State GOP elects leader | Feb. 21, story
A disturbing GOP enemies list
When reading the words of the newly elected Florida Republican Party leader, I thought this is what is wrong with American politics today. (Sen. John Thrasher said, "Our enemy is the liberal media and the Democrats.")
When did we as Americans become enemies of each other? We may have different ideas and opinions on issues, but we are not enemies to our fellow Americans.
No matter what my opinion is and how it differs from another person's views, we are Americans first, and what is best for our nation should be our goal. As our president stated, we must work together in order to heal and bring this nation back to its greatness.
The statement made by Sen. Thrasher does not aid in the healing of this nation. It only draws us farther apart as a people.
LaTreetha E. Sharpley, Spring Hill
Let's solve our problems
I am outraged that the newly elected leader of the Florida Republican Party, John Thrasher, would declare that the Democrats are the "enemy." What about Islamic extremism, unemployment, big federal deficits, and a collapsing, expensive health care system?
Why not suggest finding ways of cooperating with the Democrats at the state and local level to solve or alleviate some of these problems? Why does partisan politics dominate instead of trying to find a consensus on how to attack these issues?
Michael Francis, Homosassa
Conservatives send signals for 2012 Feb. 20, story
We need to see details on how things can be fixed
While I don't necessarily agree with Mitt Romney and Gov. Tim Pawlenty that President Barack Obama deserves an Olympic medal for the speed that he has driven the economy downhill, I am disappointed with the hope and change that I voted for.
I am open to other ideas, but what I failed to see from either of these men in Saturday's article was any concrete suggestion on how to right the wrongs they are complaining about.
While Bill Clinton left George W. Bush a hand that included peace, prosperity and a budget surplus, Bush dealt Obama a hand that included two wars, a budget deficit and an economy on the brink of collapse. Yes, it's nice to hear talk about lower taxes and less regulation, but where are the concrete details for us to evaluate?
Until the Republicans can present detailed proposals on reforming health care, creating jobs, regulating too-big-to-fail banks, and balancing the budget, I'm not sure I can return to them.
We all have to play the hands we are dealt in life. But if you have shown you can't play a good hand, you certainly can't play a bad one.
Theresa Davis, Tampa
Time for sacrifice
Virtually every economic expert, with the possible exception of Paul Krugman (whose sharp political views call into question his credibility), agrees that the United States is on an unsustainable fiscal track.
Whatever specifics the new deficit reduction panel recommends, it is clear given the sharp partisan divisions in the country that spending will have to be cut more than liberals like and taxes will have to rise more than conservatives want. And the politicians who vote accordingly may be turned out of office.
Considering the millions of brave souls who perished on all manner of battlefields throughout our history to preserve this nation, the potential loss of a political career strikes me as a pretty paltry sacrifice to help secure our future economic viability.
Bob Potter, St. Petersburg
Young to seek his 21st term | Feb. 21, story
Too long at the trough
So much is said about how dysfunctional the U.S. Congress has become and that it has taken decades for this slide into a Congress that is corporate-controlled with political grandstanding.
If we are really going to clean House (and Senate, too) we must start with our own local contribution to the problem. Rep. C.W. Bill Young has been in office for nearly 40 years and Congress is no better for his being there. Rather, Young has been prominent among those who turn a blind eye to deficit spending on undeclared wars and invasions while handing out pork/earmarks/our tax dollars to his local sponsors.
If we really intend to make a difference and not just jump up and down cheering people like Sarah Palin and booing anything the present administration attempts, we need to be consistent and end the graft now. Let us send a message by not returning Young to his 21st term at the public trough. Let's do it for America!
Mike Judd, Dunedin
Re-elect no one
Every time I read or hear of another of our elected officials being up for re-election for the umpteeneth time it makes me realize what's wrong with our system.
I truly believe that our Founding Fathers did not intend for people to make a career out of political office. It seems they begin their campaign for re-election within weeks of being elected. It's no wonder nothing gets done in Congress as everyone is busy covering their collective behinds, being careful not to do anything that would set them apart from the business-as-usual attitude that prevails.
Certainly, if the president can only serve two terms, why should anyone else be exempt? It's time for the "Re-elect No One" bumper stickers to come out again. They speak of the sacrifices they make in serving, so let's see them sacrifice the outrageous perks they receive as members of Congress and get a "real job."
Don Niemann, Seminole
Letters on health care | Feb. 16
One letter writer tries to compare our Medicare system to Canadian health care. Not even close.
Another letter writer repeats some old, worn-out scare tactics — that Canadians wait long for treatment and their plan causes high taxes.
Yes, Canadians wait longer for elective surgery. But the reality is that average Canadians see their doctors almost twice as often as the average American. How can that be if they all have to wait so long? Perhaps that is one of the reasons that Canadians live longer than Americans: Their system is geared more to those who really need it.
And yes, Canadians pay higher taxes. I've looked into what would happen if I moved to Canada. My taxes would be around $4,000 higher per year. But we are currently paying more than $5,000 per year for health insurance. Add to that deductibles and co-pays, and the result is that we are paying thousands more in the U.S. health care system than it would cost us in the Canadian system.
This agrees with all the statistics that show the cost to the average American is about twice as much as the cost to the average Canadian in the respective current health care systems. The reality is clear when you look at the whole picture.
Dan Favero, St. Petersburg
I find it absolutely incredible that Hillsborough County Commissioner Kevin White's supporters think he has been "treated unfairly by the media."
Correct me if I am wrong, but I believe it was a civil jury that found him guilty in a sexual discrimination lawsuit, not the media. Have we really sunk so low that we would re-elect such a man? I am ashamed to live in a city that would put him back in the same place where he committed this offense.
Ronald Medvin, Tampa