Wednesday, June 20, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Friday’s letters: Most unpopular tax bill ever

Tax bill clears Senate | Dec. 3

The most unpopular tax bill ever

"Democracy dies in darkness" is the motto of the Washington Post. At 2 a.m. on the dark morning of Sunday, Dec. 3, 51 Republicans approved the most wildly unpopular tax bill in U.S. history. This bill was soundly rejected and criticized not only by every Democrat and two-thirds of the voting public, but also by numerous economists and agencies aware of the impact of this legislation. These included Larry Summers, former president of the World Bank and treasury secretary, who said that the plan is "dishonest, incompetent and absurd" and, because it would kill what remains of the Affordable Care Act, would result in thousands of deaths.

It would actually raise taxes on the middle class, cut taxes for the top 1 percent and large corporations, and add least a trillion dollars to the national debt. But it will assuage the Republican donor class who haven’t had much to show for their investment in Donald Trump and the Republicans.

How will it be paid for? Trickle-down economics: The more corporations accrue, the more they will give to workers and the poor. That did not work for Ronald Reagan. Even George H.W. Bush referred to it as "voodoo economics."

President Donald Trump himself will benefit to the projected tune of approximately $1 billion. Sad.

Joseph Ferrandino, Land O’ Lakes

Tax bill clears Senate | Dec. 3

Partisan trickery

I support comprehensive tax reform, but I do not support the "Tax Cuts and Jobs Act."

This irresponsible bill adds at least $1.4 trillion to the deficit and could add as much as $1.7 trillion. The development of the bill completely left out rank-and-file Republicans and all Democrats. The proposal relies on magical thinking about economic growth in order to pretend there won’t be massive increases to the deficit and debt, and uses gimmicks to make it look like the changes in law cost less down the road.

In 1986, the last time Congress did comprehensive tax reform, it was an inclusive, bipartisan process, and the Senate finally passed it by a vote of 97-3.

Congress is taking us in the wrong direction and is playing tricks in order to get it done. They need to go back to the drawing board.

Michael Morinico, Sebring

Low incomes bear the brunt

Sen. Marco Rubio said the Senate tax bill should do more for low-income families but voted for it anyway. Low-income families will barely see enough of a tax break to make up for what they are losing, such as the ability to deduct interest on student loans, state and local taxes, and itemized medical expenses.

And that minuscule tax break for individuals disappears by 2025. Rubio said the child tax credit should be increased dramatically, and when it wasn’t increased to the level he wanted, he voted for the bill anyway. Rubio wanted the corporate rate to be higher than 20 percent, and when that didn’t happen he voted for the bill anyway.

Clearly, he cares more about his wealthy donors than average Floridians and should be hanging his head in shame.

It is up to "we the people" to insist that Congress work for us rather than the 1 percent and corporations. We need to call and demand our representatives oppose this bill. Then they can get back to work creating one that truly helps the average American.

Jenni Casale, Palmetto

A farewell plea: Be the Tampa Bay you deserve | Dec. 3

Columnist will be missed

I was saddened to read that Robert Trigaux is retiring. Though a rest is well deserved, I will surely miss his insightful, straightforward column. I hope Trigaux will honor his followers with his written wisdom intermittently in the future. Great luck in retirement and God bless, Robert.

James Gregor, Tampa

Voter ID’s unintended elder effect | Dec. 3, Perspective

Vote by mail is the solution

Paula Span, a New York Times writer, expresses concern for the disenfranchisement of older voters resulting from physical barriers at polling places such as steep ramps, inadequate parking and voting machines that do not accommodate wheelchairs or the visually impaired.

Span makes one of the strongest arguments I’ve seen for voting by mail. Fortunately, Florida is one of 22 states that offer voting by mail. When voting by mail, one never misses an opportunity to vote; you receive the ballot three to four weeks before the election, which gives you ample time to become familiar with issues and candidates; and there is never a line.

Using polling place access as an excuse for not participating in states where voting by mail is available is just that, an excuse. Those states that do not offer it should support the democratic process by initiating a mail-in option.

Dave Loeffert, Dunedin

And now create your own public apology
Dec. 3, Perspective

Moral rot in high places

The burgeoning number of prominent men accused of sexual misconduct is not surprising given the pervasive climate of corruption fostered by the corruptor in chief, Donald Trump. The president sets the moral tone for the country. He has the highest number of accusers of impropriety, 16 (or more?), has 600 provable lies spoken publicly, has an unknown number of fraud suits against him, and has stacked his administration with the worst foxes in the henhouse ever.

Once we elected leaders based on good character, and we have had some admirable presidents, honorable and trustworthy. I hope for our country that we may find our way to that again.

Lorraine Madison, St. Petersburg


Thursday’s letters: On immigration there has to be a better way

‘Zero tolerance’ ignites outrage | June 20Find better way on immigrationOver the years I’ve voted for candidates from both parties. My observation of the Trump administration’s policy on immigration is not about politics. It has to do with having...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Wednesday’s letters: Charters and traditional public schools each have their place

Public school as public good | Letter, June 17Both kinds of schools can workAs a mother and grandmother of children raised in both traditional public and charter schools in Pinellas County (and a 25-year supporting-services employee for public sc...
Updated: 9 hours ago

Tuesday’s letters: Keep programs that fight AIDS

For author Biden, it’s a father’s gift | June 6Keep programs that fight AIDSAfter former Vice President Joe Biden’s recent visit to St. Petersburg, I noticed an article that he co-wrote with former Sen. Bill Frist. It reminded everyone about the ...
Published: 06/18/18
Updated: 06/19/18

Is anyone watching the money?Hernando County’s budget shortfall is ever changing going from $6 million to $11.5 million to $14 million to what is assumed a final number of $12.6 million. Who knows the budget shortfall could change again.Who’s watchi...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

Re: County OKs solar zones | June 8Plea ignored at solar plant hearingThe Pasco County Commission on June 5 voted to identify a utility-sized solar electric plant as a "special exception" use on agricultural-zoned land in Pasco County. What thi...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

Monday’s letters: Skip those plastic bags and save the environment

To save our seas, overcome congressional apathy | Column, June 16Do your part and skip plastic bagsEvery day we read about the shame of our landfills and oceans filling up with plastic bags, yet most people don’t care. My wife and I always carry ...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

White House defends splitting up families as ‘biblical’ | June 15The suffering of the childrenI am a mother and attorney with more than 20 years of practice living in Tampa. For the past three years, I worked as a magistrate in a Unified Family C...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Saturday’s letters: Community-based care requires community involvement

Fix foster care, and do it quickly | Editorial, June 15Involve the community itselfWhile the detailed article about the scathing state review of Hillsborough County’s foster care problems touched on leadership, a critical point was not addressed....
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Friday’s letters: Freight trains are infrastructure that works in Tampa Bay

Railroads are infrastructure that worksFreight trains carry the loadCentral Florida is our state’s fastest-growing region. We’re on track to outpace South Florida’s growth 2-to-1 over the next several years. Great news for our local economy, but it n...
Published: 06/12/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Thursday’s letters: Charter schools aren’t the enemy

Don’t plug your ears when schools ask for tax | May 20, columnCharter schools aren’t the enemyAs an educator, I am astounded when I hear claims from school board members that charter schools take away funding from the local public school system. ...
Published: 06/12/18
Updated: 06/14/18