Most companies avoid federal income tax | Aug. 13
Maybe collect tax due, not cut rate?
Buried in the business section is the story that two-thirds of U.S. corporations paid no federal income taxes between 1998 and 2005, including about 68 percent of foreign corporations doing business in the United States.
Yet John McCain proposes to lower top corporate tax rates from 35 percent to 25 percent. Eight years of Republican "trickle down" policies now result in the worst economy many ordinary Floridians have seen in their lives. Isn't it time for change this November?
Tony Branch, Madeira Beach
A look at why Publix paid a premium | Aug. 8
Albertson's plays games with prices
On Aug. 2, I was in the Albertsons store at 66th Street and 38th Avenue N. While shopping for the big bargains that I could not find, I went back to the fresh meat department. I noticed that boneless pork chops were $3.99 a pound, which was higher than before. Later I was at the same store, which had raised the price for the exact same item to $4.99 a pound — but you got 5 percent off!
After reading an article in the Times about them raising the prices before the sale started I decided to check around. Sure enough, the prices before the sale were lower than the prices after the sale started. So, shoppers beware. Too bad they will be closed before they can be investigated on price corruption.
Jean Pemberton, St. Petersburg
Scams worth gold medals, column | Aug. 10
Why not medals for convictions?
In regard to Robert Trigaux's column, forget about gold medals for scams. Let's see some gold medals for prosecutions, convictions and sentencings. Severe sentences usually deter criminal activities, especially the white-collar types. No two- to five-year sentences, but 15- to 25-year sentences. Make the punishments fit the severity of the crimes.
Peter Hlinka, St. Petersburg
The price of freer markets, column | Aug. 10
Let's get change under discussion
Steven Pearlstein's Sunday column may be one of the best op-ed pieces to explain a political need for change that I have seen or heard so far. Pearlstein deserves the greatest possible readership exposure. He has, after all, earned a 2008 Pulitzer award for his columns on free-market limitations.
I don't expect die-hard Republican business voters will embrace a candidate extolling the virtues of change when that change is understood to be a code word for an increase in taxes. But let's get this issue out on the table. We do need change. And now is the time to sell it.
Two of our biggest business entities, the auto and air transportation industries, are failing in a globalized free market. There are many reasons. But national health care is a significant part of the solution. And we need these industries. We can't compete without it.
David A. Plouf, Oldsmar
Suit calls AdSurfDaily a con Aug. 7
ASD not a scheme to defraud clients
Once again we see the demonstration of the government's heavy hand. I feel violated by the action of the federal government and by the Office of the Florida Attorney General. They have taken my Web site advertising. Where are my efforts and hard work?
AdSurfDaily and (founder) Andy Bowdoin gave an opportunity like no one else has ever given me. In the past I have wasted thousands of dollars advertising my business on the Internet with no results. Is the attorney general going to file suit on my behalf?
ASD is not an investment. Paying commission for referral is not illegal. Paying rebates for Internet surfing is not illegal. These are proven methods utilized by many companies today to help their businesses grow.
Can anyone explain to me how ASD compares to a pyramid or so-called Ponzi scheme?
Eduardo Jesus Rubi Sr., Miami
A peek under your clothes | Aug. 8
Imaging machine certainly a violation of privacy rights
The use of the ProVision whole-body imaging machines at airports in a random context is without a doubt a violation of an individual's right to privacy. In the published photo, you can easily distinguish characteristics of the subject's physical anatomy. These characteristics, which are likely considered to be of a private nature by most people, include her little bit of extra tummy fat, the shape and size of her breasts and even an outline in the genital area. That's pretty personal. This search method should be reserved for use only when the Transportation Safety Administration has just cause to believe that an individual may be attempting to circumvent travel restrictions.
We all suffer from the effects of the policies which have brought us to where we are today, and little by little, we are being stripped not only of our dignity in the body scanners at the airport, but of our inalienable rights written in the Constitution. It is the sum of these things that at times makes me feel, as I see our country beat itself down from the inside out and the bottom up, that the terrorists have already won.
Sam Henderson, Gulfport