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Sunday, Jun 24, 2018
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Letters to the editor: Measuring devices

Measuring devices

Regarding “GOP is right on entitlements” (Letter of the Day, March 18): Josef Horowitz seems to think it is Social Security and left-leaning politics that drive the national debt up. He mentions the 70 percent increase in the debt under President Obama as reason enough to guide his own politics. Perhaps he doesn’t remember President Reagan and what he did to the national debt — a 186 percent increase. Or maybe George W. Bush is more to his liking — only a 101 percent increase during his administration and the start of the worst recession in 80 years. Bill Clinton raised the debt only 32 percent in eight years.

Social Security has been about 5 percent of the GDP over the past few years. By 2035, under the current law, it is estimated it will be about 6.2 percent of the GDP.

Historically, it was a “pay as you go” program, with excess going into special government bonds until 2009, when expenditures exceeded payroll taxes by about $14 billion. The Social Security Trust Fund totals nearly $3 trillion, but it is considered part of the intra-governmental debt.

Whether the government can actually borrow sufficient funds to pay the debt in the form of Social Security is doubtful, but that is certainly not the fault of the program itself. Maybe Mr. Horowitz should use some other measuring device to determine his politics.

Rush Miller


Seeking practical solution

It seems like every other day there is a letter, column or editorial by environmentalists about climate change (global warming). I hear about mankind’s carbon emissions and how they are causing rising sea levels and ever fiercer storms. OK, let’s say all that is true. What is the solution? Everyone from the president on down loves to talk about “wind and solar” energy. I had a solar home in Dayton, Ohio, but it’s hard to use solar power when on the majority of winter days when you need heat the sun doesn’t shine. Fast forward to Tampa, where the sun shines a lot. It’s hard to cool your home with solar power. Except under certain specific conditions, wind energy is impractical everywhere.

So what are we here in America to do? Unilaterally cut our carbon emissions, as some, including the president, would have us do? As in Paris, drive your car only every other day? Heat or cool your home predicated on the last number in your street address, as we have to do for watering our lawns? OK — tell Russia, China, France, India and the rest of the industrialized world to do the same. I’m sure they will comply because they love the Utopian idea of clean-energy production as much as the American environmentalist movement and this administration does.

Give me a practical solution, and I’m with you — one that doesn’t make America a second-class nation. One where the American economy is still strong and vibrant. One where the sheer cost of energy doesn’t consume the majority of a family’s income. One where energy is not taxed, regulated or controlled by certain special interest groups with “noble” intentions to whom the taxes, regulations and controls would not apply.

You’ve told me over and over again what the problem is, and I’m willing to make sacrifices for your cause right after you make those sacrifices first.

Jerrold Cheesbro

Sun City Center

Plant a tree

I’m tired of regurgitated climate-change propaganda (“Prepare for warming,” Your Views, March 18). All we hear about is reducing carbon pollution and increasing clean energy production. Doesn’t anyone realize the tons of carbon dioxide that a single tree absorbs? This country accounts for 17 percent of the world’s carbon dioxide, and China accounts for 26 percent. If you are going to make a dent in the world’s carbon dioxide production, you have to do a lot more than reduce our carbon production. Eighty-three percent of carbon dioxide production is out of our control. If we had any influence on these other countries, we would be better off re-foresting Northern Africa and the Middle East.

These climate-change fanatics also suppose that climate change is a man-made phenomenon. Anyone who has any intelligence at all and can read knows that climate change has been occurring since the creation of the Earth. We in Florida have been preparing for hurricanes and storm surges since Florida was discovered. The Midwest has been preparing for tornadoes since it was first settled. The North has been preparing for cold and snow since it was settled. The Vikings experienced global warming during the Medieval Warm Period. The temperatures and the ocean level were higher then than they are now.

If the ocean level rises it will absorb more carbon dioxide. As the temperature rises the growing period for plants is longer, and they absorb more carbon dioxide. As more carbon dioxide is absorbed, the warming subsides and the ocean levels decrease as the water freezes. The best way to maintain the balance is to make sure that we maintain the amount of plants and especially our forests. So instead of crying “climate change” try planting a tree.

Terry Larson


Weather Center