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Hard times are a chance to stem Florida's growth

Greetings from Florida; why aren't you here | Feb. 20, story

A chance to stem state's growth

The front page Friday screams that we Floridians are in deep trouble: Tourism is down, people are moving out of the state, energy consumption is down, Disney attendance is down.

I see this in a completely different light. Our state is confronted with severe water shortages, overcrowded roadways, rising energy costs, in addition to the power company's demands for increased rates to pay for new power plants. And the list goes on. Most of these problems are the result of too many folks, whether residents or tourists.

When is enough enough?

Over the years, it seems Florida has followed many of California's trends. Maybe, rather than follow their example, we can learn from their mistakes. Let's stem Florida's growth, not allow it to continue to grow in an unwieldy way. Maybe we can learn to live within our means with a population of 18 million, or less.

Christopher K. Davis, St. Petersburg

Stop the doom and gloom

I am a 25-year resident of Florida. My husband and I have worked extremely hard to build a business, invest in real estate and make a good life for ourselves in Florida. This was a very difficult task 25 years ago. Moving here from the prosperous Northeast was a costly mistake, but we stuck it out and it finally started to pay off.

Then the news media, by publishing negative articles such as this one, are destroying all the efforts of hard-working people to keep our businesses going and attracting newcomers to buy our homes and make a successful life here in Florida. If I was considering coming to this area, you just shot down my expectations of a good life.

You should be telling all the positive attributes this area has and how the baby boomers can live, love and enjoy the good life here in sunny Florida. Stop the doom and gloom. It is killing us!

Judi Luzi, Seminole

"No" is no solution | Feb. 18, editorial

A stimulus plan should focus on job creation

I agree with your editorial that "No" is not a solution to the current financial crisis, but neither is throwing close to $4 trillion at the problem without a purposeful and timely plan.

The stimulus legislation I opposed will not create the jobs to get the economy back on track. This is why I voted for an alternative proposal and filed two amendments to the final stimulus package. This alternative recovery plan would have created twice the jobs at half the cost. It also did not include wasteful, untargeted pork that plagues the legislation passed by Congress.

Last year, Florida ranked second nationally with 255,000 job losses. Any stimulus bill must focus on creating jobs and providing tax relief to Americans, not more wasteful government spending. Congress instead crafted a bill that will force our children and grandchildren to pay for long-term spending commitments, most of which have nothing to do with creating jobs.

The best way to encourage economic growth is to allow American taxpayers to keep more of their own money to spend. We should be enacting fast- acting tax relief which would create jobs and lower the tax burden on families and small businesses. Only 37 percent of the stimulus is made up of tax cuts, including nothing for small businesses.

We should have gone through every spending proposal in the bill with a fine-toothed comb with only one question in mind: Does it create jobs? If not, out it goes. As it turns out, only 9 percent of the bill that passed is geared toward infrastructure spending. We should have funded more shovel-ready transportation and infrastructure projects that would help create jobs immediately.

Simply put, I do not believe that we can spend our way out of this recession. In the meantime, we are handing our children and grandchildren a $4 trillion IOU. Believe me, that's "No" solution.

Rep. Gus Bilirakis, Palm Harbor

USF clinic found lacking | Feb. 20

'Students' are physicians

I would like to provide additional information not included in your article on Friday.

The "students" referred to in the article are fully qualified, practicing obstetricians. By this I mean that all have completed four years in an accredited medical school, have completed an accredited residency program in obstetrics and gynecology, are board-certified or eligible in obstetrics and gynecology, have full, unrestricted licenses to practice medicine in the state of Florida, and have full and unrestricted staff privileges as obstetricians and gynecologists at Tampa General Hospital. I believe this information provides an appropriate context for understanding the issues described.

Peter J. Fabri MD, Ph.D., associate dean for graduate medical education, University of South Florida College of Medicine

Cheney and the goat devil | Feb. 21, Maureen Dowd column

History will judge

One of the benefits some of us thought would result from the inauguration of President Obama was an end to the fatuous and sophomoric jokes about President Bush from our political columnists and cartoonists. Alas, Maureen Dowd is here to prove that even this modest hope may be in vain.

Apparently unable to find anything to write about on a slow(?) news week — such as the passage of the 1,000-page, $789 billion "stimulus"package, the continuing collapse of the global economy, the threat to American interests on the Afghanistan border — she occupies herself by sharing her smirks and giggles about George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.

Her comments are instructive, coming as we celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birth of our 16th president, Abraham Lincoln. During his time in office, he was reviled as a baboon, a gorilla, and the dumbest man ever to occupy the office of the presidency — by the pundits of his day, both in America and in England. History's judgment has been very different. It is time that we leave our 43rd president to the judgment of history as well.

Barry Augenbraun, St. Petersburg

Presidents and apes

Has everyone forgotten that a popular Internet site,, has for the last eight years displayed pictures of George W. Bush juxtaposed with similar pictures of chimpanzees? And yet people decry the "racism" of the New York Post's cartoon for making a similar comparison. The outrage expressed by congressmen, editors and members of the public is unfounded and ridiculous.

Besides, President Obama didn't write the economic stimulus bill, so why should we assume he is the subject of the satire?

Burton Gray, Temple Terrace

Hard times are a chance to stem Florida's growth 02/23/09 [Last modified: Monday, February 23, 2009 7:48pm]
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