Monday, December 11, 2017
Letters To The Editor

Wednesday's letters: Bring back manufacturing

Growth won't close gap | March 18, commentary

Bring back U.S. manufacturing

If it's impossible to make taxes more progressive, there might be another way to slow the disparity in wealth: reduce U.S. participation in the "global economy," in particular our wide-open markets for manufactured imports. We must restore our manufacturing, because it's an unmatched source of well-paid jobs.

This might be easier to do than progressive taxes, because manufacturing is also essential for national defense. Even the Koch brothers wouldn't want the United States to be defeated in a war. If we hadn't had first-class manufacturing in 1941, we would have lost World War II.

This will require tariffs on manufactured imports, including those made in foreign factories owned by Americans. Opponents of tariffs cite the 1930 Smoot-Hawley tariff as worsening the Great Depression. That's a lie spread mostly by American businessmen who profit from importing cheap foreign manufactures.

Tariffs protected U.S. manufacturing and helped us become the "arsenal of democracy."

Jack Gregg, Dunedin

Medical marijuana

FDA should decide issue

We didn't vote on aspirin. We didn't vote on the polio vaccine. We didn't vote on penicillin. Why are we voting on medical marijuana?

People with chronic illnesses deserve relief. Drugs are designed to impede a human function; most are effective when taken as prescribed.

Why are we voting on a drug that is smoked when we have truckloads of evidence on the harmful effects of all smoke inhalation?

There are dozens of types of marijuana plants, some more potent than others. Doesn't a sick person need a correct dosage for his symptoms? And what happens when the active ingredient in marijuana interacts with a prescribed drug? Have the side effects of drug combinations been evaluated?

I am neither for nor against the legalization of medical marijuana. I am in favor of allowing the federal Food and Drug Administration to do its job and removing this decision from of the voters.

Sherry Sacino, St. Pete Beach

Leaders quiet on fees | March 15

Let them hear the outrage

Spineless, pathetic and outrageous is how I would characterize the lawmakers who refuse to speak out and act immediately on the scandal of trauma center fees. Indeed, your article stated that some lawmakers are proposing to shield trauma centers against lawsuits from competitors.

It infuriates me that the greedy, elusive and immoral people running these trauma centers are not condemned and run out of Florida by those we elected to protect us. And when I read that HCA has 25 lobbyists and has made campaign contributions of $1.3 million, including $100,000 to Gov. Rick Scott's re-election campaign, I despair.

This issue affects every citizen, and we should be bombarding our politicians with calls and emails. If we quietly let this pass, any of us could be the next victim if we are unfortunate enough to be taken to one of these money-grabbing centers.

Michele Elliott, St. Petersburg

Pro-Sink calls rubbed even supporters the wrong way | March 16, Adam C. Smith column

Work on public persona

If Alex Sink hopes to win an election in the future, she should take voice modulation lessons or else drastically reduce her TV exposure.

John Erickson, St. Petersburg

Better than expected

Some people claim that this election spells doom for Democrats because a Republican won in a district that President Barack Obama carried in 2012, but the president only did so by 1.4 points, and Sink lost by only 1.9. That is hardly a huge swing.

Furthermore, experts estimate that, since this was a special election, Republicans had a turnout advantage of between 8 and 13 points. Add to that Republicans' 2.5-point edge in registration in the district and the relatively recent health care rollout fiasco, and it becomes obvious that Sink actually did better than one would expect.

Stephen Lapp, Tampa

Shining light | March 14

Lessons in leadership

Steve Bousquet's tribute to Reubin Askew was illuminating and uplifting.

Given the buffoons and hacks chosen by today's voters, it is astonishing that a person of Askew's character and integrity achieved public office. Apparently Florida was once a smarter, better place.

Burke Voit, New Port Richey

Flow of BP cash not easy to figure | March 16

Surge of pure greed

Some claimants in the BP oil spill disaster have no problem saying, "It's there, so why not apply?" I cannot help but equate this with the cries of foul when the poor and disadvantaged apply for social benefits. I wonder how many of the businessmen and women scream foul when poor people apply for assistance? Don't these claimants see the similarity in their behavior?

