Obama needs to sharpen his focus
I've just opened our brokerage statement. It forcefully reminds us that the economic situation is dire and that our modest standard of living and our grandchildren's college plans are changing drastically.
I view this in stark contrast to the multiple objectives of the Obama administration. There is only one job for the president now: It is fixing the economy. What we see is a very inconclusive plan for the financial sector and very aggressive plans to extend social programs.
There is no way President Obama can convince this college graduate/retired business executive that a concurrent assault on energy, education and health care is the fix for our family's economic slide in the next two to three years. His insistence that his solutions are the key to solving our present crisis is disingenuous at best and dishonest at worst.
Frankly, we expected better from the president, as he did not have to do much to be a marked improvement over the last administration. No team, not even his (which gave us much hope), could replicate what God did in seven days.
William R. Jones, Weeki Wachee
Politicians need to
cut back on spending, too
Yes, we all need to tighten our belts and do more with less. The president stated that big corporations should not practice their excesses with taxpayer dollars. I agree. This is not the time for trips to Las Vegas or Monaco to reward corporate executives whose companies are floundering.
But most of all our politicians need to tighten their belts — cut back on expensive junkets and travel that are not essential to the performance of their duties. The president didn't need to fly to Denver to sign into law a stimulus package bill. In these difficult times, why not save the millions of dollars it cost for this trip and so many other unnecessary trips? The excesses of our politicians have too long been an accepted perk of their offices, and always with taxpayers' dollars.
Come on, elected officials, put your heads together and really work to come up with ways to economize in your various branches of government. We, the people, are continually looking for ways to make our dollars go further.
Susan M. Eckstein, Port Richey
Help working people
If General Motors dissolves into bankruptcy, who is to blame? The entire "Lay off thousands and give the CEO millions" mentality has finally reached its ugly peak.
Congress can keep giving billions after billions to these failed, mismanaged companies, but if Joe Taxpayer still cannot afford to buy a new car or truck, the money is being sucked into a big black hole and will never be seen again.
These billions would be better put to use helping the working class get back on its feet. True, many made irresponsible decisions with their finances. But if companies as negligent as AIG, Fannie and Freddie Mac, Citigroup, Bank of America and of course GM can get a break, why not the people these poorly run companies depend on for survival?
Michael Kreha, St. Petersburg
What's going to happen to all the millions of people out of work when their unemployment benefits run out? A compassionate society would help them until they actually got employed.
They will probably be discarded into the trash bin of capitalism along with the permanently unemployed, the sick, the homeless and the disabled. Corporate America can no longer make a profit on these people's labor, and consider them a drain on the economy.
Did I say compassion? Silly me, this is the good old U.S. of A. — dog-eat-dog, survival of the fittest, sink or swim, pitting worker against worker for the benefit of a few (that very small percentage that owns and controls our country). I hope I live to see the revolution by the majority of the people.
John Culkin, St. Petersburg
Behind chuckles is some serious pork funk March 6, story
Beyond its purview
Your article does a nice job of supporting the earth-shattering conclusion that less pig odor would make the world a little better.
As usual, nobody wants to go near the real issue: Where in the Constitution is it written that control of pork odors is within the limited powers constitutionally granted to the federal government?
The politicians will have fun and make themselves look good removing the most ridiculous 1 percent of the earmarks, and away we go with the rest of it!
Peter C. Ray, Parrish
Legislators don't get it
There is something terribly wrong with our state legislators' mind-set. While the people who voted them into an office of trust are changing priorities and reducing spending, our politicians see their job differently. They apparently want more taxpayer money, rather than diligently seeking ways to cut state spending.
Earlier this week, your newspaper quoted a state legislator as saying we have got to find more sources of revenue. On Thursday on Page 1A, your reporter writes that the Senate continues plans to start hearing bills on other ways to raise money.
We all must change the spending practices we had during a robust economy to reflect today's reality. Our elected state politicians just don't get it.
R.P. Blush, New Port Richey
Senators move to outlaw bestiality March 11, story
Is the Florida Legislature writing material for Jay Leno and David Letterman? Are they kidding? Bestiality, Meg the goat (she had a name?), animal husbandry — who's in charge up there, Nero? They're fiddling and our citizens are suffering. Is this the most pressing issue Tallahassee has to deal with?
Priorities, priorities! How long will we, the residents of Florida, be nationally humiliated (yes, bestiality and Florida lawmakers were part of Keith Olberman's "Worst Persons" segment the other night) before we vote these people out of office?
Ilona Siegel, Dunedin
600-year-old tradition | March 9
Persistence in prayer
Your "World in a Snap" photo of Buddhist monks praying in Katmandu, Nepal, was to me stunningly beautiful. The colors, the patterns and the design of the photo grabbed my attention.
But the caption below the picture really got to me. It seems as though the monks were praying for five days for peace and harmony in the world, in a tradition that has been going on for 600 years.
While you must admire their persistence, given the continuing state of the world, it seems to me to be an immense exercise in futility. Bless their hearts!
Betty J. Mack, Sun City Center