Sorry, Charlie. It's not so sunny. | April 6
Sunny Gov. Crist
has the right idea
No, Gov. Charlie Crist isn't detached from the reality facing Florida, but the St. Petersburg Times is. Gov. Crist realizes that bad personal decisions caused the foreclosure crisis, and the housing-price bubble had to break eventually — both in Florida and across America. The world oil market sets gasoline prices, not state governors, and certainly not the president.
Rather than join the liberal media chorus crying for higher taxes and government regulations to "solve" these problems, Gov. Crist has the courage to admit there are difficulties, but that there are more bright spots to cheer about while the market economy works out the problems.
While Democrat governors in Michigan and New York saw almost 2-million citizens leave their states between 2000 and 2008, their "solutions" were higher taxes — especially state income taxes — and taxes on businesses and services that only accelerated the exodus.
Floridians like Gov. Crist's common-sense approach to state government — not whining and gloom-and-doom. That is why he has room to govern with a high public approval rating.
David P. Carter, Esq., Seminole
Constitution not in stone | April 6, letter
True, the Constitution isn't written in stone, but the argument for the Electoral College is as strong today as ever! It was designed to prevent the country from being ruled by just a few large cities.
The concentration of power and population in the 1700s was in Boston, New York City and Philadelphia. However there was an entire country beyond those boundaries that deserved representation.
Today we have more than 50 percent of our population concentrated in the 10 largest states, more than 30 percent in the 20 largest metropolitan areas. There is still a whole country beyond those boundaries that deserves representation.
In 2000, Al Gore won the popular vote, but he only won 20 of 50 states (40 percent) and only needed to win his own state (Tennessee) to win the election. The people who knew him best, his own neighbors, rejected him or he would have been president.
So quit your bellyaching. Like him or not, George Bush was elected, not selected.
Patrick W. Brown, Tampa
Let all states have their say | April 6, Philip Gailey column
What interested me most about Philip Gailey's column last Sunday were the photos accompanying it: a calm, thoughtful Obama and a wild, frustrated Hillary. Whose side are you on?
The article itself was calm and thoughtful, pointing out the pluses and minuses of the nominating process. For those who think Hillary is exaggerating her experience in foreign affairs, please remember that as wife of the president, she was intimately involved in her husband's thinking on the subject — for better or worse.
W.H. Riddell, Tampa
The 3-trillion dollar war | April 6,
The jobs factor
I noticed that in both the extensive editorial coverage of the authors' book and the Economist's critique thereof, neither mentioned the economic consequence of bringing our troops back home and the impact that measure would create on the unemployment figures in this country. This has always been a known factor even when our two greatest wars — World Wars I and II — eventually ended.
The question arises: What jobs will be available to these thousands of men and women who must return to an already bulging unemployed population? I am sure the silent voices of the present administration added to that of the obviously silent voices of the economists and media about this matter, will have to inevitably address this issue. Too, not one of the presidential candidates has mentioned this issue and its possible resolution in their political pitches.
Shouldn't someone be honest with the American public regarding this matter?
Henry DeVito, Spring Hill
I am so disgusted with the solutions for the housing crisis. My home has been on the market for two years. I'm not selling because of foreclosure; I'm selling because my business is in the Tampa/St. Petersburg area and I live in Deltona.
It makes me sick to my stomach how the government wants to help the people who created this mess. A new proposal is to offer a $7,000 break to anyone who buys a foreclosed home.
What is the government doing for people like me who didn't fall for the subprime mortgage offers and went conventional with a reputable mortgage company? Families like mine get penalized for living within our means and the idiots get rewarded. If this moronic idea happens I'll never sell my home.
Jim Siragusa, Deltona
"Swanee River" out of flow as state song
April 6, Bill Maxwell column
If anyone has such a strong and legitimate objection to a state song, a state flower, a state motto, we should honor it. These are trivial things, not matters deserving so much space on our editorial pages.
No business ever moved to Florida, no educational institution ever launched an important medical study, no individual ever invested themselves in Florida because of these silly things. If they're the cause of divisiveness, lose them!
Let's adopt a new song that doesn't offend anyone, and let's at least have an entertaining debate. I suggest Cheeseburger in Paradise. Strip malls and palm trees: Now those are symbols of Florida.
Mike Ahrens, Tampa
Olympic torch zigs, protesters zag | April 10
The world wakes up
Well, what do you know! It's been 50-plus years since China invaded Tibet, slaughtered the people, squashed their religion and culture and brutally colonized the place, and he world has finally taken notice. Or has it just become politically correct to raise objections?
Pete Wilford, Holiday