Obama, Romney in tense clash of ideas | Oct. 17
Promise on taxes doesn't add up
During the debate, Mitt Romney stated that "the top 5 percent of taxpayers will continue to pay 60 percent of the income tax the nation collects. So that'll stay the same." Simple math fills in the unspoken piece of this equation: that the other 95 percent of taxpayers will continue to pay 40 percent of the income taxes.
If Romney's tax plan is revenue-neutral as he claims, then where in this plan is the middle class tax cut he promises? And if, as some economists say, Romney's plan would cut $5 trillion in revenue, then in order to maintain his pledged 60-40 split, $3 trillion would flow to the 5 percent and $2 trillion would be doled out to the other 95 percent. Tell me again how Romney will fight for the middle class.
Bill Brown, Oldsmar
Vote for Romney, Schwab says | Oct. 18
Rates low for years
Where was Charles Schwab all the years before President Barack Obama took office? Interest rates on CDs and savings accounts have been low for the past 15 years.
As for rates set at zero, that was done to promote job growth from corporate America, which never happened. They took the money and ran to China.
Richard Gentile, Tampa
Parties share the blame
With the election upon us, I frequently hear the sound bite, "We can't afford four more years like the last four years." It is used by Republicans to criticize the president. Clearly, the Obama administration hasn't done a stellar job of managing the economic recovery. Barack Obama's passion for alternative energy apparently led to the ill-advised investment of economic recovery funds in projects that were not effective job creators.
However, Republicans share the blame for the bad times and lethargic recovery, and not just because the recession started during a Republican administration. After seizing control of the House in 2010, Republican leaders said their main goal was to ensure that Obama did not get re-elected. Wouldn't a better goal have been to stimulate our economy and put it on a sound footing?
Their obstructive politics contributed to the worst Congress in recent memory, an uncertain business environment, and a pending fiscal cliff at year end.
I hope all voters who hear this sound bite recognize its true, but unintended, message. It should be seen as a criticism of both the Republican and Democratic parties.
Jerry Stephens, Riverview
Success not a dirty word
Mitt Romney is a man who has been successful in all facets of his life, and yet he is referred to constantly as a "millionaire" as if that makes him a bad person. When did we stop applauding success? This is a by-product of President Barack Obama's influence as he has created class warfare.
Kaye Lovallo Coddington, Seminole
Local doctors discuss safety | Oct. 14
Committed to safety
The Brandon Ambulatory Surgery Center would like to stress that, as the Times reported, the medication we received from the New England Compounding Center was not contaminated steroids.
Our center has never ordered nor received compounded steroids from NECC. Our steroid medications are supplied by Pfizer Pharmaceuticals. The drugs that the surgery center received from NECC were ophthalmic. These drugs — even though they have never been implicated in any contamination — were immediately removed and will never be used on our patients.
The Department of Health conducted its annual inspection on Oct. 12 and was informed of the possession of these ophthalmic drugs. The department is not requesting that these NECC medications be returned to either the state or the FDA at this time.
Absolute patient safety and the delivery of the highest quality care remains our No. 1 priority.
Chuck Smith, director of nursing, Brandon Ambulatory Surgery Center, Brandon
The bloody stain of fundamentalism Oct. 14, commentary
Setting up a straw man
Leonard Pitts sets up a straw man argument by equating the acts of the Taliban with those of Christian fundamentalists in the United States (he never uses the word "Christian," but it is implied). It plays into the underscored belief that religion, in any of its forms, must be supplanted by humanism, which of course has proved disastrous for freedom throughout the world.
One need look no further than the official atheism of most despotic regimes over the last 100 years to see evidence of this. By placing radical Islam (which is national policy in many countries throughout the Middle East) on equal footing with the random acts committed by a few mentally ill and misguided people (abortion shootings, attacks against gays, etc.), Pitts sets a dangerous precedent in which our self-congratulatory tolerances will get the better of us. Has 9/11 taught you nothing, sir?
Gary Compton, Wesley Chapel
One of the first things I look for in the Sunday Tampa Bay Times is the Perspective section. One of the first things I look for in the Perspective section is whether there is an article by Leonard Pitts. If so, I always read it. I love his insight and discussion on issues that affect us all, like his recent discussion on fundamentalism in last Sunday's paper. Please keep printing his valuable discussions/opinions. I think we all can benefit from them.
Donna Ream, St. Petersburg
Armstrong left on the outside | Oct. 18
Armstrong rode his bike across France
And climbed hills as if in a trance.
Seven titles he did claim
But they didn't bring him fame
As drugs were the downfall of Lance.
Dave McCubbin, Palm Harbor