President Obama prepares to leave office with good news for the American public. Due to the costs of two wars that weren't paid for by the previous administration and an unregulated housing boom that went bust, he was inaugurated when the economy was in its worst shape since the Great Depression. This much-maligned president leaves President-elect Trump with an unemployment rate of 4.6 percent, a GDP of 3.2 percent in the last quarter, and the housing market back to pre-recession levels. Only time will tell whether Trump's boasts to "make America great again" will exceed the accomplishments of Obama. Just remember where we are starting from this time.
|Marlene Leiber, Medford
It is clear that the editors of your opinion pages intend to stay the leftist course and avoid any appearance of fairness. Do the editors not get it? This is no way to increase readership. I have friends who gave up their subscriptions a long time ago. I'm hanging in there, but you are making it very, very difficult. Reading almost two pages of letters, editorials, and commentaries written by whiney losers is not my ideal start to the morning.
|Patricia A. Perrone, Swarthmore
The best-case scenario for a Trump presidency on environmental protection would be to send us back to the Bush era. Therefore the proper place for us to focus our energy on climate policy is at the state level. Here in Pennsylvania, things are moving in a positive but tenuous direction, as Gov. Wolf works to regulate methane pollution from natural gas. Methane is a dangerous greenhouse gas.
Now is not the time to be complacent and wait with concern while we debate what President-elect Trump may do on a federal level. We must all become informed on what's happening at home, and fight hard for the regulations being proposed in our state.
|Ethan Buckman, Philadelphia, firstname.lastname@example.org
As Dec. 31 approaches and my husband and I consider which causes and organizations to support with our end-of-the-year donations, I am struck by the number of local entities seeking our support that should not exist if we, collectively, set better priorities. For example: We will support the Picasso Project, an organization that bring arts programming to under-resourced public schools, but are the arts considered an "extra," rather than an essential, in so many of our city's schools?
We will also gladly donate to Philadelphia Youth Basketball, an afterschool sports and academic program. PYB students are taught that effort in the classroom is just as important as hustle on the basketball court.
As much as we are pleased to support these worthy programs, we would prefer to live in a city and a society in which arts, athletics, and academic enrichment were considered essentials rather than as extras supported by philanthropy.
|Amy Cohen, History Making Productions, Philadelphia, amyjanecohen@gmail
This holiday season take time to settle down for a day or two. Put aside our work and duties and be more involved with the people around us.
Take advantage of those sick days from work and take your kids to the park, visit that nice mall in the next town over.
Pretend as if there is nothing on your to-do list for the day other than to live and enjoy today with those you love.
Make these holidays count and spend them with everyone you have been missing. Happy Holidays to you all.