

Wednesday’s letters: A princess gives us a lesson to live by

Royal treatment | May 21Princess offers advice for us allThe radiant and joyful Princess Anna Noela Lokolo of the Democratic Republic of Congo, recent Eckerd College graduate, has given us a huge gift in her parting words. "If people have a negat...
Published: 05/21/18
Updated: 05/23/18

Hernando Letters to the Editor for May 25

Re: Central High School bomb threat suspect to be tried as adult | May 4Angry mob rhetoric not helpfulWe have observed the public discourse surrounding the case of Mizella Robinson with increasing unease. A sampling of the more common sentiment...
Published: 05/21/18
Updated: 05/22/18

Pasco Letters to the Editor for May 25

Re: Proposed TECO Solar Plant Opposed to the TECO solar plantAs a 21-year resident and property owner, I am writing in opposition to the proposed Tampa Electric Company solar plant in rural northeast Pasco County.The solar plant will be .2 miles from...
Published: 05/21/18
Updated: 05/22/18

Tuesday’s letters: If you don’t like the Electoral College, then amend the Constitution

The popular vote | May 20, letterIf you don’t like it, amend ConstitutionA recent letter supports the idea that a state should be able to change its Electoral College vote to match that of the national popular vote winner as opposed to the result...
Published: 05/21/18
Updated: 05/22/18

Monday’s letters: Focusing on the mental state of shooters misses the point

Texas high school shooting | May 18Criminals, angry people kill peopleSchool shootings are a distinctly American phenomenon. But shootings by people with serious mental illness represent less than 1 percent of all yearly gun-related homicides in ...
Published: 05/19/18
Updated: 05/21/18