1. Opinion

Are the Trump and Obama economies really a draw?

Here’s what readers are saying in Thursday’s letters to the editor
President Donald Trump and then-President Barack Obama arrive for Trump's inauguration ceremony at the Capitol.
President Donald Trump and then-President Barack Obama arrive for Trump's inauguration ceremony at the Capitol.
Published Feb. 12

In economic context, still a tie?

Trump vs. Obama economy? A draw | Column, Feb. 11

Graham Brink’s column comparing the Obama and Trump economy is gutsy, as it will please no one. The Trump side of the universe rails at any uplift of the Obama presidency compared to Trump, and Obama loyalists will decry all comparisons as unfair and based on lies, distortions and half truths. In a sense, both are right: As Brink notes, presidents have little, if any, power to control the economy, and a range of factors outside of the control of the White House must be taken into consideration. So, let’s take into consideration the fact that the Trump economy has been juiced with the proceeds of tax reductions funded by deficits, which create a false uplift of the economy because deficits are money we are stealing from the future; our kids, grandkids and great grandkids will be saddled with a payback from their future livelihoods. Let’s also take into consideration the fact that President Obama’s policies were instrumental in successfully pulling the United States out of the worst recession since the Great Depression. Is it still a draw?

Jon Crawfurd, Gulfport

Be careful what you wish for

The Constitution

The first 10 amendments to the Constitution (originally there were 12), known as the Bill of Rights. [Times files]

To those of you who wish to dramatically alter our form of government, I have one question: Which parts of the Constitution do you want to get rid of? Should we throw out the right of free speech? Religious freedom? How about the right to have a fair trial with a jury of our peers? How about the right to not have our property seized by the government without cause? Should we throw out the 13th Amendment and allow slavery again?

Wayne Parlow, Ridge Manor

Too much of a good thing

Now comes the buildup | Feb. 11

A partnership between Third Lake Partners and Echelon proposes to pay the city of St. Petersburg $12.25 million for the Municipal Services Center on Central Avenue at Fourth Street N. It proposes to redevelop the old Municipal Services Center initially to add retail. Eventually it could be demolished to make way for new development coordinated with a project on what is now a parking lot next to the 28-story 200 Central tower. (Third Lake Partners/Echelon) [Third Lake Partners/Echelon]

I recently was in downtown St. Petersburg and saw the high-rise condos and apartment buildings being built. We need to think about how an increase in population will affect our community and our quality of life. At some point, you need to limit or stop building these large buildings. How do you plan to supply drinking water to all of the increasing population? How do you plan to handle the increased sewage? We seem to have problems with it now. How do you plan to dispose of the increase of garbage? Traffic is very congested now. How will it be like with more of an increase in population?

John Phillips, St. Petersburg


  1. This is an artist's concept of an inhuman being—a life-size, lifelike mannequin, controlled by a computer—being developed in Los Angeles to help train hospital residents in anesthesiology. The model also will be used for drills in proper administration of drugs, proper placing of oxygen face masks, testing of the doctor's reaction to a massive heart attack and in other anesthesiological techniques.
  2. The Cross-Bay Ferry, St. Petersburg's Coast bike share program and the Tampa Downtowner
  3. Cars locked in evening rush hour traffic on Dale Mabry Highway near Raymond James Stadium in Tampa capture perfectly the failure of Hillsborough County's transportation system. County commissioners are rightly moving forward with a backup plan to carry out transportation improvements Hillsborough voters supported in a 2018 referendum. [ZACK WITTMAN  |  Times] 
  4. "Discrimination is wrong and should not be legally supported with public funding," writes State Sen. Darryl Rouson.
  5. Florida is better positioned than before the Great Recession, economist says.
  6. Mac Stipanovich
  7. From left, Democratic presidential candidates, former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., participate in a Democratic presidential primary debate Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2020, in Las Vegas, hosted by NBC News and MSNBC. (AP Photo/John Locher)
  8. Rep. Jamie Grant, R- Tampa, center,  is congratulated by House members after passage of the Amendment 4 bill, May 3, 2019. Florida lawmakers lost another round Wednesday, with a federal appeals court ruling the restrictions on felon voting rights are unconstitutional.
  9. It's not a bad time to be looking for a job. [Scott Keeler, Times]
  10. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, right, addresses a joint session of the Florida Legislature during his State of the State address in Tallahassee.
  11. No issue is too small for Florida lawmakers in Tallahassee to attack citizen initiatives and local control.