Mike Luckovich cartoon | Aug. 21
Cut spending, remove obstacles to job creation
This cartoon attacking the Republicans for having a jobs program that amounts to throwing President Barack Obama out of work is sad as there is no truth in it. Regardless of what you believe in, the Republicans do have a plan and have clearly stated it.
The problem in America is that we have excessively spent ourselves beyond our ability to pay. We, therefore, have incurred a $14 trillion debt. Yes, raising taxes will help, but income from tax increases will only pay about half the debt interest increases. The mess we are in will continue to get worse.
The only solution is to decrease spending and increase business output enough so that there is new taxable income to pay down the debt.
To increase jobs and to increase new taxable income we must give businesses the security and ability to grow. This can only be done by stabilizing their tax responsibility and cutting back or removing crippling issues like mandatory benefits, Obamacare and punitive regulations.
No one in their right mind would spend the time or risk their savings if they were not reasonably sure that they could create or grow a business that would generate profit and future security.
In short, the Republicans' plan is to lower the debt by cutting spending and requiring a balanced budget. To increase job growth, remove those things that prevent or discourage businesses from starting or growing.
Gary Keats, Clearwater
Progress Energy nuclear plan
Rhetoric, deeds don't mesh
I understand why Progress Energy wants to charge its customers in advance for the costs associated with nuclear plants. What company wouldn't want to pass its capital costs off to someone else? Raising the capital any other way would reduce the company's profits, which would reduce their investors' dividends and their executives' bonuses.
What I don't understand is how the Republicans in Tallahassee, who supposedly support free-market principles and capitalism, could allow, much less support, something so obviously antithetical to the basics of free-market capitalism.
The second thing I don't understand is how the free press in Florida, particularly the Times, doesn't force those Republicans who were in the Legislature in 2006 to explain the thinking behind their vote. Marco Rubio was in the House when the bill passed and ran a complete U.S. Senate campaign without ever having to explain that vote. Adam Hasner was in the House in 2006 and his vote has yet to surface in his U.S. Senate campaign. When are they going to step up and explain the contradiction between their rhetoric and their actions?
William Carroll, Gulfport
Benefits for those in need
Social Security was intended to help assure a dignified old age to those in need. The idea of everyone collecting it just because they paid in is draining the system. It should only be given to those in need, whether disabled or retired.
If you were diligent and/or lucky enough to have been able to save enough money for your own retirement, then you should not be given a check every month just because you contributed.
As a homeowner for over 30 years, I have contributed taxes to pay for our public schools, yet I don't have any children. Should I be able to collect on that now? No, because those taxes are for what amounts to Social Security for our children.
Let's get the rich off Social Security so we will have enough for those who need it.
Lois Szydlowski, Tampa
Dani, in the real world | Aug. 21
I know that all of us reading about Dani did so with much sadness but happily learned that a loving family opened up their hearts to her. With their nurturing she now has a chance to regain a semblance of life that was so cruelly denied her.
The part that really rankled was to read that, although the mother who denied Dani a normal existence rightfully had her parental rights revoked, she only received a sentence of community service and two years' house arrest. That part I don't understand.
Mary Jane Callihan, St. Petersburg
System is abused
How can the Social Security disability system help but go broke when there are thousands of people collecting who can work, maybe not to the extent they used to but who are mostly physically and mentally fit. A few years ago there were 30 "comfort" disabilities added to the list, making it easier for some to get disability they could not get before. The government created this mess. If the system is not re-evaluated, everyone will be on disability.
Jeff Mikres, Palm Harbor
Libya teeters | Aug. 22
Lesson for home
In reading the headline "Libya teeters," I was struck by the thought that another country may well be similarly described: our own.
Charlie Orr, Tampa
The high price of rash policymaking Aug. 22, editorial
Follow the money
This editorial about the high cost of prison privatization is to the point about legislative shortsightedness. But I went back to Steve Bousquet's April article about the GEO Group to get the full import.
Omitted from discussions of privatization is the frequently underlying subtext, namely the opportunity to reward friends and campaign contributors. The important question is the one Mario Cuomo often asked: "Cui bono?" ("Who benefits?")
Edward H. Stein, M.D., Tampa
With the gaggle of very strange people (except for Jon Huntsman) running under the GOP banner for president, Jeb Bush all of a sudden looks like a reasonable alternative.
Ross P. Alander, Tampa
TIA mulls ways to offer deals on parking Aug. 19
Off-site is cheaper
If Tampa airport wants to increase use of its parking facilities, how about reducing the daily fees. In the past I've used the parking facilities, but at $9 a day I've switched to off-site parking costing me less than half that.
B. Sicari, Spring Hill