Huge tax hikes hanging over 2013 | Oct. 2
U.S. did fine with '90s tax rates
Why is the media so hyped up about tax hikes that are forecast for 2013? Aren't the rates just going to go back to where they were in the late '90s? Weren't the '90s the best decade we've had for job creation and personal income growth in a long time?
The recent tax cuts have done nothing for the economy and job creation, so doesn't it make sense to ignore the doomsayers and try something that worked so well just 15 years ago? We would have more jobs and less deficits and in a few years we might even have a surplus again, as we did in 1999.
Instead of scaring people, the media should remind them about the '90s.
Roger Gambert, Palm Harbor
Romney presses Obama on record | Oct. 4
Romney flips and flops
The greatest debate Mitt Romney had was with himself. He claimed he was working to help middle-income and poor people, despite a tape recording in which he says he was not concerned about that 47 percent. He said he would replace Obamacare with his own plan, but the Affordable Care Act is his plan. He accused the president of taking $716 billion out of Medicare, while his proposed budget as authored by his running mate advocates taking the exact same amount.
Walter Melvin, Clearwater
Bullying wins out
Moderator Jim Lehrer never stood a chance against Mitt Romney, who made it clear from the start that he would not play by the rules. It showed as he went about answering questions not asked, and those that were asked were answered in typical nonanswer fashion as is normal for Romney.
In declaring Romney the winner of the debate, people are also saying we like the nastiness of debate. We like double standards and bullying.
Bobby McGill, Valrico
Citizens rates to soar | Oct. 3
Killing the economy
How can the average Floridian survive when our own government turns its back on constituents with what they are allowing Citizens to do? How can this governor expect our economy to improve when every time we turn around, rates from one entity or another increase? How can this governor expect to create 700,000 new jobs when he forsakes people who already have jobs and makes it uninviting for potential employers and job seekers?
Jack Burlakos, Kenneth City
I was a welfare mother | Sept. 30
What an inspiring and heartwarming story. No victim here — just a determined, hard-working woman who used all the resources provided to her in her search to make a better future for herself and her child and to be able to repay her country for the help she received.
The answer to her question — "Wouldn't any decent person throw a rope to a drowning person?" — is yes, but the key word is decent.
Margaret Edwards, Trinity
Larkin Warren is both the exception but also the rule. In her younger day she made some big mistakes. Some decent taxpaying people threw her a rope. She grabbed it and pulled herself out and eventually overcame these mistakes to become a responsible parent and adult.
During her years of hard times, she did live off the taxpaying people of the country. She is the exception because too many grab the rope and just stay in the water, depending on those who threw the rope to care for them.
It was interesting in her article that she makes really no mention of the child's father. Where is he and why has he not been held responsible in the support of his child instead of the taxpayers? This is true in far too many cases. It is unfortunate that we end up with not one but two irresponsible adults bringing children into this world for someone else to care for.
John L. Blechschmidt, Clearwater
The killing drones on | Sept. 30
Violation of rights
I appreciated this well-written article on the drone attacks. However, I was disturbed when I read that Attorney General Holder believes the right of due process afforded under the Fifth Amendment is determined solely by the executive branch and that our government can target its citizens through the use of "robust oversight."
It was over a lack of due process that the American Revolution was fought. If we target American citizens, even terrorists, without due process, what's next? Losing our property rights? Or are we beyond that already?
Scott Pierce, Tampa
Right of self-defense
The logic and moral justification of targeted killings is the same as the self-defense laws. All that is required of the killer is that there is a logical threat which provides the justification. None of the "stand your ground" laws have been declared unconstitutional. Nor is there is a legal requirement for the killer to check the birth certificate of the victim.
This article states that there is a 100-person interagency process that nominates and vets suspected terrorists. That's certainly more thorough than police officers need if they believe that the opponent has a weapon and intends to use it.
In a guerrilla war where the combatants have no uniforms and place of national origin, we have to do the best we can to defend ourselves. We can't target al-Qaida cities, so we have to go after the individuals who threaten us in any way we can.
John B. Mooney, Hudson
The big myth of painful choices | Sept. 30
As Robert Frank writes, necessary highway, bridge, water treatment and other capital projects should get the attention they need now while unemployed workers are looking for jobs and the cost of required materials and interest rates are at record lows.
These projects would put the unemployed back to work and eliminate their need to receive unemployment checks, all the while putting their paychecks to work throughout the economy purchasing goods and services they've had to put on hold.
As more things are purchased and services utilized, more unemployed people are hired to make those things and provide those services. Meanwhile rents and mortgages are being paid and sales, payroll and income taxes are collected. All in all, a win-win for everyone.
Rick Carson, St. Petersburg