Poverty programs working | Aug. 8, letter
'War on poverty' not sustainable
The letter writer seems to think the more money we throw at the problem of poverty in America the less poverty there will be. She is among millions of well-intentioned voters who act out of compassion without reason. The numbers on many programs under the so-called "war on poverty" are simply not sustainable.
As recently as 2012, 49.1 percent of American homes were receiving some sort of government assistance. That staggering figure is a dark harbinger of where we are heading if the giveaways continue without serious means to eliminate the need for them.
Programs vital to helping those who can't provide for themselves are in danger because of fraud in giveaways that are more politics than passion. The EBT program is for food staples only, not cash in your pocket and beer in the cooler. I was taught that if I abused a privilege, I would likely lose it.
I am not without compassion for my fellow man and donate annually to respectable charities. The war on poverty is not one of compassion, but of economics and moral responsibility. Until we begin treating it as such, the numbers will continue to climb on the negative side.
When are we going to address the real issues leading to the escalating need: babies having babies, single-parent homes, high school dropout rates the highest of any developed nation, plus an overall sense of entitlement?
The idealistic trill of "from those who have to those who have not" has not freed our nation's poor but has made them captive of government. Taking from the producers to supply the nonproducers is a road map to a nation of Detroits.
Dennis Roper, Clearwater
New pier moves city forward Aug. 4, editorial
Let there be light
One of the most important elements of the new pier is the spectacular light show the LED computerized system provides. The lighting system can be constantly changed to reflect the season or display wonderful artistic expression on a grand scale.
The new pier at night has the potential of being a major art destination worldwide with strong community appeal that constantly excites. This important LED element needs to be broadcast to the community because most people seem unaware.
Think of the Vancouver Port, the Sydney Opera House and the St. Louis Gateway Arch. The citizens of St. Petersburg must not let this fabulous opportunity pass.
Ed Oelschlaeger, St. Petersburg
State allowed high rates | Aug. 9, PolitiFact
After reading how Florida Insurance Commission Kevin McCarty did nothing to assist the low-income people of the state by negotiating lower rates for them when the Affordable Care Act goes into effect, I wonder why he has that position and what he does during his other working hours. Other state insurance commissioners negotiated rates with insurance companies, but ours didn't even give it a "college try." Was he just taking a nap with his head down on his desk?
First Gov. Rick Scott wanted to accept the money from the federal government to cover the poorest of our citizens, but no, House Speaker Will Weatherford and Senate President Don Gaetz said that was not a good idea. Now we have McCarty not doing his job.
Weatherford said he will address the "stand your ground" law in hearings, but he put Rep. Matt Gaetz in charge, who has already said he's not changing a word of it.
It has finally made it through my thick skull that we have more of a "do-nothing" Legislature than the federal government. If this is a government "of the people and by the people," where are all "my people" who are outraged by this exhibition of poor state management?
Stand up and be counted; it is the only way we can make changes. Start yelling and maybe they will hear you in Tallahassee, that is unless they are all taking naps at their desks.
Rosanne Paris, Palm Harbor
If today's headline and related article did not make your blood boil, then I say you deserve to pay the consequences of our legislators' actions.
I, on the other hand, am infuriated by their selfish and ignorant decisions based solely (apparently) on their dislike for the president. Their behavior reminds me of the typical playground bully. It shouldn't matter what your political leanings are — we, the people of Florida, have again been left "holding the bag," which is going to cost us more money while our elected officials sit content with some of the best health insurance (provided by us) at little or no cost (paid by us). Why should they worry? It's time for a real change.
K. Sanford, Dunedin
Letters | Aug. 8
Voters roused to action
After reading Thursday's letters, I see that more and more voters are realizing that the real problem with our state government is our elected officials. The party in power is not there to govern; they are there for their own personal gain.
I hope more voters see that we, not campaign funds, have the power to elect legislators. If we all do our part, we can make the changes needed for all the people in Florida.
Richard Gentile, Tampa
Put limits on federal snooping Aug. 5, editorial
Keeping the public safe
I'm all for civil liberties. I'm also for knowing I'm safe. It seems like there are trade-offs to achieve every goal. Where I live it's illegal to have open fires in your backyard. Is that an infringement on my freedom? Maybe. But I still think it's a pretty good idea.
I don't care if the NSA is watching my emails or Web surfing activity. Whoever gets stuck with that is going to die of boredom. Same with my phone activity.
If that monitoring prevents another tragedy like what happened in Benghazi, or the World Trade Center or the Boston Marathon, I'm all for it.
"Black box"-type devices are being incorporated into new vehicle design. This is a great idea. Accident causes will no longer be a forensic puzzle to solve by weeks of analysis. If you drive like a lunatic, maybe a bit of monitoring is a good idea.
Jeff Cutting, Brandon