Romney: Nearly half 'believe they are victims' | Sept. 18
He meant freeloaders like this
I am 76 years old and have a 51-year-old ex-friend. He receives disability checks every month along with free medical, eyeglasses, dental, prescriptions, cellphone, cable TV and transportation to doctors, and half off his apartment rent from the government.
Three nights a week he can be found at Veterans Field in Spring Hill playing softball and running the bases. I recently asked him if it bothered him that across the country Americans were getting up at 4 a.m. and going to work to support him while he lies in bed until 3 p.m.
His answer: No way; that's how I am able to get the check.
Those are the people Mitt Romney is talking about. You know it and I know it.
John Masterson, Spring Hill
Romney: Nearly half 'believe they are victims' | Sept. 18
We're all dependent
There are so many things wrong with Mitt Romney's 47 percent claim, it is difficult to know where to start. However, I would like to mention two points that have not (or only rarely) been mentioned.
Every day, 100 percent of Americans depend on the government for innumerable benefits. We drive on streets built by the government, we are protected by the FDA from (most) tainted food, we count on the government to ensure that our garbage is picked up and that the sewage is treated before being dumped back into our waterways, and we expect safe drinking water. We want our children, grandchildren and fellow citizens to be educated. And of course, we want the government's assistance when a hurricane or tornado or oil spill threatens our people and land. If expecting the government to provide significant goods makes one a moocher, then every American is a moocher.
Also, if the irresponsible 47 percent (according to Romney) are firmly in Obama's pocket, why is it that only one of the states that has the smallest percentage of citizens who pay income tax are strongly blue states? This makes no sense.
Hugh LaFollette, St. Petersburg
Bottom line: suspicious
First Mitt Romney refuses to let the American people see his personal income tax returns. Then he attacks Americans who pay no income tax.
Is there a connection here?
Richard Feigel, St. Petersburg
Tampa looks to add new museum | Sept. 14
Artists starving for support
I am a Tampa artist and art instructor who has been in the Tampa Bay area for over 30 years. I teach art classes at Hyde Park Art Studio, which is a thriving hands-on studio with jewelry, clay, and painting and drawing classes — despite substandard facilities — that produces the wonderful "Made by Hand" Art Show, now in its eighth year. Imagine what the Hyde Park Art Studio could be if we actually had support and new facilities instead of a third museum in the same area at Curtis Hixon Park, using a waterfront piece of property that could be more fulfilling as an entertainment/restaurant complex.
Why aren't local artists being supported in Tampa? If you want to build an art museum there, then make it an art museum for local artists. Tampa has a vibrant art, film and music community, but we have no place or support to show our artwork or for the bay area community to view and enjoy it. Another art museum would not have any viability when the Tampa Art Museum is right next door.
Tim Gibbons, Tampa
Scrutiny for all
I'm a 23-year resident of Pinellas County and recently moved 6 miles within the county. Based on my experience changing my address on my driver's license, there should be no such thing as voter fraud or illegal immigrants receiving government benefits. Besides my current valid driver's license, I had to produce my original Social Security card, my passport, auto registration and two current bills with the new address. I have no problem with this — provided that everyone else around the country is subject to the same scrutiny. Apparently this is not the case, or there wouldn't be so many horror stories in the news every week.
Peter Ford, St. Petersburg
School volunteers decry screening fee | Sept. 20
Two key questions
I am the mother of a middle school student and I fully support efforts to protect our children. I am also sure that smart parents and school employees will solve the problem of fees to pay for volunteers' background checks. But your article left me with two questions. What criteria are schools using to disqualify a volunteer? And would background checks have prevented any of the cases cited in this article? I worry about the tendency to give the results of these screenings more value than they merit.
Margaret Abbey, St. Petersburg
Scott hogs credit for FACT changes | Sept. 17
It was wonderful to read from PolitiFact Florida Gov. Rick Scott's willingness to accept much of the credit for changes that have been going on for years. In his most recent commercial he exclaimed how he and the Republican House and Senate gave the school system a billion dollars in the last budget. Isn't that the same billion they took away from the school system the year before? I think this fits "Pants on Fire."
Robert Lloyd, Ruskin
I am confused.
I keep hearing that the economy is still sluggish and that many Americans are struggling to make ends meet. Yet once again, Apple releases the new iPhone and sales are through the roof. I cannot believe that only the "1 percenters" are buying this phone.
Where are our priorities?
Ronald Medvin, Tampa
County to raise tax rate 5 percent | Sept. 19
Blame the state
Of course they will deny it, but Rick Scott and the Republicans in Tallahassee just raised taxes.
Did they actually finalize this tax increase? No, they don't have the guts to do it themselves. But they sent the counties a huge Medicaid bill, knowing full well that the counties would need to either raise taxes or raise fees or rates.
Bottom line is that we will be paying more taxes because of the state's incompetence in the Medicaid billing system.
Dan Favero, St. Petersburg