Low expectations for Obama
I write this not in surprise of your endorsement of President Obama but in disappointment in your expectations for this Valley. You said it: “the Valley almost always votes Democratic.” Where has that taken us? A perpetually declining population, an unemployment rate of 9.3 percent (but is most likely much higher since that only accounts for those in the labor force actively seeking work), a poverty rate that ranks worst in the nation, and a deeply depressed populace.
The Democratic Party, led by bullies like Dave Betras, has dominated this region for as long as I can remember and all I’ve ever known is blight and negativity. It is time for a change. Mitt Romney asks the question, “Are you better off?” You are ignorant enough to say “yes.” Your first point regarding V&M star has had nothing to do with the Obama administration. Talks between Youngstown and V&M began in September 2008 before Obama even won in November. The “Let Detroit go bankrupt” is as weak a platform as any. Mitt Romney wanted GM to play by the same rules by which we play. If I make poor business decisions I pay the consequences for those decisions. That’s the incentive for good decision making.
If maintaining the status quo is your idea of being a good president then I don’t want a good president. I don’t want a “good” president that will shove a health care bill down the throats of 70 percent of Americans who did not want the proposed law. I want a great president, who won’t settle for 9 percent unemployment. That is why I will cast my vote for Mitt Romney on Tuesday.
Daniel Kidd, Boardman
Giving credit where it’s due
A few days ago, as I was driv- ing toward the Market Street bridge leading to downtown Youngstown, I saw a large political billboard with a photograph of President Obama and the words “Mahoning Valley: No Better Off.” On the other hand, The Vindicator recently reported strongly encouraging Valley job and economic statistics.
Is the Mahoning Valley better off? If so, to whom do we give credit?
Four years ago, the local and national economy were in collapse, with 800,000 jobs per month being lost nationwide. Our Valley — as it so often does — carried an unfair share of that burden.
This is where we are today:
The Mahoning Valley’s unemployment rate is plummeting, as is the state of Ohio’s. The much debated Obama-led auto bailout directly or indirectly benefited nearly every resident in our community.
V&M Star Steel has constructed a $1 billion steel manufacturing plant, plans to employ hundreds of well paid workers, and was the beneficiary of $20 million of President Obama’s often unfairly maligned stimulus package.
Last month, the Obama administration announced a $70 million initiative to develop advanced manufacturing technology with headquarters of the project in downtown Youngstown, and the short and long-term impact on our Valley will resonate for decades. Downtown is clearly resurgent culturally, residentially and economically.
Mahoning Valley consumers have driven retails sales up dramatically, including a 10 percent growth in the last 12 months alone. Notably, the stock market has more than doubled since it bottomed out during the Bush recession.
The Affordable Care Act has resulted in insuring nearly 3,000 young Valley adults who would have otherwise lacked health coverage. Obamacare’s mandatory coverage for people with preexisting conditions will guarantee insurance for thousands in our community.
So, is the Mahoning Valley better off than it was four years ago? Unquestionably, yes. Much of our success is a result of the work ethic, entrepreneurial spirit and resiliency of our Valley’s residents. But it is unfair to deny the president credit for a revived auto industry, expanding steel production, lower unemployment, the NAAMI Center downtown, and improved health care.
President Obama’s policies have had a more directly positive impact on our Valley than any president in my lifetime. He deserves a second term.
Michael Morley, Youngstown
The writer is a former chairman of the Mahoning County Democratic Party.
Recognizing a great planner
Willard Mitt Romney has one quality that he has never gotten enough credit for: He is a great planner. He has managed to keep himself and his five sons out of harm’s way during all of America’s wars. He did support the Vietnam War, even demonstrated for it, but he thought other people’s sons, fathers, and husbands should suffer death, amputated limbs and post traumatic stress disorders. Like their dad, none of the five Romney boys have worn a uniform. However, to show support for our war efforts, Romney family members do visit veterans’ hospitals — especially during periods immediately before elections.
Now, I said he was a great planner, not a perfect planner. He did serve as governor of Massachusetts. So, one might think those people would know him best. Yet, he is trailing so badly in his home state that he is not conducting an active campaign there and will surely lose. Now I get it. His plan is not to try and win in a state where the people know him, and instead concentrate on Ohio, where he is hoping we do not know him.
Romney is such a great planner that I bet he is already planning to keep his grandchildren out of the military conflict as he plans future wars in the Middle East. Let somebody else’s grandchildren do the fighting. Like the grandkids of all those takers and moochers who make up the 47 percent.
Robert E. Casey, Boardman Township
On life, marriage and sharing
I believe in one God, and I was raised in the Catholic Church and to this day this is how I believe and live. I was raised that it was a sin to kill an unborn baby (from the moment of conception) and that euthanasia is a sin. God gives life and God takes it away.
I believe it is a sin to live together outside of marriage or to sleep with another. Marriage is between a man and a woman to bring children into the world. Marriage is a sacrament. I believe it is wrong to redefine marriage.
Jesus said we are our brother’s keepers and we should help each other. This is how I believe. It does not matter how much or how little we have, just share with each other the best we can. Also, give people your listening ear or your smile.
Joan Marie Bodak, Youngstown
Julie Liddle was incorrectly identified as president of the Citizens for Poland Schools in a signature line on a letter that appeared Wednesday.