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Published: Friday, 9/5/2008

Unfair foreign trade deals hurt Toledo

Lucas County's unemployment rate is 10 percent. Wood County's unemployment rate is 8.9 percent. One would think with all the talk of what is right in Republican Wood County, the rate would be closer to the national average of 5.7 percent.

A recent interview with Chrysler Vice President Tom LaSorda on Autoline Detroit spoke of inequities in our trade agreements with most of our trading partners. For example the following countries have exclusionary tariffs on U.S.-made exported autos: Russia, a 25 percent import duty and 70 percent luxury tax; India, a 100 percent import duty tax; China, a 25 percent import duty and 20 percent excise tax, and Brazil, a 25 percent import tax

In 2006, Korea exported 695,134 vehicles to the United States. About 554,000 of these vehicles were made by Korean companies KIA and Hyundai. But the United States was only allowed to export 5,732 vehicles to Korea, about 4,000 of which were made by GM, Ford, and Chrysler.

Toledo-built Jeeps, as well as others in this region, have been adversely affected by these unfair trade deals and will continue to be affected by the lax enforcement of our current inept leadership in Washington. China has recently increased a 25 percent tax on vehicles with 3-liter but less than 4-liter engines, further affecting Wrangler sales in China. The 100 percent import tax on American autos to India makes it unprofitable to export from the United States. Chrysler is now in talks with Mahindra to build the Wrangler in India, further clouding the Toledo manufacturing picture.

Paul Wohlfarth

Ottawa Lake, Mich

Palin has experience being up at 3 a.m.

There is good news for all of the Democrats who have been wondering "who is really going to be ready to answer the phone at 3 a.m.?" I'm sure that Sarah Palin, having five children, has had much experience being up at 3 a.m., feeding and caring for her beautiful offspring.

Bill Zouhary

Perrysburg

Catholics are proud part of U.S. history

It was interesting to read in the Aug. 25 issue of The Blade about the Toledo delegation to the Democratic Convention, especially when ace prognosticator Carty Finkbeiner was talking about Joe Biden. He said, "he's Catholic, and Ohio needs help with the Catholics." Wow, a few years ago there were other thoughts about Catholics and now Ohio needs more of us.

This brought to mind a quote from Will Rogers who once said, "I don't belong to any political party. I'm a Democrat." I guess it's almost the same with Catholics. We run the gamut from Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity on the right to Ted Kennedy and John Kerry on the left. We are constantly vilified in the movies and the press, although sometimes it is warranted. But overall, no one can doubt that we are a proud part of the history of this wonderful country.

Mark Cousino

Harvest Lane

If you liked Bush, you'll love McCain

Who is John McCain? I know he is a military hero, that he was a prisoner of war for five and a half years and that he has been in the Senate for over 26 years. He says he is a maverick and a new kind of Republican, but has supported President Bush over 90 percent of the time.

What I glean from this is by their fruit ye shall know them. Since he walks the walk and talks that talk, Mr. McCain is really George W. Bush in McCain clothing. If you liked President Bush you will love Mr. McCain.

Nate Washington

Bricker Avenue

Committed Catholics are not pro-choice

In The Blade's Aug. 24 front-page story on Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. Joe Biden, Mr. Obama depicted Mr. Biden as a "committed Catholic." Committed Catholics do not sanction abortion; therefore, a more apt description of his pro-choice running mate might be a committed politician.

Nice try, Barack.

Edwin F. Durivage

River Road

Obama's negativity is not what we need

It's disturbing to see a presidential candidate who finds little right with America. Barack Obama says this election is about change but he offers nothing new. His version of change and his negativity are not what we need.

He said no to the troop surge in Iraq, denies it has been successful, and refuses to give any credit to our military. His doom-and-gloom portrayal of the economy would have you believe we are back in the depths of the 1930s, when unemployment surpassed 30 percent. He says no to drilling for oil, new refineries, and increasing nuclear power. Internationally, he sees America as the "bad guys," with most of the world hating us.

In reality, we are the "good guys." We stood up for freedom in Iraq and Afghanistan and challenge nuclear weapons ambitions of North Korea and Iran. America is the envy of the world with our free enterprise system, successful economy, and military strength. Free enterprise has provided the engine for the greatest era of technological development in the world and opened the door to unparalleled economic growth during the past 70 years. Downturns, like we presently have, are inevitable. But after every downturn, America winds up stronger than before. We feed the world and answer every call for disaster relief. Is all of this wrong? Senator Obama seems to think so.

Far more is right with America than is wrong. Can improvements be made? Absolutely. Sensible change is always welcome but let our highly successful free enterprise system do the job, not Mr. Obama's version of change, which means bigger government and skyrocketing taxes. Don't be fooled. If you reject Mr. Obama's version of "change," elect John McCain.

Richard Ketteman

Sylvania

McCain hot-headed, obtuse, pandering

A recent letter writer, reflecting on the presidential forum hosted by the Rev. Rick Warren, saw in John McCain's responses a direct, firm, and principled leader, and in Barack Obama's responses a "pause-pocked uncertainty." I found this perspective interesting, because I saw in Mr. McCain a hot-headed, obtuse man pandering to an evangelical Christian audience, and in Mr. Obama an honest, thoughtful, eloquent man who responded appropriately to questions fraught with complex issues.

Mr. Obama's refusal to patronize his audience with pre-packaged, dumbed-down sound bites indicates a faith in and respect for the intelligence and insight of the American people that is refreshing in politics. After eight years of George W. Bush, I think we need and deserve an intelligent leader who will approach complicated issues and decisions with the careful consideration they demand, rather than one who will have already made up his mind before analyzing the subtleties of the situation and make rash decisions that pander to certain ideologies.

Ryan McCarthy

Perrysburg

Kennedy, Reagan, TR had experience

To the person who wrote that experience is not needed to be president, citing Presidents Kennedy, Roosevelt, and Reagan as examples, here is a little history lesson. Reagan was governor of California for eight years. Kennedy was in the House of Representatives from 1947 to 1953 and in the U.S. Senate from 1953 to 1960, and Roosevelt was in the Army, a member of the famous Rough Riders, fought in the Spanish American War, and was vice president before President McKinley was murdered.

All three of the people you cite as lacking experience before taking office had far more experience than the candidate you are imploring everyone to vote for.

Being a voter is one of our great rights. Being an informed voter is what all of us should strive for.

John Mason

Sylvania

Wow. On Aug. 29, at noon, with the announcement of his running mate, John McCain was elected president of the United States.

Joseph R. Welch

Millbury



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