Romney talks health fix | Sept. 10
Romney's way doesn't work
In his Meet the Press interview, Mitt Romney declared he would keep some of the good provisions in the Affordable Care Act, particularly the guaranteed coverage to people with pre-existing conditions.
Economists use a three-legged stool analogy to explain how such a guarantee can be implemented. The first leg is to establish community rates and make the same policies available to everyone. Stopping here, however, would cause healthier people to opt out, leaving behind only the higher-risk, higher-cost group. So you have to establish a mandate requiring healthier people to participate, otherwise most people simply would get priced out of the market. The mandate is the second leg. Simple arithmetic, however, implies that lower-income people cannot afford these policies without a subsidy, which is the third leg of the stool.
Romney is fully aware of this three-legged stool, as the Massachusetts plan, too, is based on exactly that premise. So why then does he claim he will guarantee coverage to people with pre-existing conditions but repeal the rest of the mandate? That would leave us with a one-legged stool!
Etienne Pracht, Lithia
A better path | Sept. 7
Path leading downward
Sorry, but $16 trillion in debt and climbing is not a better path. This debt is killing the economy. And don't forget that the president promised to cut the deficit in half.
John Schmidt, St. Petersburg
McCain: Iran situation 'a train wreck' | Sept. 9
Not worth listening to
Why does the media slavishly report everything Sen. John McCain says? This is the guy who put his arms around George W. Bush at the 2008 Republican convention and told him that his invasion of Iraq was "a noble act." He is the one who sang "bomb, bomb, bomb Iran" at a Republican rally. Like those of his ilk, McCain has zero compassion or concern for the lives of those we would attack, and if he had won in 2008 we would be fighting in Syria today and possibly in Iran too, a war that he has frequently spoken in favor of.
The best thing McCain could do, for himself and for this country, would be to sit down with his wife and decide which of his eight mansions he wants to retire in, then go there and stay. And if he ever expresses an opinion on any subject, he should be ignored.
R.G. Wheeler, St. Petersburg
Campaign's empathy gap | Sept. 7, commentary
Why so angry?
I have read many editorials over the years that, in my opinion, have been written by someone filled with intense anger. This Charles Krauthammer piece has just been added to the list.
He states that President Barack Obama enjoys a 22-point advantage over Mitt Romney on the issue of "caring about average people" and then goes on to rip everything about the president, including his attempts to rein in the Wall Street gambling that got us into serious trouble four years ago.
I have a hard time understanding why a writer who has achieved his level of success can consistently come off sounding so angry. Life is too short for that. Work in a happy thought once in a while.
Kevin Jarman, Tampa
Mitt Romney's new ads promise 700,000 new jobs for Florida. Where have we heard that before?
When Rick Scott was running for governor, he promised 700,000 new jobs. Well, we are still waiting.
Gene Kannee, Sun City Center
Five things to look for in speech | Sept. 6
An inherited disaster
Your columnist was off base in agreeing that Jeb Bush had a point in castigating President Barack Obama for constantly blaming George W. Bush for the economy. That position may have been justified if the Bush recession had been more typical, rather than being by far the worst since the Great Depression.
In his speech, former President Bill Clinton stated that neither he nor any of his predecessors would have been able to straighten out the Bush mess in four years.
In addition to that, congressional Republicans have produced another drag on the economy by electing to just say no to anything Obama wants.
Jim Cribbs, Clearwater
Clinton said it best | Sept. 7
Remember his past
The Times' Adam C. Smith and editorial page writers gave gushing reviews of former President Bill Clinton's speech at the Democratic National Convention, and PolitiFact gave him positive reviews for truthfulness. If only we could return to this type of political rhetoric, the Times seemed to be saying, we could really get some things done in Washington.
There was no mention of the national trauma that Clinton put the country through while he was president by his behavior with a young female intern in the Oval Office, his nationally televised lying about it, and the resulting impeachment in the House of Representatives and his disbarment by his state bar association.
Were it not for a DNA stain on a blue dress, Clinton would have never owned up to his disgraceful behavior.
John Galloway, Tampa
Incentives fail to prevent blackout | Sept. 7
When looking at the weak attendance at Tampa's professional sports franchises, look no further than the cities themselves. What are the sports meccas of the country? New York, Boston, Chicago, Pittsburgh. What is the difference? (Besides the number of titles and successful seasons.) Public transportation.
Ask any fan of any of those teams how many times they drove a car to one of those games. Many will say "none." Those metropolitan areas have such good public transportation that their stadiums are full, nearly every game in every sport. What do we have in Tampa? HARTline? Are you kidding?
John Andrew Warrener, Odessa