Things are not better than they were four years ago

The Obama administration reported Oct. 5 that the unemployment rate dropped from 8.l percent to 7.8 percent. It also reported that the number of jobs created was 114,000. The economy must create 150,000 new jobs each month just to keep up with population growth. How is it possible for the unemployment rate to drop when the new jobs did not put one unemployed person back to work and there were not even enough new jobs created for the increase in population? 

We are not better off today than we were four years ago. Gas was on average $1.84 a gallon in January 2009, today it is $3.87 per gallon. Unemployment was 7.8 percent, and after 1 trillion in stimulus spending, the “official” number is 7.8 percent, though the real number is closer to 15 percent. Net worth of the average family is down 40 percent from four years ago. 

More people are on food stamps than at any time in our history. One in 6 Americans are now in poverty. Fewer Americans are in the workforce than four years ago. The last time it was this low was when Jimmy Carter was in office. The national debt is $16 trillion, compared to $10.6 trillion then. Prices at the grocery store have soared in the last four years. The average family income was $55,000 then, today it’s $50,000. Businesses have become afraid to hire because they don’t know what their government is going to do to them next. 

Fifty percent of college graduates can’t find work. 

The class warfare rhetoric of President Obama has pitted Americans against each other and the country has not been so divided since the Vietnam War days. Lastly, health insurance costs have increased, not decreased.

From Conrad Quagliaroli, Woodstock, Ga.

Trump needs to remove himself from spotlight

It is time for Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpDems flip Wisconsin state Senate seat Sessions: 'We should be like Canada' in how we take in immigrants GOP rep: 'Sheet metal and garbage' everywhere in Haiti MORE to retire from political activism and go back to whatever he was doing before November 2010, when he first considered running for president in this election cycle.

Millions of Americans are just like me, sick and tired of Trump and his bizarre rants. Trump should let President Obama and Mitt Romney run their campaigns and then we’ll see who wins. In my opinion, Trump has added absolutely nothing to the campaign and has not provided a true third alternative for independent voters who are disillusioned with deficits, debt and gridlock in Washington. 

It seems that the only people who support Trump now are the cable TV talking heads, as well as the celebrity gossip tabloids. How silly and superficial we must look to other countries when we allow this buffoon to run rampant and make a mockery of the American political system!

Mr. Trump, please stop this foolishness now. Show some humility, compassion and humanity, and spare us your angry nonsense. Do the right thing. Get out of politics. Then maybe you’ll get back some of the respect you lost during your quixotic political crusade of the past two years.

From Daniel K. Weir, San Antonio, Texas

Clean Water Act should have bipartisan support

Clean water is an issue with a long history of bipartisan support. Congress passed the Clean Water Act in 1972 with the two-thirds support in both chambers, with the goal of ending the use of our nation’s waters for discharge of pollutants by 1985. Clearly we have missed that goal by a long shot, though we have made great progress in cleaning up our waterways for swimming, fishing and drinking water.

Still, industrial pollution, toxic dumping, sewage overflows, extreme energy extraction and many more problems continue to threaten the waters on which our families and communities rely. We must call upon our elected officials to renew our nation’s commitment to the goal of ending the use of our nation’s waters for the discharge of pollutants, and to work to make all our waters swimmable, fishable and drinkable.

These fundamental goals of the Clean Water Act should have overwhelming bipartisan support, as the act’s initial passage had, because they are crucial to public health, well-being and local economies all across the nation. 

From Raymond Nuesch, Washington, D.C.

Biden was loser of the vice presidential debate

Vice President Biden did nothing to help President Obama get reelected in the Oct. 11 debate. In an attempt to rattle his opponent Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanGOP leaders pitch children's health funding in plan to avert shutdown Lawmakers see shutdown’s odds rising Fix what we’ve got and make Medicare right this year MORE, he was condescending, disrespectful and un-presidential. He childishly laughed through the first half of the debate. Then, when this didn’t work he became angry and frustrated until he began to lose his voice toward the end, coming across as someone as old and as tired as Obama’s failing economic and anti-life policies. 

Ryan, in contrast looked fresh, humble, spirited and optimistic. He held his ground on all the issues and presented viewers with real hope for a positive future. 

To take a page from Clint Eastwood, Joe BidenJoseph (Joe) Robinette BidenDemocrats will need to explain if they shut government down over illegal immigration Trump thinks he could easily beat Sanders in 2020 match-up: report Biden marks MLK Day: Americans are 'living through a battle for the soul of this nation' MORE would have fared better had he just decided to use President Obama’s “empty chair.”

From Paul Kokoski, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada