Tuesday, December 12, 2017
Letters To The Editor

Friday's letters: Workforce, not jobs, will shrink

Obamacare's toll on jobs | Feb. 5

Workforce, not jobs, will shrink

Please tell me what I'm missing. The front-page headline reads, "Obamacare's toll on jobs." Yet the first paragraph clearly states that the Congressional Budget Office is projecting a shrinkage of the workforce, not jobs. The predicted shrinkage of the workforce by the equivalent of 2 million full-time positions is thought to be caused by workers voluntarily reducing or eliminating the number of hours they wish to work.

Isn't this the whole idea? With the Affordable Care Act in force, fewer people will have to work just to have some semblance of health insurance (often with unconscionable restrictions and exclusions). With the labor force voluntarily reduced, more employment opportunities will be created for those unemployed who are seeking work, thereby reducing the unemployment rate. What's wrong with that? Your headline implies that unemployment will somehow be increased through eliminating jobs.

Kelly Anderson, Riverview

Hope for the unemployed

The Congressional Budget Office reported that as many as 2.3 million people could leave their jobs because they only needed them to get health insurance. It seems to me that if that many who did not need to work left their jobs, it would open that many jobs, for possibly the unemployed. Go, Obamacare.

Eric Ager, Clearwater

Keystone XL gets boost | Feb. 1

Bad for the environment

Last week news broke that we are in the 90-day period for public opinion feedback regarding the building of the Keystone XL pipeline. If built, this pipeline would carry the heavy tar sands from Alberta to the Gulf Coast for refining.

Environmentalists are protesting this potential build-out of the pipeline because the tar sands are much thicker and carbon-rich than typical oil, meaning the refining process would release an inordinate amount of carbon into the atmosphere. In addition, highly polluting methane gas may unfortunately also be released in this process.

In short, this is not a good idea. Climatologist Dr. James Hansen of the NASA Goddard Space Institute warns against the building of this pipeline for transporting the Alberta tar sands. In fact, he declared "game over" for saving our delicate environment — which is already obviously teetering — if the pipeline is built.

For some reason, our heads are literally in the sand on this. We must wake up and protest this pipeline being built. Already we've breached 400 parts per million carbon in the atmosphere, when 350 ppm is considered the healthy maximum. We must curb a catastrophe in the making and put our resources into producing green energy, which provides many more new jobs than the pipeline ever would.

Jan Larraine Cox, Clearwater

Savings accounts exist for those who want them | Feb. 4, letter

Minuscule interest income

While I agree with previous writers that the myRA is poorly designed, I have to respond to the writer who opined that an option already exists: a savings account. Are you kidding? Why not just tell people to put money in a jar in the back yard or under a mattress? My current rate of return on my savings account through my bank is 0.01 percent. I have a money market account that gets an astounding 0.70 percent.

Should everyone have a savings account for emergencies or large purchases? Yes. Would a savings account ever pay for someone's retirement? No. Savings accounts are not tax-deferred nor do you get any kind of tax break. There is no rate of return for someone putting in $5 per week.

There should be private market options for low-income people to have retirement accounts for personal responsibility, but to pretend that a savings account is the answer is silly.

Barbara Ticich, New Port Richey

Congress passes 959-page farm bill | Feb. 5

Selective subsidies

The federal government is ready to deliver a crushing blow to millions of homeowners who live in flood zones by increasing flood insurance rates. These rates will force some to go "naked" and not purchase protection. Homeowners who have mortgages will have no choice but to pay the new fees or sell their home. Hardships are created with any of the options.

Under the new farm bill, the feds will pay 62 percent of the premiums for "crop insurance." This amounts to billions of dollars in insurance payments from the government.

Does anyone else find this contradictory or inconsistent?

