Friday, February 23, 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: Second Amendment is outdated

Second AmendmentCongress can act on firearmsThe Second Amendment is outdated, since it is predicated on the need for a "well regulated militia." Militias are defined as civilian soldiers trained under the command of competent military leadership. The...
Published: 02/20/18
Updated: 02/22/18

Wednesday’s letters:

House Bill 21Opioid proposal merits supportIn 2016, Florida recorded 952 heroin-related and 1,390 fentanyl-related deaths. Four in five new heroin users began by misusing prescription pain medications, also known as opioids. Despite the widespread op...
Published: 02/20/18

Hernando Letter to the Editor for Feb. 23

Re: Hernando business leaders push to loosen development rules | Feb. 9; Re: Deny Brooksville mine expansion, planning commissioners say | Feb. 16Wish to register my opposition to both the draft of the new Hernando County Comprehensive Plan that elim...
Published: 02/20/18

Tuesday’s letters: Making politics personal is one way toward reasonable gun control

The Parkland shootingMake gun politics personalAs an educator of 32 years, it encourages me to see our young people engaged after the horror at Stoneman Douglas High School. The tragedy at Parkland has awakened the sleeping giant that is the millenni...
Published: 02/19/18

Sunday’s letters: Congress must act on firearms

Deadly toll: 17 | Feb. 15Congress must act on firearmsIt’s time for Congress to be counted.The failure of Congress to act to: (1) limit access to assault rifles and (2) require meaningful background checks for all gun purchases is appalling.Surel...
Published: 02/17/18

Monday’s letters: Call it by its name: terrorism

Deadly toll: 17 | Feb. 15Call it whatit is: terrorismLet’s just call it what it is. It’s terrorism. No school in the country is immune. They all have procedures for sheltering in place or emergency evacuation from a shooter. It’s prudent to be pr...
Published: 02/16/18

Saturday’s letters: Payoff to porn star not front-page news?

Lawyer: I personally paid porn star | Feb. 14Where we’re at: This is 4A newsOnly under the Trump presidency does a story about the president’s lawyer paying off a porn star to cover up an affair with the president show up on page 4A. Never mind t...
Published: 02/16/18

Friday’s letters: Water quality too important to gamble on

State to update water rules | Feb. 10Don’t gamble with water safetyI wondered whether this front-page article was an early April Fool’s joke. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection "updated" its pollution regulations in 2016, with str...
Published: 02/15/18

Thursday’s letters: Bill protects pharmacy customers

House Bill 351Bill protects pharmacy customersWe all need the protections provided in Florida House Bill 351 to ensure pharmacy benefit managers, or PBMs, are transparently operating with patients. Currently, PBMs are not regulated by the state and o...
Published: 02/14/18

Wednesday’s letters: The ocean is no place for amateurs

Youthful dream sinks in two days | Feb. 12Ocean is no place for amateursFirst of all, let me say I am sorry this couple lost their boat and I do applaud their adventurous spirit. However, I have spent over 20 years at sea and would like to commen...
Published: 02/13/18