Saturday, February 24, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Wednesday's letters: Leaning on Fed for jobs is wrong approach

Jobless looking to Fed for relief | Sept. 8, editorial

Leaning on Fed is poor approach

To quote your first sentence in this editorial, "The weak jobs report on Friday showed the trends are headed in the right direction …" Huh? You cite the drop in the unemployment rate from 8.3 percent to 8.1 percent with only 96,000 jobs created. A number you fail to mention was that 368,000 lost hope of finding a job and dropped out of the employment market.

By your reasoning, if President Barack Obama and his policies could successfully discourage another 500,000 people from looking for work, the unemployment rate would drop below 8 percent. If only a few more million dropped out, we'd have full employment!

You reference a new stimulus package that "could forestall state and local government layoffs." You fail to mention that the unemployment rate in the government sector is only about half of the rate in the private employment sector.

Obama talks about "investments" in education and infrastructure. Investments is just another word for increased spending. Does Obama have a secret stash of which we're not aware? A deficit of over $16 trillion suggests that perhaps we don't have the money to fatten the burden placed on the private sector by even more government, let alone increase "investments."

Looking to the Fed for jobs is the wrong approach. The private sector will provide the jobs if the government would just get out of the way.

Mike Lyons, Apollo Beach

Manufacturing jobs decline | Sept. 8

Bring the jobs back home

Until this country and specifically Congress does something to bring jobs back to the United States, our economic outlook will not change. Companies that outsource jobs need to pay a hefty tax to offset the money not going into the tax base.

Those who outsource or assist in outsourcing are the cause of manufacturing decline. Not every person can obtain a college degree, either for academic or financial reasons. But this doesn't mean they are not capable of doing an excellent job — if there were jobs. Voters need to stop pointing fingers at the White House and start screaming at a dysfunctional Congress that has allowed our country to slide downhill.

Christina Ennist, New Port Richey

Citizens tightens travel | Sept. 8

The privileged few

Applause goes to the Tampa Bay Times along with the Miami Herald. Because of their investigating reporting, Citizens executives will now have to forgo their "I deserve the best" attitude, the attitude of many who take on a self-imposed aura of grandeur when placed in an authoritative position.

Mary Jane Callihan, St. Petersburg

Reduce those salaries

Does anyone else consider it obscene that Citizens insurance president Barry Gilway makes close to a quarter of a million dollars? It was bad enough that executives were using insureds' money to eat, drink and be merry, but that will now be curtailed. It's time to reduce those high salaries that are paid by people who can't get insured by any other companies because of where they live or the age of their homes.

Billie Poteat, Tarpon Springs

Campaign 2012

Jobs were available

We see a lot of ads this time of year regarding the presidential candidates — some even tell the truth. But one that sticks out to me is the one where Florida's unemployment rate, worse than the rest of the country, is highlighted.

It's true that Florida's unemployment rate is worse, but it didn't have to be that way. There was a shovel-ready project that had federal dollars already in the bank for it. It was the light-rail from Tampa to Orlando. The project wouldn't have cost Florida much in taxpayer money, would have employed thousands, and would have removed thousands of cars from the I-4 corridor.

But some folks in Tallahassee seem to think it's more important to make President Barack Obama look worse during an election year than to actually do something to better Florida.

Don't be surprised if Mitt Romney wins the race for the White House if the light-rail project gets another look.

Allan A. Love, New Port Richey

Taking a red pen to the word | Sept. 9

Leave the Bible alone

What would possess a man on his death bed to say to God, "I think I can do better than you did"? A man who admits he is not a theologian and not a "particularly religious man" wants to take a red pencil to the Bible?

God gives stern warnings in Galatians and Revelation to anyone tempted to rewrite His word. If Patterson knew who he was choosing to correct, he would red-pencil War and Peace and leave the Bible alone.