Gary Folden, Largo

Judge Judy and condoms | Feb. 3, commentary

Don't trifle with creation

In Gina Barreca's column, she states, "Birth control is not a moral issue; it is a medical one." That statement makes pregnancy akin to an illness — a disease. Roman Catholics believe differently. Being a parent links men and women to the miracle of creation. It is an honorable undertaking with repercussions that last forever. The church, the voice of Jesus, counsels that married love is the only setting for sexual union, and that union must be open to the possibility of life. Creation is not to be trifled with.

In today's world, this is a hard position to speak publicly. I am a huge Judge Judy fan, but she got it wrong this time. Condoms won't "free the women of America." Our hearts know that sexual intimacy is a matter of supreme importance. When we act otherwise, we don't tell the truth.

Catherine Plum, Lutz

Lobbying is a basic right | Feb. 5, letter

Laws for sale

The verb "lobby" means to attempt to persuade or influence government. The work of today's "lobbyists" differs somewhat from that definition. Lobbyists do try to persuade, but ultimately they try to purchase legislation. That is true for both liberals and conservatives. Let's call it what it is.

John Dalton, St. Petersburg


Tuesday’s letters: Writer should look to his own mistakes

Is anyone ever wrong anymore? | Dec. 8Writer should look to own errorsIn Mitch Daniels’ article about people who have been wrong, he finishes with the statement that our lives would be greatly improved with more people saying, "I was wrong."He mi...
Published: 12/08/17
Updated: 12/11/17

Monday’s letters: Don’t drill in Arctic refuge

Arctic National Wildlife RefugeStop plan to drill for oil in refugeOur nation faces yet another effort to open up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge reserve to oil and gas drilling. Drilling in the Arctic simply doesn’t make sound financial sense. W...
Published: 12/08/17

Sunday’s letters: Tax bill puts U.S. on right course

The GOP’s regressive tax plans | Dec. 5, editorialTax bill puts U.S. on right courseThe Times is already crying wolf over the new tax cuts, claiming that the new laws "could" result an increase in the national debt of $1.5 trillion over the next ...
Published: 12/07/17

Saturday’s letters: Don’t inject political money into churches

Tax billKeep political cash out of pulpitA provision buried in the 429-page House tax bill, Section 5201, nullifies the Johnson Amendment, which protects houses of worship from partisan politics by prohibiting them from endorsing or opposing politica...
Published: 12/06/17
Updated: 12/07/17

Friday’s letters: Most unpopular tax bill ever

Tax bill clears Senate | Dec. 3The 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. h...
Published: 12/06/17
Updated: 12/07/17

Thursday’s letters: Give your child the gift of reading

Fatherhood Involvement in Literacy CampaignGive your child the gift of readingPart of a successful game plan in sports is identifying plays that can put points on the scoreboard. Whether I was playing quarterback at Florida State or running the point...
Published: 12/05/17
Updated: 12/06/17

Wednesday’s letters: Bill gives small businesses tax relief

Tax bill clears Senate | Dec. 3Small businesses get tax reliefThe Senate and House have now passed their respective tax bills. Once Congress sends a final package to the White House, President Donald Trump will deliver us the most powerful tax re...
Published: 12/04/17
Updated: 12/05/17

Tuesday’s letters: Transplant bill will help Medicare patients

November Letter of the MonthThe winning letter addressed the unresponsiveness of elected officials.Representatives aren’t listeningFor whom do our legislators work? I ask because my Florida senator doesn’t appear to work for me. I drove 27 miles on N...
Published: 12/04/17

Monday’s letters: A citizen’s heroic act

Suspect arrested | Nov. 29A courageous citizen’s actOn Nov. 28, a courageous act occurred in the Tampa Bay area. It was one that law enforcement professionals applaud and hope becomes more frequent. An ordinary citizen did the right thing and spo...
Published: 12/01/17

Saturday’s letters: Historic preservation process needs fixing

A preservation problem | Nov. 25, editorialApplication process needs fixingThere is a reason why smaller rather than larger groups of property owners are getting together to seek historic district designation: It is St. Petersburg’s application p...
Published: 11/30/17
Updated: 12/01/17