Saturday, November 18, 2017
Letters To The Editor

Thursday's letters: Romney keeps flipping his positions


Obama has earned a second term | Oct. 21, editorial

Romney keeps flipping positions

Mitt Romney's tax plan simply does not add up. Even eliminating all deductions will not cover the $5 trillion tax cut. His jobs plan is sketchy at best. He has changed his mind several times on the issue of abortion. He is inept relating to other countries, insulting foe and friend alike. His rejection of 47 percent of citizens is unforgivable. He still refuses to say whether or not he believes in equal pay for women.

It may be important to some voters that neither Romney, his father, grandfather nor any of his sons ever served in the military. A political analyst referred to Romney men as suffering from "generational combat cowardice," but the candidate still wants to be commander in chief.

His positions depend on what is convenient for him at the time. Being a "perfectly lubricated weathervane," as one Republican rival put it, we have no idea which way he will be pointing if elected.

Jaime Reyes, Homestead

Obama has earned a second term Oct. 21, editorial

Obama just marking time

I've listened to Mitt Romney's answers to each of the Times' talking points endorsing the president. I find him more persuasive and aspirational — and decent. I get the feeling President Barack Obama is merely treading water intellectually and waiting to spend and extort taxes and redistribute in an unfettered second term.

I suspect that Obama's partisans understand at some level that he deserves to lose, given the incompetence of his administration, the stagnant economy, and our serial humiliations abroad. The media cocoon enfolding the president is thick, but not so thick as to protect him from all that.

I believe Romney's credibility may be more apparent to just enough voters after Monday night's debate on the bitter fruits of the administration's transnational, progressive foreign policies.

Gary Harrington, St. Petersburg

Obamacare's high cost

The Times endorsement for President Barack Obama contains this feel-good assumption: "The Affordable Care Act … offers sweeping health care reform that presidents from both political parties unsuccessfully pursued for decades. More than 30 million uninsured Americans will get health coverage."

Now please consider some facts. Several retailers, including Kroger, with combined employment of well over 100,000 people, along with national quick-serve employers, including Darden, may adjust their "full time" employment to 29.5 hours in order to avoid the sting from Obamacare.

You were correct in using the word "sweeping" — it may result in the largest downward shift ever in full-time weekly work hours, resulting in even lower household income.

Steve McConihay, Clearwater

Friend of the powerful

The Times endorsement for President Barack Obama included an outstanding summary of many issues and your reasons for supporting the president. I would add that Obama has been consistent in his handling of all these issues, while his opponent has changed positions repeatedly according to his audience at the time.

We don't know where Mitt Romney will stand tomorrow or the next day on any issue but one: He will do everything to ensure that the wealthy and powerful remain that way.

Ron Linder, Tampa

Campaign 2012

Tax cuts and jobs

We have heard from a number of candidates during this campaign that in order to create more jobs we should cut taxes on businesses. It simply does not work that way. Having owned a number of businesses and been in management of a Fortune 500 company, I've learned that regardless of the size of the business, more employees are never hired because taxes have been reduced.

Businesses hire employees as needed to meet demand, or anticipated demand, for their products or services. There may be some good reasons to reduce taxes on business, but creating jobs is not one of them. Businesses are not going to hire people unless there is something for them to do that helps the business.

Joe Crites, Clearwater

Home lessons abroad

My husband and I just returned from a trip to three post-Soviet countries plus three regions that are still under communist control. When finding out that we were from the United States, many individuals — from taxi drivers to Ph.D. guides — asked us why we were allowing our country to move toward socialism. These people said they hold America as their ideal. They want our freedoms: to vote, to lead our daily lives, to not have constant control of our choices, to go and live where we wish, to be able to worship or not without persecution. These folks say that socialism and communism do not work.

To be able to vote is a gift — please do not throw that right away. Study the candidates, their associations, their backgrounds, their beliefs, and their visions for America. Our freedoms are precious.

