GOP owes antitax brand to him | Sept. 18
Norquist leading GOP by the nose
Sunday's front-page article about Grover Norquist made me so angry, I found it hard to breathe after I finished reading. Norquist is not only cruel, selfish and unpatriotic; he is dangerous to America and our values of looking after one another and keeping our country strong.
Thanks to Norquist, Republicans might know the "right" buttons to push and the most appealing things to say to earn votes and power, but they've done a horrible disservice to our economy and our government by failing to fund it properly with fair tax revenue policies. Republicans (and people who vote for them) may feel they're giving the poor what they feel are their just desserts by cutting social services and eviscerating America's safety net, but they're punishing the rest of us in the middle class and their wealthy buddies as well.
Our roads and bridges are crumbling, our schools are falling apart, and our elderly and veterans risk poverty and poor health due to the Republicans' desire to gouge Medicare and Social Security. If the ever-glorified free market and private sector is supposed to take care of these needs adequately, then why aren't they? If the Republican policies of eliminating our tax base worked so wonderfully, then why are so many people in our country suffering, and why is our economy falling apart?
I can imagine that the Republican-led Congress — along with its corporate friends in high places — is sitting upon many much-needed initiatives to improve the state of our country because they cynically want to make President Barack Obama look bad so that they can enable the election of a Republican president in 2012. I am astonished that more Americans don't see through these tactics, and I wish more Americans would raise their voices in protest of them. Even more, I would love to see more Republicans repudiate the destructive policies of Grover Norquist and friends, and sign on to the American Jobs Act to put our people back to work and to rebuild our country and make it great again.
Michelle Kenoyer, Riverview
GOP owes antitax brand to him
Norquist is anti-American
I'm sorry, but when did Grover Norquist become emperor?
I don't recall him being appointed by the president, the Congress or the Supreme Court or being elected by the people of the United States. He has never had the courage or the integrity to run for political office, which would give him some legitimacy. He is utterly antidemocratic.
What is his hold over American politicians? Does he have a private army, a la Blackwater/Xe, that will come and drag people off in the middle of the night and execute them in the town square if they don't sign the pledge or violate it if they have?
His economic theory is utterly medieval. One looks at it and conjures Dickensian child labor workhouses or company town factories where the workers are not employed by the company but, rather, owned by it.
His theory of government would have us back in medieval hovels with no running water, sanitation, highways, fire or police protection or educational systems that would help us rise from these dire circumstances, or any tax system to pay the cost. In his world the people are taxed to keep him and his oligarchs in power without having to pay taxes themselves.
He doesn't understand that the wealthiest and most powerful are obliged to pay their fair share of the taxes necessary to support the government because they have the most to lose.
He is utterly anti-American in every way. He needs to be exposed and expunged from the American political scene.
Mark Schumerth, St. Pete Beach
Perry in the lead, so he's the target | Sept. 23
What's next in GOP field?
The Republican presidential candidates' televised debates have been very educational. Their positions and quirks are well-known. It is the insight into the minds and (lack of) soul of their base that is invaluable.
Rick Perry gets cheered for his record number of executions. Then a crowd cheers the assertion that an uninsured man should be left to die. Finally, a gay soldier serving selflessly in Iraq is booed because he wonders how potential future commanders in chief might affect his service. One can only wait with great anticipation the next inhumane, hateful and un-American position to be applauded. In a world and time with few good choices, these examples clearly define how much worse it could be.
Jack Darkes, Temple Terrace
Advice to the young: Vote | Robyn Blumner, Sept. 18
You get what you pay for
Robyn Blumner urges young voters to vote for progressive politicians if they want to be treated fairly during their working life and says they need to understand the relationship between government and their jobs. She states that the United States could have Denmark-style working conditions, where there is free child care and free health care and five weeks off a year. What she fails to say is that these workers have a high income tax and really end up paying for all these services.
James Grace, Safety Harbor
Education is the answer
Robyn Blumner uses faulty logic again to promote big government and labor unions in her paean to Denmark's economy. Neither labor unions nor big government have any part in economic growth, according to the economists. Learning is far and away the most important variable they've found.
Permanent jobs for the poorly educated cannot be magically made to appear because government waves its command wand, nor because some labor union successfully raises the price of its members' work.
Rolf H. Parta, Bradenton
Young stand to lose status
As always, Robyn Blumner nailed it in her column. All too many of the young people seem preoccupied in their virtual world, playing around in Facebook and Twitter, following friends and football teams, blissfully ignorant of the potential catastrophe on the horizon. Apparently unaware of the efforts of the superrich in this country, with the help of their Republican lackeys, to suck up all the nation's resources and wealth for themselves, the young stand to watch their lifestyles become obliterated if the Republicans gain any further ground politically.
Per the Republicans, I, as an old white woman who just retired after working for 45 years, should not worry because they say they won't mess with my Social Security. And if they destroy the environment, I won't be around to suffer for it. The Republicans expect to get my vote. Apparently they are not aware that we have children and grandchildren, whose future is more precious to us than our own. Most of us also concern ourselves with other people's children, especially those who just joined the ranks of the impoverished thanks to the Republican-created-and-sustained recession.
Gail Morris, Safety Harbor