Lynn O'Keefe, Largo

Report: U.S. health care wastes $750B yearly Sept. 7

Market failures

This report highlights the outcomes of a system left in the hands of the free market, where the overarching goal is charging as much as the public will bear. It flies in the face of the argument that in a free market, competition encourages best practices to control costs.

This reminds me of Alan Greenspan's belief that Wall Street would honorably police itself. We saw where that idea got us. The report offers a glimpse at what could happen under a Mitt Romney deregulated economy.

Carol Pieszchala, Gulfport

Why put kids in nursing homes? | Sept. 9, John Romano column

Put children first

Florida is again charged with child neglect by warehousing children in adult nursing homes instead of employing home and community-based care. The state must accept federal funds for community care and end financial incentives for nursing home care.

The severely disabled children are deprived of love, care and education while languishing in for-profit homes. The state enforces this policy because of lobbying and donations from the nursing home industry. We cannot sacrifice helpless children because Tallahassee colludes with corporate health care firms.

Joan Peters, Largo


Saturday’s letters: Preserve home rule in Florida

LegislaturePreserve home rule in FloridaOn behalf of the members of Business Watch, a trade association for government contractors, I would like to voice our dismay over the Legislature’s wholesale attack on home rule. As local government contractors...
Published: 02/23/18

Thursday’s letters: Second Amendment is outdated

Second AmendmentCongress can act on firearmsThe Second Amendment is outdated, since it is predicated on the need for a "well regulated militia." Militias are defined as civilian soldiers trained under the command of competent military leadership. The...
Published: 02/20/18
Updated: 02/22/18

Wednesday’s letters:

House Bill 21Opioid proposal merits supportIn 2016, Florida recorded 952 heroin-related and 1,390 fentanyl-related deaths. Four in five new heroin users began by misusing prescription pain medications, also known as opioids. Despite the widespread op...
Published: 02/20/18

Hernando Letter to the Editor for Feb. 23

Re: Hernando business leaders push to loosen development rules | Feb. 9; Re: Deny Brooksville mine expansion, planning commissioners say | Feb. 16Wish to register my opposition to both the draft of the new Hernando County Comprehensive Plan that elim...
Published: 02/20/18

Tuesday’s letters: Making politics personal is one way toward reasonable gun control

The Parkland shootingMake gun politics personalAs an educator of 32 years, it encourages me to see our young people engaged after the horror at Stoneman Douglas High School. The tragedy at Parkland has awakened the sleeping giant that is the millenni...
Published: 02/19/18

Sunday’s letters: Congress must act on firearms

Deadly toll: 17 | Feb. 15Congress must act on firearmsIt’s time for Congress to be counted.The failure of Congress to act to: (1) limit access to assault rifles and (2) require meaningful background checks for all gun purchases is appalling.Surel...
Published: 02/17/18

Monday’s letters: Call it by its name: terrorism

Deadly toll: 17 | Feb. 15Call it whatit is: terrorismLet’s just call it what it is. It’s terrorism. No school in the country is immune. They all have procedures for sheltering in place or emergency evacuation from a shooter. It’s prudent to be pr...
Published: 02/16/18

Saturday’s letters: Payoff to porn star not front-page news?

Lawyer: I personally paid porn star | Feb. 14Where we’re at: This is 4A newsOnly under the Trump presidency does a story about the president’s lawyer paying off a porn star to cover up an affair with the president show up on page 4A. Never mind t...
Published: 02/16/18

Friday’s letters: Water quality too important to gamble on

State to update water rules | Feb. 10Don’t gamble with water safetyI wondered whether this front-page article was an early April Fool’s joke. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection "updated" its pollution regulations in 2016, with str...
Published: 02/15/18

Thursday’s letters: Bill protects pharmacy customers

House Bill 351Bill protects pharmacy customersWe all need the protections provided in Florida House Bill 351 to ensure pharmacy benefit managers, or PBMs, are transparently operating with patients. Currently, PBMs are not regulated by the state and o...
Published: 02/14/18