Wednesday, July 18, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Saturday’s letters: High earners don’t need a break

Report: Tax plan rewards top 1% | Sept. 30

High incomes don’t need a break

The current Trump administration tax plan boldly proposes a tax reduction for business while also quietly reducing taxes for wealthy individuals. It would appear that the lowest wage earners would, under the same proposal, have their income tax increased from 10 to 12 percent.

The tax rate for income over $418,000 would be reduced from 39.6 percent to 35 percent. The taxed income, of course, would be after the multiple writeoffs such as interest payments on real estate, to name only one example. This would relieve the financial burden on such struggling executives as Jeff Immelt, former CEO of General Electric, whose salary, according to the Oct. 24 Wall Street Journal, exceeded $35 million in 2016. We do not know what Immelt’s final taxable income was after deductions, but excluding deductions and other income, the proposed reduction would yield a $1,610,000 savings for that one individual.

Paying exorbitant salaries to top executives is an accepted practice. I have no complaint regarding exorbitant salaries, as long as those salaries are taxed at a fair rate required to support the myriad federal expenses necessary to pay for the running of our great country. I fail to understand why these high-income individuals are favored by the Republican proposal when that party repeatedly claims to be working for the benefit of low- and mid-income people. Congressmen who vote for reducing income tax on the wealthiest citizens should not be re-elected to Washington while low-income citizens struggle to make a living.

Dave Hewitt, Parrish

Shout down hate speech | Oct. 25, letter

Provide an alternative

This letter could not be more wrong. Hate speech should not be shouted down. All that does is create a media spectacle, which is the whole purpose of these vile people who come to speak.

The way to really make a difference is to contact charities for Jewish, African-American and underprivileged causes and ask them to put a booth next to the event where these offensive people are speaking. Then let people like Richard Spencer see everyone donating to these charities. When he figures out that the public is not going to make his event newsworthy and that the people he hates are actually getting stronger because of his actions, he will change his tactics.

David Boddy, Holiday

Oil drilling

Protect Florida’s coastline

It’s been seven years since the BP oil spill dumped nearly 5 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, killing fish, drowning birds, and putting in jeopardy the financial stability of thousands of residents and business owners along the Gulf Coast. This tragedy showed many Floridians that oil would never be worth the risk to our home state.

Yet leaders in the House and the Senate have once again expressed interest in the shortsighted plan to open up drilling rights in the eastern Gulf of Mexico. Not only will the Gulf of Mexico barely yield enough oil and gas to sustain the United States for more than a few months, but we are again risking the very thing that Floridians hold most dear, our coastline. With another oil spill that occurred in the gulf just last week, opening up our the waters to increased drilling is the worst thing we could do.

Instead, we need our senators to stand up against misguided attempts to open up drilling rights in the eastern Gulf of Mexico. I am counting on Sens. Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio to stop these plans.

Jenna Stevens, Tampa

Promising Rays stadium site | Oct. 26, editorial

Ease of access is key

While the proposed Tampa site for a new Rays stadium looks good on the surface, it does not address the reason for the Rays primary problem: low attendance. The reasons for the low attendance are location and demographics. The Tampa site is similar to the current Tropicana Field site, in that they’re both difficult to get to from other parts of the area. The only way a new stadium will boost attendance is if it’s easy to get to from both sides of the bay. In Pinellas County, there is open land not far from the west end of the Howard Frankland Bridge.

While the Tampa site would work for a younger demographic, the Rays must face the fact that there is a sizable older population that is looking for ease of access, and that includes available, near-by parking. Hopefully the Rays will not make the same mistake they made when choosing the Tropicana Field location.

Chuck Bayer, Redington Shores

Problem with the product

While replacing Tropicana Field is a worthy goal, Rays fans are probably more interested in supporting a winning team than in supporting a tax increase to help fund a new stadium. In order to achieve a winning record, the team’s owners will have to dig a lot deeper into their pockets or attract more affluent co-owners. For example, the current World Series is being disputed by two teams whose payrolls are double (Houston Astros) or more than triple (Los Angeles Dodgers) the relatively paltry $70 million or so the Rays will spend on players in 2018. If the Rays cannot afford to compete in the player market, a new stadium, wherever it is finally erected, is hardly likely to make a difference to the team’s success on the field.

