Election season brings dismay
I appreciate the St. Petersburg Times recommending people the editorial board feels are the best candidates for political office. At least we, the voters, can pick the lesser of two evils. And I dislike saying it, but that's what I feel elections have become: picking the lesser of two (or more) evils.
I have to admit that I laugh when reading the Times' recommendations, though, because often on the same day that a recommendation is made, an article appears either on the front page or in the Tampa Bay section about an issue, sometimes quite large, involving one of the candidates: fraud, mistrust, and scandal — the list unfortunately goes on.
I'm not even 20 yet, but I'm starting to feel apathetic about politics, and I don't really want to, despite my possibly majoring in political science! I thought that young people were supposed to be the hopeful ones, not the disgusted ones. Perhaps I'm an outlier, although I'm quite sure there are other young folks not so happy with the current political candidate lineup.
All politicians should be required to watch the inspiring movie Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. I believe I would be more enthusiastic and hopeful if political candidates exhibited the same qualities as Mr. Smith: sincere, resistant to corruption, truthful, and persistent in upholding the founding principles of America.
But I think a billboard I recently saw in Atlanta sums up my current views regarding politics: Honest Politician, Oxymoron?
Nora Zaki, Tampa
Looking for truthfulness
It looks like we the voters have, once again, been given a depressing choice between tainted political hacks and filthy rich opportunists with, at best, checkered pasts.
Given this unimpressive scenario, my votes are available to any candidates, regardless of party affiliation, who are willing to undergo monthly polygraph and drug tests. Any takers?
Steve Mead, Tampa
The system needs changing
Change the actors in a play and you get the same play with different actors. To cause real change in Washington we have to change some of the systems.
What would be different if Washington had sunshine laws similar to Florida's? No more back-room deals, no more private caucuses, more representation for you and me.
If we had a mandatory balanced budget, trillions of your dollars could be saved. What if we added to the oath of office a promise to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth? Lying to us would become an impeachable offense.
Blame the systems. All of us use the systems we are in to our best advantage.
Donald May, North Redington Beach
Spending cap ruling won't be fought | Aug. 5, story
A court ruling did not allow Bill McCollum to receive state (taxpayer) money because Rick Scott exceeded the spending cap. The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the law was "constitutionally problematic." This was a good decision. However Bill McCollum still received $1.7 million of the taxpayers' money from the same law but under another provision in the law.
It should be "constitutionally problematic" to give taxpayer money to any campaign under any provisions in any law. I know that I would not have given one penny had I had a choice.
Ronald Foster, Clearwater
Money madness pervades politics | Aug. 4, letter
Cap the expenditures
The letter writer isn't the last angry woman who is totally frustrated by the money madness in politics. I believe that most of us are ready to say, "Stop this madness."
Imagine a $1 million spending cap and a four- month campaign.
Maybe political parties could find more ethical people interested in serving in government instead of selecting candidates based on their fundraising abilities or personal wealth.
Maybe candidates wouldn't be so beholden to special interests if they didn't need so much campaign money. And maybe incumbents could spend more time doing the people's business instead of fundraising for the next election.
Study the issues, learn about the candidates, and don't let them buy your vote.
Gretchen L. Patrick, Dunedin
Bush tax cuts polarize Congress Aug. 5, story
How is it possible for two opposite viewpoints to both be true? In some kind of Orwellian doublethink, Republicans want us to believe that deficits are the greatest threat to our future, while implying that tax cuts will not add to the deficit. What other incomes do the federal or state governments have? If tax breaks lead to jobs, then why, after 10 years of tax breaks, do we have the largest rate of people who have been out of work for six months, or more, since 1948?
For Sen. George LeMieux to say we don't have a "tax problem," we have a "spending problem" is more revealing than he wants to admit. Decreasing the amount of income (what the tax breaks accomplish), would add to the deficit. And no matter how much luxury spending is encouraged by this "windfall," it'll never match the amount of the loss suffered by the government's income. Tax breaks have not helped the working class as much as they have fortified the wealthy.
In today's economy profits are up more than 40 percent, while unemployment has stayed the same; corporations have turned a profit, while the work force's economic fortunes remain stagnant. This means that by extending the tax breaks for the extremely wealthy, the burden will be placed on the workers to make up the $3 trillion or so that the people who can afford it aren't asked to pay.
Where are all these "hard decisions" leaders are supposed to make?
Bill Brasfield, St. Petersburg
Penalize those who ship jobs overseas and Take back our country | Aug. 3, letters
It's a global marketplace
The two letter writers display a profound lack of understanding of the laws of supply and demand. One suggests that a simple solution would be an unemployment tax and the other thinks that penalties will accomplish the goal. They don't seem to realize that in today's world we are competing in a global marketplace.
In every market, the "price" is established by the seller that has the lowest manufacturing cost, and if you are going to compete in that market, you have to have your costs at a level that will allow you to make a profit. Without profit, you cannot pay workers or buy raw materials, with the end result being the demise of your business venture. At this point, all of your workers have lost their jobs.
Government regulations and unions are making it more and more difficult to compete with offshore operations, and they will be the death knell of U.S. businesses.
There are no "simple solutions" and there is no free lunch.
Dale Cohoon, Clearwater