Romney worked hard to achieve his success

A Sept. 2 letter writer decided that by going to private schools and elite universities and getting an MBA, Mitt Romney was able to hoodwink the United States and bilk everyone out of millions while he got rich without lifting a finger.
Did the writer ever work 70-hour weeks and have his wife raise five boys? Did he ever risk his life savings to start a business? Did he ever put together a proposal to raise millions of dollars to get a business started? Romney's company saved thousands of jobs at companies in distress, such as Staples. Romney paid $1.6 million in federal taxes in 2010. How much has the writer paid in his lifetime? People like him forget that those who make money, while paying a lesser percentage, pay 50 to 100 times more in taxes every year to support all federal programs.
People like Romney who had similar educations to him became professors, musicians, newspaper editors and unemployed students.Romney happened to use the things that his parents were able to bestow upon him to become financially successful. Don't most parents strive to give their kids the best education possible? Is that now un-American, too, under the Obama creed?
Please do not criticize someone for taking advantage of a positive situation. Jealousy will eat you alive. You might want to move to a country that believes in socialism. Oh yeah, we are almost there.
Bradley Hall

Time for U.S. to give self-made man a try

I wish someone would enlighten me as to why the ultra-liberal media are trying so hard to defeat Mitt Romney in his quest for the presidency. Where could one find a smarter (two magna cum laude degrees from Harvard), gentler, more compassionate and generous politician? He tithes 10 percent of his income to his church, took no salary for his Olympic task or for serving as governor of Massachusetts and has done many altruistic, unselfish acts for the benefit of his country. Since when is the possession of great wealth a negative aspect of one's personality? This man made his money the hard way, he earned it.
The press and TV media spend most of their time and money on negative narration repudiating this fine man and the Republican Party. According to said media, President Obama can do very little wrong. However, he has spent a great deal of time in the past four years blaming the Bush administration. Instead of pulling us out of the doldrums as he promised in his inaugural address, he has fostered a failed stimulus program and talked countless numbers of people into trashing perfectly good cars in his "Cash for Clunkers" program. To use a vulgar expression, the economy is in the toilet, the job market is at an all-time low, as is real estate, and the annual debt is astronomical. There really is not much for which we can laud him.
Let us at least give the self-made man a try. It would be a refreshing challenge and perhaps we will see the dawn of a new era. All it takes is an open mind and the pull of a lever or the stroke of a pencil.
Alice M. Szanyi

Voters must choose wisely in November

We are just two months away from the general elections, and we need to decide which party do we really and truly want at the helm.
Do we want people in charge who would risk taxpayers' money to "save" American enterprises, or do we want people in charge who will create an environment in America where private enterprise can confidently take its own risks?
Do we want people in charge who would take from the producers and give to the slackers, or do we want people in charge who will encourage Americans to do and be their best?
Do we want people in charge who align with those who would deny people the ability to work because they are not in unions, or do we want people in charge who will ensure that all who are able and talented get a fair chance?
Do we want people in charge who shy away from confronting the important issues of the day because "we don't want to offend people's sensitivities," or do we want people in charge who will face said issues head-on?
And lastly: Do we want people in charge who cater to the lowest parts of the human character, or do we want people in charge who will challenge Americans to aspire to a higher standard?
Choose wisely.
Lloyd A. Marshall Jr.

Fabricated nonsense aims to scare voters

A recent letter to the editor suggesting the "Obama's America" movie be required viewing for voters was not fit for print, in my opinion. As an independent voter, I am always looking for factual information to aid me in my decision. I would be happy to hear legitimate arguments why President Obama should not get another four years.
However, the writer warns us to "make no mistake" and that "Obama wants to punish America" and has a secret "agenda" to "reduce America's influence and systemically dismantle our economy and military." These statements tell me all I need to know about either the movie itself, or about the writer's preconceived notions before ever viewing it. The "redistribution of wealth" that the writer fears has already occurred, but not as he suggests. Disparity of wealth is the worst since the 1920s, as evidenced by factual analysis.
While everyone is entitled to his opinion, my suggestion is for voters to realize that both Mitt Romney and Obama want the best for America, albeit granted that their way of getting there may differ. Contrary to the aforementioned fabricated nonsensical fears, my fear is voters basing their decisions on extremist propaganda and ignorance. In my view, this is the real danger to America. My suggestions for "requirements" prior to voting would differ greatly from the writer's.
Bob Tortorici
Orchard Park

'Better off' query is highly subjective

"Are you better off now than you were four years ago?" I am not certain that asking voters to pose this question to themselves is a valid measurement of the effectiveness of a president's term in office. Even if one puts aside the fact that the expression "better off" is highly subjective, there are simply too many worldwide and internal forces and players beyond the control of any president for such a question to be meaningful as a tool for making an informed decision on Election Day.
Suppose, for example, one could go back through time to the encampment at Valley Forge, Pa., during the winter of 1776-1777 and ask soldiers in the Continental Army that very question. My gut feeling is that a great many at that tipping point in our nation's history would probably have answered that they were better off four years ago as British subjects. Where would we be today if vast numbers of those soldiers had made that very assessment and given up the cause?
Bruce Sanders

Turner takes words, ideas out of context

Reading the Sept. 3 column by Douglas Turner was like taking a trip back to the hateful, frightening days when Sen. Joe McCarthy was railing about the communists who had infiltrated our government. In referring to President Obama's now famous "you didn't build it" speech, Turner totally ignores the obvious point (that we all need various societal and governmental accomplishments in order for our businesses to succeed) and instead rips words and ideas out of context and brands them as no less than a Marxist plot taken straight from the pages of both Das Kapital and the Communist Manifesto.
The obvious fallacy of Turner's McCarthyesque distortions are wonderfully pointed out by a letter from a reader that appears on the facing page. He knows that the success of his business depends on a variety of governmental activities and accomplishments, and is grateful for them.
Paul Tenser

Hiking minimum wage will not boost spending

The Rev. Frank Raines III states that the minimum wage should be raised to $9.80 per hour. He supports raising the minimum wage, saying this would boost consumer spending by more than $1 billion in New York State. He does not indicate where this money will come from. It must either magically appear or it must come from somewhere else. Since there is no magic in economics, the money will come from the businesses that must pay more money for the same amount of work. Since business will have less money to spend on other things, business spending will decrease. (I'd guess about $1 billion in New York State).
James E. Reschke

Upgrading Ohio Street to parkway is good plan

The League of Women Voters of Buffalo/Niagara supports the recent effort announced by Rep. Brian Higgins to upgrade Ohio Street to a parkway, as the most logical and efficient roadway to connect downtown Buffalo with the outer harbor. Such a parkway will complement the recently completed improvements to Fuhrmann Boulevard, thereby making improved road access to the outer harbor. This project will enhance an existing roadway and thereby improve the whole waterfront experience for all, whether on foot, on a bicycle or in a bus or car.
Joan T. Parks
President, League of Women
Voters, Kenmore