Recovery Act is working | Feb. 17, commentary
Positive outlook, lack of rancor
Reading Vice President Joe Biden's column was refreshing for its positive take on where our country is and where it seems to be going. I also note that in only one sentence, at the beginning, did he even mention the Republicans.
I was pleased to read his account of what has been done, laying out specifics. As an independent voter, they mean much, helping me make up my mind to cast an intelligent vote in November.
I only wish the other party would do the same.
Ronn Ginn, St. Petersburg
The bills will come due
It is difficult to imagine a person in a position of such responsibility being so delusional. In this campaign re-election letter, Joe Biden takes great pride in his administration's borrowing and printing $5 trillion to throw at the problems. I can't imagine how things could not seem to be a bit better, albeit temporarily, as a result. And when the credit card bill comes due, what happens then?
Unfortunately, you will find no one in this administration who has any intention, let alone a plan, to pay down any part of our $16 trillion debt. In fact, their plan is to add another $5 trillion to the debt over the next 10 years.
Voters are not only being delusional but totally selfish if we think we can continue to borrow and spend money to make ourselves feel better without any concern for when the bill comes due.
Dave Loeffert, Dunedin
Elder care reforms can't wait | Feb. 18, editorial
Allow appeal of discharges
I applaud this editorial, but there is one element that elderly residents of assisted living facilities face that cries out for change.
Unlike nursing home residents, any resident of an ALF can be discharged or transferred at the whim of the administrator without recourse or appeal. The obvious effect of this is to stifle any chance of complaint for fear of retaliation.
Now would be a good time for the Legislature to change this unfair situation and allow the same appeal process that residents of nursing homes enjoy.
Ken Hopkins, Safety Harbor
Clay Bennett editorial cartoon | Feb. 18
Things weren't bad in '55
Clay Bennett's cartoon shows Rick Santorum in the Back to the Future machine heading for 1955.
Well, some of us can remember 1955 and it was not all bad. For instance, the national debt was less than $275 billion and the budget deficit was less than $3 billion, compared to $15-plus trillion and $1.3 trillion today. The out-of-wedlock birth rate was 4.5 percent for all races (41 percent today). The unemployment rate was 4.4 percent (8.3 percent today).
Were there problems back then? Of course. But everything today is not automatically better than it was before we had the sexual revolution, a global economy, a runaway government that can't spend money it doesn't have fast enough, and the implementation of the "Great Society" that devastated the lower-income population and destroyed family structure — all in the name of progress.
K.L. Blikken, St. Petersburg
Numbers tell the story
In our efforts to pick the next president, we should consider how our 401(k)s and pensions have been affected by previous administrations. The NASDAQ Index is a good indicator.
During the Bill Clinton years it reached an all-time high of 4,572 in June 2000. Under the George W. Bush administration it went steadily down, reaching a low of 1,528 during the last month of his administration in January 2009. Barack Obama then took over and the NASDAQ Index proceeded to go back up, hitting 2,951 this month.
Our pensions and 401(k)s have pretty much followed this pattern. Basically they went up during Democratic administrations and down during Republican administrations.
Ralph Jacobsen, Lecanto
A time to fire the Taser? | Feb. 18
Lack of conditioning
The trooper, at 267 pounds, is obese and probably had no chance of catching the young woman. From the posture in the picture, it appears he was not even attempting to catch her.
Had he been in shape he would have had a better chance. Who evaluates his physical condition?
The girl may never see another sunrise. Yes she was wrong, but she was handcuffed and not under arrest for murder.
Jeffrey George Mikres, Palm Harbor
The police are in a no-win situation. If the criminal (a suspect in two hit-and-run crashes and with drugs in her system) runs away and gets hit by a car, the police are at fault. If the 267-pound officer tackles her, she most likely will be hurt, not to mention the police officer could be hurt as well.
I feel for the police. At the end of the day, they want to do their jobs and make it home safe. Who doesn't want to come home to their family safe and sound?
I have a suggestion for people questioning the use of Tasers. If you don't want to be Tasered, don't put yourself in a position where it may be necessary.
Steven K. Lenardos, Tampa
For the love of the job, not just the money Feb. 18, editorial
The superintendent of Pinellas County schools, John Stewart, and the Tampa Bay Rays manager, Joe Maddon, are lauded for accepting lower wages than those of their peers. But this editorial exposes our relative values in another, very disturbing, way.
Supervising a staff of 13,000 and responsible for the education of over 100,000 students, Stewart earns $144,000 per year. In stark contrast, Maddon's annual salary is $2 million. We the people evidently think that playing ball is about 14 times more important than giving our children a good start in life. That is sad.
Seymour S. Bluestone, Clearwater