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Giving due to Mitt Romney and other do-it-yourselfers

Cynde Sears’s Oct. 6 letter, “Mr. Romney’s money problem,” did a disservice to those of us, including Mitt Romney, who have the skills, interest and time to undertake a home-construction project such as building a deck or walkway. Those of us who find a great sense of accomplishment in such a project should not be denigrated because we did not hire a small business to do the job. Our money was likely spent with local businesses for some other purpose.

Further, if our project required a building permit and had to pass a subsequent inspection, we became acquainted with the workings of our local government and gained an understanding of citizen involvement with government.

The Sept. 30 front-page article “Romney’s money trap,” to which Ms. Sears referred, described a do-it-yourself project that Mr. Romney and one of his sons undertook. I noted, as I read the article, that Mr. Romney gained an opportunity to spend quality time with his son as they worked together. That’s something to be applauded.

Edward A. Gabris, Vienna

Cynde Sears accused Mitt Romney of “cheating people out of jobs” because he decided to construct a walkway at his house with one of his sons’ help when he thought the cost of paying a contractor to do the work was too high. Huh?

I recently needed two rooms painted in my house. I thought the estimates I received for the work were more than the job was worth. Even though I could have afforded to have workers do the painting, I made an economic decision and painted the rooms myself.

Not only did I save a substantial amount of money, I also had the satisfaction of having accomplished something myself. I certainly didn’t “cheat” someone out of a job. I’m sure Mr. Romney had similar feeIings about building his walkway.

Dan Driscoll, Alexandria

Cynde Sears is clearly not from rural Pennsylvania, as I am and where people typically work on their homes and cars themselves.

Ms. Sears suggested that Mr. Romney should not have exercised his choice to take on a home project himself but rather that he should have hired out the job, thereby helping the local economy. When she had a similar project, she exercised her freedom of choice and paid someone else to do it.

It strikes me as extremely odd that someone should expect Mr. Romney to see his home maintenance in terms of a contribution to the economy.

Criticize Mr. Romney on policy or some such matter, but let him decide for his own reasons whether he wants to build a walkway with his son.

Regina Ottaviani, Silver Spring

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