Congress should shrink itself
"Small government" is a movement that I have grown to hate. One segment of the ruling class has made this their mantra for moving forward. There are elements of the government that need shrinking but this mantra does not go far enough.
Those espousing "small government" are applying the term only to taxpayers — reducing the types and amounts of services that citizens (needy or not) may be eligible for by today's standards and rules.
These same folks are not applying the term to themselves. In four areas, Congress avails itself of higher benefits than the private sector. Congress enjoys: Pension benefits above those available to the private sector; lower health insurance costs by receiving roughly 75 percent of the premium costs from government funds; enrollment in the Thrift Savings Plan, similar to a 401K; and a higher initial Social Security benefit thanks to their higher salaries.
Congress was allowed to exclude itself from Obamacare. Add in higher life insurance benefits, more paid sick leave, and higher wages, the total comes to 34 percent higher wages than the private sector and 70 percent better benefits for health coverage, according to the Cato Institute. Many staff members and aides earn more than $100,000 per year, a number that is almost double the median of U.S. private sector workers.
Until Congress talks about "small government" not only for citizens but for themselves, I will continue to question its credibility and sincerity. The ruling class (read both parties here) has raised itself to a level that smacks of elitism.
Robert Widmar, Weeki Wachee
Nugent, tea party are hypocrites
On Oct. 2, two days after the government shutdown, U.S. Rep. Richard Nugent attended a photo opportunity at the World War II Memorial in Washington D.C. with World War II veterans and U.S. Rep. Michelle Bachmann of Minnesota. Surprisingly, Mr. Nugent voted to defund our government which closed this very prestigious memorial. Has Washington lost its integrity?
Later, he expressed his concern about the defunding of Head Start and the aviation support facility in Brooksville both programs in Hernando County. If Mr. Nugent was so concerned, why did he vote against funding our government?
The tea party is the party of deception and hypocrisy. Mr. Nugent certainly doesn't represent a majority of people of Hernando County.
Vito J. Delgorio Sr., Spring Hill
Liberal DeWitt misses the mark
It appears that columnist Dan DeWitt has a personal vendetta against those who do not agree with his own politics. His criticism of tea party member Hamilton Hanson's ideas about how this county can save money is equivocated to nuttiness and he criticizes others such as U.S. Rep. Rich Nugent as fringe.
This is so typical of the liberal left politics: Point fingers; name call, and don't dare tell the truth about the entire situation. Mr. DeWitt appears to have sipped a bit too much from the Obama Kool-Aid, and it shows in his rhetoric.
Don't criticize those taking an active, solid, consistent stance for what they believe in. If things were going great in this county, and country for that matter, our property taxes and insurance wouldn't be increasing, nor would there be a high level of unemployment.
Lori Eley, Spring Hill
Ideas on disabled just plain goofy
Hamilton Hanson's ideas are clownish and having people of the Glenn Beck fan club show up at every County Commission meeting makes me sick. Hanson told me all disabled people should go back in to group homes
The greatest priority should be given to implementation of community-based services that will enable individuals with disabilities to achieve their greatest potential for independent and productive living, enabling them to live in their own home in their communities.
David Philipsen, Weeki Wachee
Pit bull needs to be leashed
Last week, my husband was walking our leashed dogs when a brown and white pit bull ran toward them and grabbed hold of one of our dogs.
Our pet had to have 20 stitches to the side of her neck and had two bite wound on her abdomen, and my husband was bitten as well.
Our dog had to have emergency surgery costing $500 and my husband required a tetanus shot and will need to receive a series of rabies vaccines.
I cannot thank my kind, compassionate, caring neighbors who never budged from their homes to help. And, to the dog's owner, if that pit bull of yours comes on my lawn unleashed, Spring Hill will have one less pit bull. In case the owner doesn't know it, or doesn't care, there is a leash law.
Margaret Berry, Spring Hill