Thursday, February 22, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Sunday's letters: Voters should look to data, not rhetoric

On Obama's watch, the U.S. economy | June 3, PolitiFact

Look to information, not rhetoric

Thank you for the PolitiFact scorecard. It will be well worth keeping and referring to over the summer. I sincerely hope you continue.

I am an independent, longtime native Floridian who strongly believes in the intelligent use of the right and responsibility each of us has to cast our vote. To date, however, I am frustrated at the noisy and viral accusations, innuendo and negativity from both political parties, all cable news and print media, voicemail, Facebook, Twitter and the like besieging us with their lies and biased agendas.

If you are a low-voltage voter, or angry at some of the issues or personalities, shame on you if you don't even care enough to read Sunday's Perspective. It is chock full of facts, data and statistics that can be understood by any voter with as little as an eighth-grade education.

I am proud of my right to vote, and for the past half-century I have cast each vote to the best of my ability. And thanks to the Tampa Bay Times, I can now look forward these next five months as you continue to "sort out the truth in politics."

Ronn Ginn, St. Petersburg

On Obama's watch, the U.S. economy June 3, PolitiFact

Economy was in a free fall

PolitiFact has hit a new low with its scorecard on the state of the U.S. economy under President Barack Obama's watch. This is a prime example of how numbers can be made to prove any point. No consideration was given to the momentum toward disaster in the years before 2008. The economy was in free fall.

Just like a ship steaming towards an iceberg, you can reverse the engines but momentum will still carry the ship toward catastrophe. The fact that we have avoided the disaster befalling Europe (all cuts and no stimulus spending) is a great credit to this administration despite the uncooperative congressional right wing.

Cali Capkanis, St. Pete Beach

Corporate greed

A few interesting things to note from the PolitiFact article:

First, there are 22 million government jobs, compared to 111 million private sector ones. That's about 1 in 5 — so much for "smaller government." Also, we have 4 million fewer jobs now than in 2008, when unemployment was 5 percent.

Meanwhile, corporate profits have gone from $1.2 trillion in 2008 to $1.9 trillion in 2011. With $700 billion in additional profit, American businesses could reduce unemployment by hiring, but they refuse to do that or pay decent wages. That has kept this nation in a long recession.

It should also be pointed out that last month Meg Whitman, CEO of Hewlett Packard, announced the layoff of 27,000 workers while the country added only 69,000 net jobs, thus sending stocks tumbling. Corporate greed is killing the economy, not President Barack Obama.

John T. Rice, Safety Harbor

Romney's entitlement: win for losing June 3, Robyn Blumner column

Welfare for the wealthy

Here in Florida we have our own version of welfare for the wealthy. When you buy anything that is taxable, pretty much everything except food, you pay a 6 percent Florida state sales tax.

There is one other big exception and that is when you purchase a new yacht or private jet. A few years back the Republican-led Florida Legislature decided to cap sales tax on luxury yachts and planes at $18,000.

A very cursory search online reveals many yachts for sale in Florida for prices into the tens of millions of dollars. When a $200 million dollar yacht sells in Florida (and they do), the state should rake in $12 million in sales tax, but instead the state settles for a mere $18,000. If you are lucky enough to have $200 million for a yacht, you should have the money to pay the sales tax just like everyone else.

F.M. Younglove, Brandon

Clear out billboard clutter | June 6, editorial

Do away with them all

What a treat it would be to drive around without being assaulted by visual blight.

At the risk of hearing "we don't care how you do it up North," the state of Vermont has the right idea: There is no billboard advertising anywhere, even in the cities, just discreet signs directing you to restaurants, shops, etc.

Sue E. Conrad, North Redington Beach

Tax policy

Tax cuts haven't worked

If tax cuts for the wealthy (the "job creators") result in jobs, why is anyone unemployed after a decade of the Bush tax cuts? We should have job surpluses and high wages.

More expendable income for the wealthy does not equal more jobs, more consumption, or more anything. It just takes away from the middle class, while the poorest classes grow and the needs of the many explode.

People seem to vote against their best interests, imagining that they themselves might someday be wealthy and won't want to be taxed when they earn their millions.

