Obama has earned a second term | Oct. 21, editorial
On economy, president has failed
President Barack Obama has failed us on the economic front. While it is indisputable that he inherited the worst economy since the Great Depression, his big-government spending has made matters worse. The $870 billion stimulus failed to lower the unemployment rate to the level promised. The half-billion spent on the now-defunct Solyndra was also a waste of taxpayer dollars.
Second, it is crucial to remember that Obamacare was passed without one Republican vote. One can only imagine the bold headlines that would have appeared on the cover of your publication had a Republican president passed such partisan legislation.
Meanwhile, nearly 45 million people are on food stamps under Obama, an increase of 59 percent since President George W. Bush left office in 2009. And the real unemployment rate is nearly double the reported rate of 7.8 percent, if those who have dropped out of the job market were still counted.
Thomas W. Cunningham Jr., St. Petersburg
Obama has earned a second term Oct. 21, editorial
Many jobless have given up
I don't understand how you can recommend a president with such pathetic results for four years. There was no mention of the greatest deficit increase of any president in history.
You said unemployment was 7.8 percent, the same as when he started, but failed to mention all the people who no longer look for jobs.
Scott Shimer, Land O' Lakes
Look at his record
This election is very simple. One should look at picking the president the same way one would look at hiring someone to run a company. You look at what they have accomplished, not what they say they will do, because past performance is the best indication of what they will do in the future.
Based on past performance in running a business, a state and working with the other political party, Mitt Romney has far outclassed President Barack Obama, who has never run a real business and has just given speeches and blamed others for his own failures as president.
Juels Carlson, Tampa
Clearing through clutter
Thank you for a clearly written, point-by-point explanation of why this president has earned the Tampa Bay Times' recommendation for a second term. I could not put down the paper and had to keep reading.
It was so much better than the political commercials/ads that slam or praise each candidate's history. Thank you.
Janice Morgan, Tampa
Vouchers need accountability Oct. 16, commentary
School choice is working
David Colburn and Brian Dassler are dedicated educators, but their recent commentary was not very educational and disregarded basic facts about the state's school choice programs. In Florida, private school options are not some frightening abstraction. They've been around for more than a decade, serve more than 220,000 students, and produce real data showing that they work.
As head of operations for the Academy Prep Centers of St. Petersburg and Tampa, which benefit from Florida Tax Credit Scholarships for low-income children, I'm required every year by the state to submit the Stanford Achievement Test scores of our students.
The most recent year's test results show our students achieved gains in reading and math that outpaced students of all income levels nationally by over 3 percentile points. Indeed, our graduating 8th graders ranked on average at the 70th percentile in reading and the 76th percentile in math.
We're just two of the 1,300-plus private schools currently serving 49,000 low-income K-12 students on this $4,335-a-year scholarship, and I don't pretend to speak for them all. Our intensive six-day, 11-month program is not the solution for every low-income child, but we're trying to do our part. In that regard, we could do with less of the philosophical diatribes and more with educators who are willing to roll up their sleeves and help.
Lincoln J. Tamayo, Academy Prep Centers of St. Petersburg and Tampa
A question of service
Ann Romney was a guest on The View last week. She was asked about the military service of her husband and their five sons. She explained that although none of them had been in the military, she feels that their "missionary tours" were service to the country instead. This seems like an extreme avoidance to me, a military widow.
Maritta K. Rostron, Tampa
For Billy Graham to take out a full-page ad in the Tampa Bay Times (and for the Times to run it) obviously endorsing the Romney/Ryan ticket is for evangelicals like the pope doing the same for Catholics. As revered as this retired evangelist is worldwide, he has no business trying to influence voters with his personal choice for the office of president of the United States.
John Hayner, Clearwater
Postage in Pinellas
I am an early voter. This year there was a warning that the ballot required a 65-cent stamp. That will not bankrupt me, but I did not have a 65-cent stamp laying around so headed to the post office. When I told a friend from Hillsborough County that I had bought a stamp to mail my ballot, he told me that Hillsborough mailers are prepaid. This is true in other counties. Why don't we in Pinellas County have prepaid mailers for our ballots?
Thom Cooper, St. Petersburg
Cuba to lift lid on exit visas | Oct. 17
Watch their deeds
The adage that "the proof is in the pudding" applies here. I'll believe Cuba has really eased travel restrictions when I see passports extended to dissidents like Yoani Sanchez so they can travel abroad and be allowed to return.
Tony Gonzalez, Weeki Wachee