Jill Melkonian, Clearwater

Rates low for years | Oct. 22, letter

Rates and reality

In defense of President Barack Obama, a letter writer says "interest rates on CDs and savings accounts have been low for the past 15 years." Between July and December 2008 — the end of the Bush years — I took out several four- and five-year CDs at 5 to 5.25 percent. Current rates are from 0.5 to 1.67 percent.

Edward Strickland, Palm Harbor

Grade system puzzles many | Oct. 20

Demeaning evaluations

In my 30 years of teaching in Pinellas County, I have never experienced such a ludicrous, meaningless, demeaning evaluation of educators as the "value-added model" the state has paid who knows how many millions to a private consultant to create. By the roll of the dice, I received "effective" (I normally receive "highly effective") thanks to working at a high-performing school.

Many of my fellow excellent teachers who work at schools with predominately struggling students received "needs to improve" or even lower since half of their appraisal was based on FCAT reading scores at their school. These reading scores became a part of the teacher's appraisal even if the teacher taught art, PE, music, or if they were a guidance counselor.

Frances Doyle, St. Petersburg


Monday’s letters: Doctors should speak up on harassment

Sexual harassmentDoctors need to speak upThe recent widespread recognition, followed by disapproval, of sexual harassment across many workplaces signals a paradigm shift in social attitudes toward abuse of power that is long overdue.The male-dominate...
Published: 11/17/17

Saturday’s letters: Reservoir project off to a good start

Lake OkeechobeeReservoir project off to good startThis year, more than 70,000 Floridians contacted their legislators to support expediting a reservoir project south of Lake Okeechobee. Another 150 business people, anglers, health care professionals a...
Published: 11/15/17
Updated: 11/17/17

Sunday’s letters: Roundabout way to help the rich

Senate GOP’s tax plan to kill ACA mandate | Nov. 15Devious way to hurt middle classSo, let’s see if we have this straight. The proposed amendment to the Senate tax plan, to kill the individual mandate, will cause young people to not buy health in...
Published: 11/15/17
Updated: 11/17/17

Friday’s letters: Stop laying blame on teachers

Hillsborough teachers are set to protest | Nov. 14Stop laying blame on teachersI am a veteran teacher, coming up on 30 years of service to public education. My mother was also an educator, clocking over 40 years of service in public education. Sh...
Published: 11/15/17
Updated: 11/16/17

Pasco Letters to the Editor for Nov. 17

Questioning fees draws snarky responseYou are probably aware of the new Pasco utility fees that became effective last month.Under the dubious title of "convenience fee" for making utility payments by credit card or e-check, Pasco Utilities adds $2.75...
Published: 11/15/17

Wednesday’s letters: Generosity makes all the difference

National Adoption MonthThe difference generosity makesAs a football coach, I always had to be ready to overcome unexpected challenges. With injuries, crowd noise and especially weather, the game plan is always adjusting to overcome adversity.Our stat...
Published: 11/13/17
Updated: 11/14/17

Monday’s letters: Moore is not fit for public office

Woman: Candidate pursued her as a teen | Nov. 10Moore is not fit for public officeIt is sad that Roy Moore, a self-professed religious man, is running for a Senate seat when he is clearly unfit for any job involving the public for so many reasons...
Published: 11/10/17
Updated: 11/13/17

Monday’s letters: Don’t fall for the tax cut ruse

Tax billDon’t take your eye off the ballThe rush is on. The Republican Congress is rushing to pass a modest tax cut for the middle class while giving corporations a massive tax cut. While taking away some of the tax deductions from ordinary taxpayers...
Published: 11/10/17

Sunday’s letters: End greyhound racing in Florida

Tom Lee wants to phase out greyhound racing | Nov. 8Put a stop to this cruel industryKudos to Sen. Tom Lee for shepherding a constitutional amendment to end greyhound racing in Florida. Greyhounds forced to race live in misery and frequently die ...
Published: 11/09/17
Updated: 11/10/17

Friday’s letters: Hillsborough school making strong progress

Hillsborough school district in financial, leadership crisis | Nov. 5, editorialSchool district’s achievementsWhile I respect the Times’ editors and acknowledge our district is facing financial challenges (facing them head-on, in fact), I feel it...
Published: 11/08/17
Updated: 11/09/17