I find it appalling that businesses justify working the BP claim system out of simple greed while condemning others for trying to work the benefits system to merely exist. I guess it has nothing to do with ethics or honesty. It only has to do with who is on the receiving end.

Caroline York Mortell, St. Petersburg

Keeping tabs on government, at a click March 16, editorial

Profile in openness

Cheers for Pinellas County Clerk of Court Ken Burke. I wish we could clone this guy. Transparency and accountability are rare in this day. Thank you, Ken Burke, for being such a leader in this effort.

Sandy Hutton, Belleair

Sara's choice | March 16

Bizarre and despicable

My heart was overwhelmed with sadness after reading this article. As the bizarre practices of this "church" continue to unfold, it's beyond comprehension that such an organization is allowed to exist, let alone continue to take advantage of vulnerable people who are taken in by its "religious" teachings. The Times, to its credit, has dared to expose some of its most despicable policies.

John Hayner, Clearwater


Tuesday’s letters: Writer should look to his own mistakes

Is anyone ever wrong anymore? | Dec. 8Writer should look to own errorsIn Mitch Daniels’ article about people who have been wrong, he finishes with the statement that our lives would be greatly improved with more people saying, "I was wrong."He mi...
Updated: 8 hours ago

Monday’s letters: Don’t drill in Arctic refuge

Arctic National Wildlife RefugeStop plan to drill for oil in refugeOur nation faces yet another effort to open up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge reserve to oil and gas drilling. Drilling in the Arctic simply doesn’t make sound financial sense. W...
Published: 12/08/17

Sunday’s letters: Tax bill puts U.S. on right course

The GOP’s regressive tax plans | Dec. 5, editorialTax bill puts U.S. on right courseThe Times is already crying wolf over the new tax cuts, claiming that the new laws "could" result an increase in the national debt of $1.5 trillion over the next ...
Published: 12/07/17

Saturday’s letters: Don’t inject political money into churches

Tax billKeep political cash out of pulpitA provision buried in the 429-page House tax bill, Section 5201, nullifies the Johnson Amendment, which protects houses of worship from partisan politics by prohibiting them from endorsing or opposing politica...
Published: 12/06/17
Updated: 12/07/17

Friday’s letters: Most unpopular tax bill ever

Tax bill clears Senate | Dec. 3The most unpopular tax bill ever"Democracy dies in darkness" is the motto of the Washington Post. At 2 a.m. on the dark morning of Sunday, Dec. 3, 51 Republicans approved the most wildly unpopular tax bill in U.S. h...
Published: 12/06/17
Updated: 12/07/17

Thursday’s letters: Give your child the gift of reading

Fatherhood Involvement in Literacy CampaignGive your child the gift of readingPart of a successful game plan in sports is identifying plays that can put points on the scoreboard. Whether I was playing quarterback at Florida State or running the point...
Published: 12/05/17
Updated: 12/06/17

Wednesday’s letters: Bill gives small businesses tax relief

Tax bill clears Senate | Dec. 3Small businesses get tax reliefThe Senate and House have now passed their respective tax bills. Once Congress sends a final package to the White House, President Donald Trump will deliver us the most powerful tax re...
Published: 12/04/17
Updated: 12/05/17

Tuesday’s letters: Transplant bill will help Medicare patients

November Letter of the MonthThe winning letter addressed the unresponsiveness of elected officials.Representatives aren’t listeningFor whom do our legislators work? I ask because my Florida senator doesn’t appear to work for me. I drove 27 miles on N...
Published: 12/04/17

Monday’s letters: A citizen’s heroic act

Suspect arrested | Nov. 29A courageous citizen’s actOn Nov. 28, a courageous act occurred in the Tampa Bay area. It was one that law enforcement professionals applaud and hope becomes more frequent. An ordinary citizen did the right thing and spo...
Published: 12/01/17

Saturday’s letters: Historic preservation process needs fixing

A preservation problem | Nov. 25, editorialApplication process needs fixingThere is a reason why smaller rather than larger groups of property owners are getting together to seek historic district designation: It is St. Petersburg’s application p...
Published: 11/30/17
Updated: 12/01/17