Fred Kalhammer, Sun City Center

My role in fighting opioid abuse crisis | Oct. 24, commentary

Address these priorities

Rep. Gus Bilirakis writes, "I will continue to fight on behalf of my constituents and my community to achieve this moral imperative." I’d like to point out that there are several higher moral imperatives that he and the Republican Party should be fighting for. Try working on these: 1. income inequity; 2. health care for all; 3. tax reform that tackles Nos. 1 and 2; 4. campaign finance reform; 5. protect the environment. It time to jump all in or get out of the kitchen!

Kevin Konkler, Palm Harbor

Comments

Thursday’s letters: Watch what Trump does ... and what he says

Trump sides with Putinover U.S.A. | Editorial, July 17Watch what he does — and what he says, tooAnyone who still takes issue with the allegation that Donald Trump is temperamentally unfit to be president need only look at his shameful and unpatri...
Updated: 3 hours ago

Tuesday’s letters: Leave fireworks to the professionals

Nobody is scaring birds with fireworks | Editorial, July 16Leave fireworksto the professionalsThe situation with fireworks has gotten completely out of control. I was at Curtis Hixon Park on the Fourth of July, and numerous people were exploding ...
Published: 07/16/18
Updated: 07/17/18

Monday’s letters: Make investment in the Rays an actual investment with an actual return

Paying for ballpark will take teamwork | Editorial, July 12An actual return on investmentMuch attention has been given to the cost of the proposed Rays stadium in Ybor City and who will foot the bill. The three-legged stool of the Rays, the busin...
Published: 07/12/18
Updated: 07/16/18

Sunday’s letters: Stop burning of sugar cane near the Everglades

Florida’s land of black snow | Bill Maxwell column, July 1Don’t burn sugar cane, periodIn this column, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Chris King got a lot of things right about how sugarcane burning negatively impacts the Glades communities w...
Published: 07/11/18
Updated: 07/13/18

Saturday’s letters: The dangerous days before Roe vs. Wade

The reality of back-alley abortions | Column, July 11The dangerous days before RoeI am a 71-year-old retired nurse. I still remember when abortion was illegal and birth control was restricted to married women in the United States. In 1983, I set ...
Published: 07/09/18
Updated: 07/14/18

Thursday’s letters: The Rays’ Ybor City stadium will be magnificent

Rays’ big dream is small ballpark | July 11The new stadium will be gorgeousI had the pleasure of attending the unveiling of the Tampa Bay Rays "next-generation, neighborhood ballpark." I was blown away. As an 18-year resident of Tampa Bay, and ma...
Published: 07/09/18
Updated: 07/12/18

Wednesday’s letters: Let’s prepare Florida’s next generation for the jobs that have been created yet

Make Florida’s workforce globally competitivePrepare for jobs not yet createdIf you aren’t amazed by the speed at which technology is changing our world, just think back 20 years. Would you have imagined cellphones with the capabilities of a laptop c...
Published: 07/09/18
Updated: 07/11/18

Hernando Letters to the Editor for July 13

Re: School meals for all students | July 6 storyParents should pay for their ownThat article really got me to thinking ... why can’t parents feed and care for their own children? When did it become others’ responsibility to do this? No one fed our th...
Published: 07/09/18

Tuesday’s letters: It’s great that Tampa’s Democratic mayor works with a Republican governor

Dems wary of Scott, Buckhorn bromance | July 8It’s not partisan to look out for TampaThe focus of a mayor should be on success in his jurisdiction, no matter the partner, for the citizens who live in his area of responsibility. Mayor Bob Buckhorn...
Published: 07/06/18
Updated: 07/10/18

Pasco Letters to the Editor for July 13

Scaring birds with fireworks is a problemThe justification of buying fireworks to scare birds is the biggest problem with fireworks. My wife and I retired to a small pond across from a nature preserve. On a recent holiday, we were enjoying watching b...
Published: 07/05/18
Updated: 07/09/18