Senate GOP’s tax plan to kill ACA mandate | Nov. 15
Devious way to hurt middle class
So, let’s see if we have this straight. The proposed amendment to the Senate tax plan, to kill the individual mandate, will cause young people to not buy health insurance. This will, in turn, cause insurance companies to charge higher rates for the rest of us. So, more people will avoid health insurance due to higher costs and, consequently, the federal government will not have to pay subsidies for these newly uninsured. Not having to pay subsidies to help people buy insurance could reduce the deficit caused by the proposed massive tax cuts for the richest 1 percent of the population and for big corporations.
This is a very convoluted way to let lots of middle- and lower-income people get sick and die so the rich can keep even more money.
Any senator who votes for such a bill will be openly saying, "I don’t care about my constituents; I only care about people wealthy enough to grubstake my next campaign."
Paul Robinson, Tarpon Springs
Legislature should ban sanctuary cities Nov. 14, commentary
Facts on immigrant crime
In his defense of the argument that the Legislature should ban sanctuary cities, House Speaker Richard Corcoran uses the standard example from two years ago where a woman was gunned down in San Francisco by an illegal alien with five felony convictions. This is tragic for sure, but if immigrants are the cause of most of our violent crime, then surely he could have used factual research from a reputable organization instead of Fox News.
The Cato Institute, an independent public policy research organization, lists study after study showing that immigrants, regardless of legal status, are statistically less likely to be the perpetrators of violent crime compared to native-born citizens. That so many independent studies have come to this conclusion makes one wonder why Corcoran feels he must scare people to embrace his incorrect "alternative facts."
Theresa Cody, St. Petersburg
Teachers can’t win their fight for raises Nov. 14, John Romano column
So John Romano feels that we teachers should just "suck it up," so to speak, concerning our absurdly low pay and the inability of Hillsborough County to cover the promised raises. I have a simple solution. Since much of this mess was created by the Bill Gates Foundation’s "innovations," why not ask Gates to cover the $17 million shortfall? I’m sure that is just pocket change for this innovator who promised us he could solve all our woes.
I, for one, am sick and tired of working for a system that feels we are not worth paying us what is due. Thankfully, I am nearing the end of my career. I don’t know why anyone who is considering entering the teaching profession would subject him or herself to this profession where no one seems to care anymore.
Ronald Medvin, Tampa
No respect for Constitution
Sexual misconduct allegations aside, Roy Moore is not a fit candidate for the Senate. He has twice been removed from the Alabama Supreme Court for failure to abide by the U.S. Constitution and direct orders of the federal courts. The first removal came in 2003 when he refused to remove a monument of the Ten Commandments from the courthouse. The second removal occurred in 2016 for directing probate judges to enforce the state’s ban on same-sex marriages despite the ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court to allow same-sex marriage.
The oath of office for U.S. Senate would require Moore to swear that he will "support and defend the Constitution." How can Moore swear that, given his history of violations of the Constitution and the rule of law?
Shirley Arcuri, Tampa
Unanimous: unqualified | Nov. 16, Daniel Ruth column
Qualifications for bench
Sorry, but Brett Talley meets the legal qualifications for a federal judgeship and only by opinion, perhaps political opinion, is considered unqualified by the American Bar Association.
There are almost no formal qualifications — such as a minimum age or years of experience — for most federal judges. U.S. Court of Appeals and District Court judges are not even required by law to have legal training. In fact, even the Supreme Court of the United States does not require a sitting judge to have a law degree.
There is plenty of precedent in American history for very young people excelling in their professions and on fast tracks to success. Alexander Hamilton was 21 years old in 1776. Mark Zuckerberg launched Facebook at age 19, and a 30-year-old NFL head football coach has turned the L.A. Rams into a contender.
On the other hand, there was the meteoric ascent of Barack Obama, a man with a gifted voice but otherwise nothing else. So maybe you do have a point, Mr. Ruth.
Tom West, Trinity
Trump boasts of Asia trip success | Nov. 16
U.S. reputation in tatters
President Donald Trump stated: "Everywhere we went, our foreign hosts greeted the American delegation, myself included, with incredible warmth, hospitality, and most importantly respect. And this great respect … is further evidence that America’s renewed confidence and standing in the world has never been stronger than it is right now."
Yes, there was a lot of pomp because all the nations know that shiny things hold his attention and disarm him. The reality is the world has lost all confidence in the United States. In a survey done in June 2017, 74 percent of the people from 37 nations said that they had little or no confidence that the United States would do the right thing.
President Barack Obama had restored the confidence of the world in the United States; it took Trump only six months to destroy it and drive it lower than it was at the end of President George W. Bush’s term.
Christopher Radulich, Apollo Beach