Blowing it after bubble had burst | Oct. 16
American tax code needs reform
Did Ronald Reagan come back from the grave? As I read through this article, I could have sworn we were back to the voodoo economics of the Reagan years.
I kept hearing the same thing coming from all the talking heads: Spend tax dollars that the federal government doesn't have in the first place and then dole out large tax cuts and lower the amount of revenue going into government coffers.
On top of that, not one of them addressed the lack of job creation; and I am not talking about low-paying service jobs. The media is putting on the party hats about the retail sector adding jobs, but we are heading into the major holiday season. Where do all those jobs go in mid January?
One does not need to have a Ph.D. in economics to see that when you spend more than you take in, it is a losing proposition. Deficit spending is killing this country, and as long as Washington keeps spending like drunken sailors and giving all of the tax breaks to seven-digit wage earners, we will never get out of the hole we are in.
The media needs to talk to tax accountants and look into how lopsided the tax code really is and do some in-depth reporting on that topic.
David Bellinger, Largo
Blowing it after bubble had burst and No penchant for pensions | Oct. 16
Character of leaders is key
The study of the recession/debt crisis by Ezra Klein of the Washington Post brought some impartial clarity to a difficult situation to which it seems there is no workable short-term solution. One could only wish he could have raised some hope for a long-term correction.
And in one of the few times during my years of readership, I nodded in agreement with most of what Robyn Blumner wrote in her column quoting from the book Retirement Heist by Ellen Schultz.
While there is much to criticize about some corporations and their executives, the same could be said about some unions. The difference between good and bad organizations in either camp always depends on the character of the leaders. That's where Blumner and I usually part ways — on the role of religious faith in the public square.
Adon Taft, Brooksville
High achievers lose out | Oct. 16, Bill Maxwell column
Teaching to all abilities
Bill Maxwell asks educators: Is focusing on getting all students to be proficient on reading and math tests having unintended negative consequences on high achievers?
I am a Pinellas County school teacher. As an educator, I have the resources and have been trained how to teach all children in my classroom, from the less proficient to the highest-achieving students. That's what teachers are trained to do.
The less proficient do indeed require more small group and one-on-one instruction, while the higher-achieving students receive their skill instruction while learning to work independently and cooperatively with other students on more challenging activities with teacher guidance and support.
Our principal monitors what we do for the highest achievers, and teachers are required to plan lessons daily for all ability levels. That is learning that involves all students, at all ability levels, so that no child is left behind.
Leigh Taylor, St. Petersburg
Occupy Wall Street
Shift focus to Washington
I think the protesters are misguided. They should be in Washington, D.C. That is the head of the snake.
Our government has allowed the misdeeds of Wall Street, banks and credit card companies.
If our government really cared, why allow credit card companies to charge such high interest rates? Why did they push for mortgages for people who couldn't afford them? And why did politicians during the past 40 years spend us into near-bankruptcy?
I'm disgusted with most elected politicians in both parties. Those of use who aren't interested in joining the Wall Street protests can and must act in the voting booth next year. Let's clean house once and for all.
Frank B. Hill, Port Charlotte
Scott's crazy calculus Oct. 14, Daniel Ruth column
A respected university
I was taken aback by Daniel Ruth's gratuitous ridicule directed toward the University of Miami. In the most recent U.S. News & World Report rankings, UM places 38th in the nation, the only Florida university to crack the top 50. The University of Florida, the school to which everyone is supposed to defer, ranked 58th.
The University of Miami has the finest medical school in the state and one of the better ones in the Southeast and United States. The UM law school has the highest bar exam pass rate in the state. The Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science is one of the top programs not only in the nation but in the world. And the list goes on.
Eric K. Petiprin, Tierra Verde
Scott: Tell me about college grads | Oct. 20
Gov. Rick Scott's call for emphasizing science, engineering and math degrees is too little too late. Putting aside the fact that every governor is calling for this, here's why.
One of the primary ways government has traditionally intervened in markets is to restrict immigration. This has the direct effect of keeping wages much higher than they would be otherwise. Imagine what your job would pay if everyone in the world who could do it was able to compete with you for it.
Well, that's exactly the world we are in transition to at an accelerating rate. With globalization, borders no longer restrict labor pools. Every job that can be remotely outsourced will be. I'm talking now, not in 20 years.
We will never win this battle. There are 20 times more people much poorer than us training like crazy to take our jobs. China and India combined graduate a million engineers a year, year after year. The United States graduates 70,000.
Robert H. Clark, Tampa
Walmart moms not buying what politicians are selling | Oct. 9
Drop the party line
This article should be shouted from every bullhorn. It makes so much sense.
To every senior citizen: Stop voting the party and think hard about what happened when you did last time. Do you still have all your benefits? Stop to think before you just hit party buttons.
Cindy Besio, New Port Richey