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
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
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