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Why so much political pork in COVID-19 relief bill? | Letters
Here’s what readers are saying in Wednesday’s letters to the editor.
President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris smile after Biden signed the American Rescue Plan, a coronavirus relief package, earlier this month.
President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris smile after Biden signed the American Rescue Plan, a coronavirus relief package, earlier this month. [ ANDREW HARNIK ]
Published Mar. 17
Updated Mar. 17

Too much political pork

Waiting for the GOP to come to its senses is a mistake | March 14

Columnist Eugene Robinson complains in your Sunday edition that not one Republican voted for the Biden relief bill, advising it was because of former President Donald Trump’s influence over the party. He neglects to point out that Trump put forth a stimulus bill last summer to help folks who were hurting, but solely for political reasons, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi would not even bring the matter up for a vote.

The Republican House members were not against Biden’s stimulus to help folks. They were against the pork in the bill. How does $200 million for the arts, a bridge from New York to Canada, or bailout money to states who do not practice fiscal responsibility have anything to do with COVID relief. Those are just a few items of the billions of dollars of pork in the Biden bill.

Bob Butler, Tampa

Options for Tangerine Plaza

A plan to turbocharge purchasing power in St. Pete’s Midtown | Column, March 14

Councilman Robert Blackmon’s proposal to move the city owned Municipal Services Center to Tangerine Plaza in south-central St. Petersburg is bold. It makes financial sense, at least on the surface, and the idea that it will spur economic development in an area of the city that desperately needs it is appealing. However, the move bypasses the critical need of a full-service supermarket in the area. I understand the city has worked hard for a replacement to take over the space left empty by a Walmart Neighborhood Market, but without success. The best solution is for a new supermarket vendor to take over the space. But if that can’t happen, moving Blackmon’s proposal forward makes a lot of sense.

Jon Crawfurd, Gulfport

Voting for competence

Amid pandemic, Florida’s Republican Legislature tilts hard right | Feb. 3

A self-fulfilling prophecy is when you promote an outcome or result by another person or entity, and then proceed to bring that prophecy into reality. President Ronald Reagan’s most famous line referenced the ineptitude of government. He said, “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the government, and I’m here to help.” This attitude was adopted, wholeheartedly, by the right wing of this country. Republicans rage and continue to rage against government, claiming the horrors of governmental incompetence and ineptitude. They then run in elections to become part of that government. And once elected and in power, they proceed to prove Reagan right.

More than a few of my fellow Republican friends have ranted about the ineptitude, and lack of change, allegations of corruption and graft. So, what do they do in each election? Vote to re-elect the very people responsible for the ineptitude and incompetence and graft. The Republican party has been firmly in the control of Florida’s state, and in many cases, local government. In some cases, for decades. And in the process, they have proved Reagan’s prophecy accurate. Insanity has been defined as “doing the same thing, over and over and expecting a different result.” That includes how we vote.

Allan Love, New Port Richey