Rich folks do not create jobs, consumers do. If you don't have money, you can't consume. If people without money get it, they spend it. People who don't need it just stash it in a tax-free investment. This doesn't create jobs.

Barbara Lewis, Tampa

Florida's waters

Protect precious resource

On June 23, the Florida Conservation Coalition and its partner are hosting an event — Speak Up for Silver Springs and Florida's Waters — at Silver River State Park. This gathering (details: will serve to educate the public about the importance of our natural resources and to engage citizens in a campaign to protect and restore the health of Florida's imperiled waterways.

The FCC was founded by former Sen. Bob Graham and conservation organizations to ensure that safeguards are in place to protect and properly manage Florida's water resources and our rich natural environment. The FCC and its members are dismayed by the poor water quality conditions that exist throughout the state. We are concerned about the threats to environmental safeguards and our groundwater. The dramatic degradation of the iconic Silver Springs is of particular concern.

However, this is about much more than just Silver Springs. This is a call to action for all of Florida's rivers, lakes, springs and aquifers. Water is the lifeblood of Florida's economy and essential to our health and quality of life.

Jimmy Orth and Estus Whitfield, Florida Conservation Coalition, Jacksonville


Wednesday’s letters:

House Bill 21Opioid proposal merits supportIn 2016, Florida recorded 952 heroin-related and 1,390 fentanyl-related deaths. Four in five new heroin users began by misusing prescription pain medications, also known as opioids. Despite the widespread op...
Published: 02/20/18

Hernando Letter to the Editor for Feb. 23

Re: Hernando business leaders push to loosen development rules | Feb. 9; Re: Deny Brooksville mine expansion, planning commissioners say | Feb. 16Wish to register my opposition to both the draft of the new Hernando County Comprehensive Plan that elim...
Published: 02/20/18

Tuesday’s letters: Making politics personal is one way toward reasonable gun control

The Parkland shootingMake gun politics personalAs an educator of 32 years, it encourages me to see our young people engaged after the horror at Stoneman Douglas High School. The tragedy at Parkland has awakened the sleeping giant that is the millenni...
Published: 02/19/18

Sunday’s letters: Congress must act on firearms

Deadly toll: 17 | Feb. 15Congress must act on firearmsIt’s time for Congress to be counted.The failure of Congress to act to: (1) limit access to assault rifles and (2) require meaningful background checks for all gun purchases is appalling.Surel...
Published: 02/17/18

Monday’s letters: Call it by its name: terrorism

Deadly toll: 17 | Feb. 15Call it whatit is: terrorismLet’s just call it what it is. It’s terrorism. No school in the country is immune. They all have procedures for sheltering in place or emergency evacuation from a shooter. It’s prudent to be pr...
Published: 02/16/18

Saturday’s letters: Payoff to porn star not front-page news?

Lawyer: I personally paid porn star | Feb. 14Where we’re at: This is 4A newsOnly under the Trump presidency does a story about the president’s lawyer paying off a porn star to cover up an affair with the president show up on page 4A. Never mind t...
Published: 02/16/18

Friday’s letters: Water quality too important to gamble on

State to update water rules | Feb. 10Don’t gamble with water safetyI wondered whether this front-page article was an early April Fool’s joke. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection "updated" its pollution regulations in 2016, with str...
Published: 02/15/18

Thursday’s letters: Bill protects pharmacy customers

House Bill 351Bill protects pharmacy customersWe all need the protections provided in Florida House Bill 351 to ensure pharmacy benefit managers, or PBMs, are transparently operating with patients. Currently, PBMs are not regulated by the state and o...
Published: 02/14/18

Wednesday’s letters: The ocean is no place for amateurs

Youthful dream sinks in two days | Feb. 12Ocean is no place for amateursFirst of all, let me say I am sorry this couple lost their boat and I do applaud their adventurous spirit. However, I have spent over 20 years at sea and would like to commen...
Published: 02/13/18

Pasco Letters to the Editor for Feb. 16

A vote against Pasco’s jail bond issueThere are two stories on the front page of the Feb. 9 Pasco Times that drew my attention.The top headline reports that the Pasco County commissioners are discussing submitting a $185 million bond issue to the vot...
Published: 02/13/18