Middle class should be revived
Both Rick Scott's and Alex Sink's simplistic economic plans stand in stark contrast to Robert Reich's reasoned analysis (How to end the recession, Sept. 6) of why we have an economic downturn that will not go away.
Republican tax and fiscal policies since 1982 have decimated the American middle class and caused great economic havoc. Just as Reich explains, we must resuscitate the middle class and reverse the damage done if we are to salvage the American economy. The great social engineering experiment begun by Ronald Reagan and continued to excess by George W. Bush has taken almost three decades to destroy the middle sector of our economy and it will take a concentrated effort of similar time to build it back up again.
Scott and Sink appear to want to simply continue failed policies. We must not let that happen. Crippling government or starving it will make government less effective, not more effective. That should be painfully obvious from events of the past decade.
Ian MacFarlane, St. Petersburg
Scott, Sink split on jobs | Sept. 6, story
Hands off retirement funds
Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink has become a huge disappointment to teachers, firefighters and police officers. Having retired five years ago after teaching 32 years in Pinellas County, I have anxiously watched the poor performance in recent years of my retirement fund. During "Sink's watch" the fund has suffered a huge loss in recent years.
According to your recent article, I now see that she recommends using $2 billion from our retirement fund as her answer to create jobs for business. Unlike a true, smart leader she isn't being creative or innovative. She's just recommending moving funds at the expense of Florida public service retirees.
Her job should be concentrating on growing our funds and not diverting them from those of us who have earned them. Florida public service workers deserve their retirement funds and those funds should not be touched to serve another cause. Our leaders should be concentrating on growing our retirees' funds so they may offset the increased cost of living we will have to face in the future.
Barbara Elson, South Pasadena
Scott, Sink split on jobs | Sept. 6
Government offers jobs
It appears to me that the first four proposals of Rick Scott's plan to create jobs in Florida would actually eliminate numerous jobs in the state workforce and necessitate that local governments cut even more. Don't government jobs count as jobs? Don't government workers provide vital services and support the economy as well?
Gee, Mr. Scott, on behalf of government workers across the state, thanks for caring! Maybe you should alter your slogan: "Let's get to work, but only in the private sector."
Karen Booher, St. Petersburg
Control the corporations
Jobs and unemployment are a main political talking point in the upcoming November elections. Ironically, I have not heard any of the candidates bring up some of the simplest solutions.
Outsourcing is one of the main reasons why there has been no improvement in jobs and why there will never be any improvement. Until we start fining or taxing these corporations who are outsourcing, they will continue this practice until it destroys our economy completely.
Another idea is to redefine "temporary employment and contract labor." Companies are saving money on benefits at the expense of the American people by claiming employees are temporary or contract. Someone who is working only for one particular company for any period of time over 90 days, should be considered an employee and entitled to the benefits that go with employment.
Corporations are preying on the American people. In the past few years, the rate of pay has been diminished and companies are only hiring temporary or contract labor. Americans are forced to take any job just to try to make ends meet.
As you published weeks ago, corporate profits are up over 40 percent. Corporations could hire — they just are not doing it. Corporate greed needs to be reined in before it completely destroys our country. It is time our politicians stop allowing corporate America to control our country.
Cheryl Colvin, Lutz
Buy American | Sept. 3, letter
We need help
In response to the letter writer, I would like to say, we would be glad to buy American if we just knew where. Due to high taxes and union demands very little is manufactured in this country any longer.
A good idea, if we are really concerned about boosting our economy and providing jobs, would be for our esteemed president and his administration to provide a list of products that are made in America and where to buy them.
I know this would not sit well with other countries, but we have an emergency situation that requires emergency treatment.
John Masterson, Spring Hill
Obama seeks $50B jobs bill | Sept. 7, story
President Barack Obama has spoken about this very idea since before he won the presidency, and it was shelved because of the economic tsunami. Obama first had to take drastic measures to save the world, as well as our own, economic stability.
One can debate the causes, but there was basically a perfect storm of greed, mismanagement and wars fought while taxes were slashed — unlike every other war, we as citizens, were not asked to do our small part.
This new plan is well overdue to fix America's crumbling infrastructure, as well as coming into the 21st century with a national rail system. These needed improvements will also produce tens of thousands of jobs nationally and the infrastructure bank will see to it that everything is properly coordinated, rather than produced by pork barrel bills.
The only problem is the party of no will see to it that if it is successful at all, it will take several years to grind through the system. The party that created this mess is now unable or unwilling to govern in the people's best interest.
A jobs bill would ordinarily breeze through Congress, but with the current political climate, Obama could come up with a cure for cancer and he would be demonized by the right.
Christopher Curley, Sun City Center
Don't bank on it
President Barack Obama has called for $50 billion to be spent on building roads, an air traffic control system, waterways, etc. A good idea, but what happened to the $100 million, or so, from the original stimulus package that was going to "put thousands of people to work on shovel-ready projects?"
A national infrastructure bank? Do we want the federal government running a bank with $50 billion? Maybe we can get Barney Frank to be the CEO. Look what he did with Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.
Daniel Pennisi, Palm Harbor
The good old days?
Amazingly enough, recent polls are showing the Republican Party may be expected to pick up seats in the House and Senate in the mid-term elections
How do they do it ? They have simply been the party of no, have blocked everything President Barack Obama has tried to do, including multiple job and energy bills and have offered absolutely nothing as an alternative except the tea party debacle. They whine constantly about our budget deficit as if they had nothing to do with it during the George W. Bush administration's eight years of escalating it every year. Boy, do we have short memories.
How easy it must be throw around words like socialism and communism and hope people don't do their homework and voters buy it.
I guess we should all go back to the good old days of Republican control.
Bobby Lonardo, Seminole