Friday, June 22, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Thursday's letters: Basic arithmetic trumps rhetoric

Debt numbers are big; real problem is less so | Jan. 9, commentary

Basic arithmetic trumps rhetoric

This is an article that every Democrat and Republican voter should read before deciding whom to vote for to be president. And it does not require any specific education to understand — just common sense.

As the authors state, basic arithmetic can liberate us from silly rhetoric, and that is what I find is the basis today for pronouncements from both political parties. The "gut" of this excellent article is expressed in this statement: "It is counterproductive to balance the budget by reducing growth-enhancing investments in math and science education, road and bridge repairs, or broadband capacity."

If growth-enhancing investments are made with the agreement of both political parties, even though the debt is not substantially reduced each year, our future is not to be feared; it is a future to look forward to. Basic arithmetic is all you need to know.

Donald W. Chandler, Clearwater

Debt numbers are big; real problem is less so Jan. 9, commentary

Nation saddled with debt

Debt as a percentage of GDP is now just over 100 percent. The authors use a "conservative estimate" of 2 percent future GDP growth rate to aid their argument that debt is insignificant, and that we should continue to create more debt (print money out of thin air) to pay down the debt as well as to fund more education and infrastructure projects.

But a society saturated in debt cannot grow. Just look at Greece, Italy, Spain and other European nations whose debt as a percentage of GDP is over 100 percent.

The fact is that globalism has pillaged our economy, and what we are left with is a sand castle economy that cannot withstand the piling on of more long-term debt for minor short-term gains.

Alex Vann, Brooksville

FBI says man planned terror | Jan. 10

Betrayal of Islamic ideals

As a Muslim American, I am saddened to hear the news of the arrest of Sami Osmakac, who was accused plotting terrorist attacks in Tampa. What makes me sad is not his arrest, but him attributing his acts to Islam. In a video, he claimed that Muslim blood is more valuable than that of people who do not believe in Islam.

He should deeply reflect on Koran, which while promoting the sanctity of life — "whosoever killed a person, it shall be if he had killed the entire mankind; and whoso saved a life, it shall be if he had saved the entire mankind" — does not differentiate between Muslim and non-Muslim blood.

He has not only been disloyal to his country, but with the charge that he planned to act against the Koranic instruction to Muslims not to create disorder in the Earth, he has also been disloyal to his faith.

Nasir Ahmad, M.D., Tinton Falls, N.J.

Stand up for tax fairness | Jan. 8, editorial

Tax laws need updating

It's sad that our governor and many in the Legislature think that enforcing the "use tax" portion of the sales and use tax law is a new tax. It's been a complement to the sales tax since 1950. It levels the playing field for in-state businesses with out-of-state businesses that sell to customers here.

The problem is that we have tax laws that haven't been updated to reflect changing times. When the use tax was enacted, personal computers didn't exist, the Internet didn't exist, and most people paid with cash.

We need a Legislature willing to update our tax code and collection laws to the 21st century. We need a Legislature willing to look at all the special exemptions in the sales and use tax law and ask themselves if these exemptions are in the best interests of all citizens of the state. We need a Legislature to actually do its job and not just take easy, perceived fixes such as expanding gambling and cutting, cutting, cutting.

Randy Eisenberg, Valrico

My nightmare at Guantanamo Jan. 10, commentary

Apology is in order

We have seen others who were finally released after years at Guantanamo. Releasing them earlier might have made someone look "soft on terrorism." We know that some were turned in by their neighbors who held a grudge against them or wanted their land. We can do little to replace their lost years.

However, I am concerned that Mitt Romney brags in his commercials that he would never apologize for America. Assuming that everything in this column is true, wouldn't a simple apology from America be appropriate? Perhaps the least we could do?

Refusing to ever apologize smacks of arrogance, a policy more appropriate for the Roman Empire than a country founded on freedom.

Peter S. Cohoon, Tampa

Keep endgame in mind with Rays Jan. 10, John Romano column

Keep the Rays in Pinellas

I live in Tampa, but Pinellas County needs a win on the new stadium location. This market is too small to alienate the Rays' best and longest-serving fans.

Put the stadium in Pinellas between I-275 and Gandy Boulevard and help St. Petersburg to annex the area and everybody wins. The edges of downtown Tampa are no better or safer than the current Tropicana site. The fairgrounds are far for everyone. Ask the Bucs if a Tampa location is the magic bullet for attendance.

St. Petersburg/Pinellas built it and the Rays came. Now the Rays are getting all grown up and need their space, but not too much and not too far away. This is a family game.

David Reddy, Tampa

Muslim speaker upsets critic | Jan. 10

Religion doesn't belong

David Caton has a point. If the public school system allows a Muslim leader to speak at a high school, then there should be equal time to counter this message.

But why are we having representatives of religions come to any public school? Last I heard we have a separation of church and state.

Irmgard Knorr, Sun City Center


Friday’s letters: What a new Rays ballpark would mean

Rays exec hints at stadium timeline | June 15What a new ballpark would doThe Tampa Bay Rays 2020 organization is working diligently with local business leaders and civic organizations to rally support for the Rays’ new ballpark in Ybor City. The ...
Updated: 2 hours ago

Thursday’s letters: On immigration there has to be a better way

‘Zero tolerance’ ignites outrage | June 20Find better way on immigrationOver the years I’ve voted for candidates from both parties. My observation of the Trump administration’s policy on immigration is not about politics. It has to do with having...
Published: 06/19/18
Updated: 06/21/18

Wednesday’s letters: Charters and traditional public schools each have their place

Public school as public good | Letter, June 17Both kinds of schools can workAs a mother and grandmother of children raised in both traditional public and charter schools in Pinellas County (and a 25-year supporting-services employee for public sc...
Published: 06/18/18
Updated: 06/20/18

Tuesday’s letters: Keep programs that fight AIDS

For author Biden, it’s a father’s gift | June 6Keep programs that fight AIDSAfter former Vice President Joe Biden’s recent visit to St. Petersburg, I noticed an article that he co-wrote with former Sen. Bill Frist. It reminded everyone about the ...
Published: 06/18/18
Updated: 06/19/18

Is anyone watching the money?Hernando County’s budget shortfall is ever changing going from $6 million to $11.5 million to $14 million to what is assumed a final number of $12.6 million. Who knows the budget shortfall could change again.Who’s watchi...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

Re: County OKs solar zones | June 8Plea ignored at solar plant hearingThe Pasco County Commission on June 5 voted to identify a utility-sized solar electric plant as a "special exception" use on agricultural-zoned land in Pasco County. What thi...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

Monday’s letters: Skip those plastic bags and save the environment

To save our seas, overcome congressional apathy | Column, June 16Do your part and skip plastic bagsEvery day we read about the shame of our landfills and oceans filling up with plastic bags, yet most people don’t care. My wife and I always carry ...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

White House defends splitting up families as ‘biblical’ | June 15The suffering of the childrenI am a mother and attorney with more than 20 years of practice living in Tampa. For the past three years, I worked as a magistrate in a Unified Family C...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Saturday’s letters: Community-based care requires community involvement

Fix foster care, and do it quickly | Editorial, June 15Involve the community itselfWhile the detailed article about the scathing state review of Hillsborough County’s foster care problems touched on leadership, a critical point was not addressed....
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Friday’s letters: Freight trains are infrastructure that works in Tampa Bay

Railroads are infrastructure that worksFreight trains carry the loadCentral Florida is our state’s fastest-growing region. We’re on track to outpace South Florida’s growth 2-to-1 over the next several years. Great news for our local economy, but it n...
Published: 06/12/18
Updated: 06/15/18