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Sen. LeMieux: Our nation's debt is not a partisan matter

Newest senator takes low road | Oct. 22, editorial

Our debt is not a partisan matter

In a recent editorial, this newspaper suggested dealing with our growing national debt by reducing spending and raising taxes. While I agree with reducing spending, the idea of raising taxes, especially during this time of high unemployment and recession, makes no sense. Raising taxes, especially on businesses, will cause employers to cut jobs. Florida already has enough unemployment.

We ought to be cutting taxes, not raising them. We ought to be spending within our means, not creating more debt. We ought to be fighting with the same vigor to eliminate waste, fraud and abuse as some fight to create new entitlement programs we cannot afford.

As I said in my speech to the U.S. Senate last week, both Republicans and Democrats should chart a course to fiscal responsibility by passing a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution and a line-item veto, which would give the president the same power as 43 governors to strike wasteful spending.

Calling attention to our mounting debt is not empty rhetoric. As much as the St. Petersburg Times would like to call my words partisan, they are not; these are facts, and as John Adams once said, "Facts are stubborn things." We must have the courage to address our spending problem or risk bankrupting the promise of America. The future of our children depends on our action.

George LeMieux, U.S. senator for Florida

The impotence of positive thinking | Oct. 18, Robyn Blumner column

Americans are economically mobile

Every week it seems Robyn Blumner writes essentially the same column: The rich are eating the poor.

The message in this column is the same, but she's disguised it as a book review. Blumner tells us without attribution: "Between 1979 and 2007, the top 1 percent of American households saw their share of pretax income nearly double while the bottom 80 percent had their share fall by 7 percent."

This is a little misleading in that it cites "pretax income," ignoring the income-leveling effects of our progressive income tax system where, according to the IRS, the richest 1 percent of Americans carry 39.9 percent of the income tax burden while the bottom 50 percent of earners pay less than 3 percent of the total.

In spite of considerable evidence to the contrary, both Blumner and author Barbara Ehrenreich are clearly convinced that the average American is incapable of improving his or her own lot without the intervention of big government.

Blumner relentlessly disparages capitalism, ignoring income mobility as its primary virtue in a free society. The economic history of the United States and Europe clearly demonstrates that as long as free markets prevail with minimum government meddling, people move up and down the economic ladder with unstoppable regularity.

Timothy S. "Mac" McDonnell, St. Petersburg

The impotence of positive thinking | Oct. 18, Robyn Blumner column

Lighten up

I usually appreciate Robyn Blumner's perspective but was taken aback by her promotion of Barbara Ehrenreich's book Bright-Sided, which disparages positive thinking. Both women need to try lightening up — how about laughter yoga? It has been said that children laugh 400 times a day while adults laugh fewer than 15 times a day.

I myself have survived metastatic breast cancer, financial losses and divorce. Positive thinking has offered me solutions that have helped me take charge of my emotional life and physical condition and feel gratitude for the amazing opportunities that we Americans have. The best thing about positive thinking is that it comes free of charge.

Lawrason Clement, Tierra Verde

The white Jeremiah Wright | Oct. 18

Writer is off task

The article by Rod Dreher on Glenn Beck is typical of "reporters" on the left whose function is not to ask pertinent questions of the administration but to ridicule and lie about those who do. Perhaps Dreher, who may also be paranoid, pudgy, squirrelly or a lunatic for all we know, might be better off doing what reporters are "supposed" to do: investigate the accusations and produce as many facts against them as Beck has produced in support of them.

Add that to Paul Krugman, whose average column should be replaced by the simple formula 2 + 2 = 5, which would be more interesting and slightly more accurate. Another Sunday down the tubes. Thank God for the funnies.

Bo Jillings, Brooksville

The white Jeremiah Wright | Oct. 18

A hatchet job

Anyone who read this piece should look up W. Cleon Skousen online. He was a respected police chief and an FBI agent, as well as a professor at Brigham Young University. As for Glenn Beck, he has never said "God d--n America," has never stated anything close to the racist hate that came from Jeremiah Wright. His greatest "sin" seems to be that he points out things all Americans should be very concerned about in the Obama administration. This piece was a hatchet job and should be beneath the dignity of the Times.

Bill Kopp, Pinellas Park

The white Jeremiah Wright | Oct. 18

Stop bashing Beck

Once again you have run a column slamming Glenn Beck. Why do you hate him? You have never run a column pointing out his good points.

The writer glosses over the fact that Glenn Beck hammered the administration on Van Jones and ACORN until something was done about them. I listen to Glenn Beck because that is how I find out what is going on in Washington. The mainstream media refused to report on Van Jones until he resigned. Without Beck, we would have no knowledge of the writings of Cass Sunstein and John Holdren, two of Obama's wacko czars. One has said that animals should be allowed to sue humans in a court of law. The other wrote about putting contraceptives in the drinking water to control the population.

As for Skousen and The 5,000 Year Leap, I learned more about the writing of the Constitution from this book than I was ever taught in school. This book shows us the principles the Founding Fathers used as they decided how to form a new government. Lay off Glenn Beck and try covering some of the news about this administration that is being ignored.

Toni Armstrong, Apollo Beach

Assaults on taxpayers

The list of assaults on Florida taxpayers just keeps getting longer and longer.

The first step was accomplished when Senate Bill 360 was signed into law, transferring the cost of local infrastructure improvements from developers to residents.

Further impetus was given to the assault when Judge Terry Lewis dismissed a misconduct charge against former House Speaker Ray Sansom in connection with his attempt to divert tax funds to build an airport hangar for a friend.

The final assault has come in a two-pronged attack. First, the proposal by out-of-state profiteers to drill for oil off our beaches, and second, the attempt spearheaded by Senate President Jeff Atwater to revive the CSX giveaway.

All these assaults are simply about tax money coming from our pockets and going into the coffers of special interests and lobbyists, without any provable benefits to the state of Florida.

Jim Haynes, Tampa

Doctor rebuilding American dream | Oct. 22, story

Bungling government

This story about a veterinary neurosurgeon who lived an immigration nightmare because of visa errors sums up bureaucracy gone wrong. There was no competent federal employee along the way to stop the government's error.

Our federal priorities were so off base and so inefficient in this issue. Wouldn't this be exactly the immigrant we should welcome with open arms? I hope this professional man with never-ending spirit and drive becomes a naturalized citizen. He has a work ethic, will pay his own way and not be another drain on society.

I imagine there are plenty of good people who are out of work and would be happy to apply for the jobs of the immigration personnel who couldn't handle this mix-up.

Robyn Dalton, Largo

Sen. LeMieux: Our nation's debt is not a partisan matter 10/24/09 [Last modified: Saturday, October 24, 2009 4:31am]
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