The rich don't need the help
How funny, that Rep. John Boehner and Sen. John McCain are accusing President Barack Obama and the Democrats of "class warfare" because they want to let the tax cuts expire for the wealthiest Americans while retaining the cuts for the majority of us who earn less than $250,000 a year.
The income share of the top 10 percent of Americans has steadily risen since the 1980s — how much protection against the rest of us do they need?
Consider these facts: In 1915, 18 percent of America's wealth belonged to the top 1 percent of Americans. By 1928, 24 percent of our wealth was held by that 1 percent, leading into 1929 when America suffered the Great Depression. Between 1953 and 1980, Americans reveled in the "Glory Years" when the income shared by the top 1 percent dropped to a range of 9 to 11 percent. The middle class was able to buy American goods and services and everyone was a winner.
Beginning in the 1980s, however, the income share of the top 1 percent of Americans began to slowly creep back up until 2007 when our recent market collapse began and, not coincidentally, the share of the top 1 percent was back up to 24 percent. That lopsided income share has still not been fixed.
And yet Republicans would have you believe that taxing these people is class warfare. Incredibly, people will be driving their 6-year-old cars to carry water for these billionaires at tea party rallies, by protesting the expiration of the tax cuts. What do you think? Have we already lost this "class war," or will we wake up before it's too late?
Jackie Gavrian, Brandon
More than jobs needed
Merely cutting taxes won't help. First of all, how many more tax breaks do the wealthy individuals and corporations need? Many would simply pocket their money or use it to outsource more of their jobs.
Some propose cutting taxes, even at the expense of seeing more county and state workers laid off. Remember that these workers buy consumer goods, too. On the other hand, simply creating more jobs won't solve the problem unless our communities benefit from them. No organization, whether government or private, will hire workers even if they have surplus funds unless they believe they will enhance their organization's productivity. In other words, they won't hire workers just for charity.
I think that existing tax cuts should remain in place, at least until unemployment is lower. However, I don't think that we should give additional tax cuts to organizations that send jobs overseas, or do not contribute to the well being of our communities.
If jobs are created, they should be in areas such as health care, education and law enforcement.
Finally, those of us who are fortunate to have jobs should continue to do our best for those that we work for.
Carl E. Graham, Largo
Economy doesn't care
If you believe in decreasing the deficit, you must believe in letting the tax cuts expire. The effect of this on the economic recovery will be minor, if anything at all.
The economy does not care if the government spends the money or the public does. Thus the only way you can make a case for it hurting the economy is if you believe that government deficit spending creates jobs.
The Republicans have loudly stated that the government stimulus does not work and only creates debt. Therefore they are being highly hypocritical to be calling for the extension of the tax cuts.
Christopher Radulich, Apollo Beach
The people lose
Wouldn't it be nice if our president could say, "Together we will cure the economic problems and make things better for our citizens"?
He had to say that the Democrats will fix the economy. He had to say that because no Republican will support him in any way. This is true because our Grand Old Party is so intent on winning control of Congress that it is blind to the needs of the people and the economy. Apparently there are no men or women in our government who can think for themselves or are confident enough to vote their own conscience. What a shame they forgot the people who put them there.
Why do we citizens sit back and watch a "do-nothing party" complain and scheme for the next election while the president offers solutions to our problems? Will there ever be another Republican who can vote for and serve the American people?
This is now a three-party system: Democrats, Republicans and the people. Guess who generally loses … the people.
Frank Justison, St. Petersburg
Say no to progressives
I have been reading the editorial pages in the Times and the Tribune and I am struck with a sense of irony. It seems that the liberals and Democrats in this country have short-term memory loss.
Prior to 2006, the GOP had control of the House and the Senate. The Democrats back then did a lot of "No" voting. Then they gained control in 2006 and they continued to vote "No" to thwart President George W. Bush. It seems like both parties are the Party of No.
Best of all, in 2008, the Democrats gained control of the House, Senate and the White House. Did they get all their grand goals accomplished? No!
Then the Democrats lost their 60-vote majority in the Senate. Now, suddenly the GOP is the Party of No. Ever think that that's why the people of Massachusetts voted the way they did?
As a conservative Republican, I want the GOP to vote no on every progressive bill, every bill that raises my taxes, every bill that takes control of my life away from me. So I say to the GOP: Good job! You have done what I have asked you to do.
I will leave the GOP with a warning, though: When you regain control of the House and Senate, do not squander the opportunity or I will be looking toward a third party to do what I want done.
Jon McCurdy, Tampa
Voucher demand exceeds supply Sept. 14, story
Isn't it interesting how many low-income parents want school vouchers to get their kids out of our failing public schools and into private ones, so many in fact that they are running out of funds.
There could be much more money for these vouchers except that the teachers union opposes them and wants our kids locked into the public system we all know is failing them. Just this year the Republican-led Legislature had a plan to allow the state to remove some of the most incompetent teachers from the system but that was opposed, again, by the teachers union. And after its passage Gov. Charlie Crist vetoed it.
I guess to Crist the endorsement of the teachers union was more important than the education of our kids.
Ronnie Dubs, St. Petersburg
A "foul thing" but it passed anyway Sept, 12, Howard Troxler column
Money calls the shots
With all the knowledge we have today about how we human beings impact our environment (and not in a good way) you'd think we would finally realize it is in our best interests for human survival to take care of our natural resources.
Voters continue to let the powers that be keep decimating our planet to suit their own interests and the interests of those who pay for their campaigns. It seems our legislators are for whoever has the most money and power and what they get out of it. And it isn't the people of Florida.
Katheen Jones, New Port Richey
At Republican gathering, unity outweighs grudges | Sept. 11
Get on board
Your article on unity within the Republican Party, or rather the disunity, was interesting.
Opinion leaders in the Republican Party should be given a simple choice: Either publicly endorse the party candidate for governor, or leave the party. The most prominent name in this regard is Attorney General Bill McCollum.
Ernest Lane, Trinity
Remember our flag
The whole world got disturbed when there was talk of burning the Koran.
Is not the American flag a great symbol of our religion and patriotism? How many countries stand up and protest against the destruction of our flag when it's burned day after day on national television?
Where are the comments of our great leaders denouncing these acts of aggression against our symbolic signs of freedom?
C. Johnston, Clearwater