We all benefit from government
Yes, Ronald Reagan thought government was the problem. But let's put aside for a moment the foolishness of putting a man in charge of government who hates government. Let's forget for a moment that the "fiscal conservative" brought us the largest deficit (up to that time) in this country's history.
Let's focus on that nasty old government. Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, bridges, highways, ports, streets, parks, the police, fire departments, the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force. Fresh water, clean air, safe food and drugs (yes, it's true, these last three have lately been compromised, but that's what happens when you put people in charge of the government who have no respect for government).
And all of these things are brought to you with your tax dollars. That's what the government does. Anyone out there who doesn't use or benefit from these things? Anyone?
Steve Harden, Holiday
Live within our means
Why is it that our state and county governments are having so many problems with trying to manage their budgets? They, like the majority of individuals when times were good, made commitments and spent money they couldn't count on being there. Who in their right mind thought that real estate prices would continue to climb above their already overinflated values?
Greed and the lack of fiscal constraint have caused this problem, and the only way to solve it is to let things return to the "norm." Before the state and county had all that extra tax money, they seemed to manage just fine.
It's time for our elected officials to do their jobs and stop trying to maintain the "status quo." They should reduce all of the unnecessary programs that were put in place when times were good and return to a more realistic manner of providing services.
Larry Lunsford, Wesley Chapel
Crist allies fire at stimulus | Feb. 24, story
GOP doesn't seem to care about average workers
In the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, Republican representatives are proving that they do not care about all their constituents and continue to endorse the rich and corporate America, which has economically destroyed this country beginning in 2000.
What is it that is so despised by Republicans who continually beat down the average American worker, who is still fortunate to have a job? What is it that Republicans want further in already destroying the economic structure of our country?
President Obama may not be liked or welcomed, but at least he doing something to revive the heartbeat of our country in the average working class, which makes or breaks the economic strength of America.
Jack Burlakos, Kenneth City
Kottkamp's cost on road: $60,000 | Feb. 23
Steve Bousquet's column was a shocker. Lt. Gov. Jeff Kottkamp's travel expenses go beyond the pale. A driver on call 24/7, and this escort is a Florida Highway Patrol captain being paid $62,000 in travel expenses alone. This is in addition to the captain's base pay. Is this being a good steward of Florida citizens' money?
The idea that Kottkamp must ride in a state car, fly in a state airplane and pay per diem to his driver, because the driver claims his home in Fort Myers, smacks of waste and disregard for our important commitments.
When "Every single expense needs to be justified," as Senate President Jeff Atwater said, what is the rationale for these behaviors? Gov. Charlie Crist wants to accept our part of a stimulus package. That is okay with me, but what the dickens are they going to do with it? Private planes for the governor and lieutenant governor, and this state-paid driver on call at any and all hours for Kottkamp is unconscionable. I intend to write to Gov. Crist as well.
Lilyan Dayton, New Port Richey
Charlie Crist will make a great senator. He'll fit right in with the Washington crowd. Once again he has proved that he is all fluff and no meat. His budget, which is based on receiving one-time federal money, is laughable for its lack of making any hard decisions.
Like many others, I played kick the can when I was younger. I had no idea that some day people could make a living by simply kicking the can down the road.
Rick Shale, Homosassa
Grover's mad? Horrors! | Feb. 20, Daniel Ruth column
Give us more
Dan Ruth's Friday column on Charlie Crist having upset the radical right wing of his party by being (gadzooks!) responsible, was pure poetry. In a world sorely in need of Mr. Ruth's craft, insight, and rare ability to make people laugh while speaking truth to power, my only regret is that we must wait until the next Friday to get more. Surely his is a medicine you could administer to the body politic more than once per week.
Cameron Dilley, Tampa
Evangelist pushes back against IRS | Feb. 24, story
Bill Keller and other clergy better check the words of Jesus Christ himself in the Gospels. When questioned by opponents whether it was acceptable to pay taxes to Rome, Jesus asked for a coin. He then asked, "Whose image is on this coin?" The answer was "Caesar's image." Jesus responded, "Render unto Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's."
Also, when questioned by Pontius Pilate whether he claimed to be a king, Jesus responded, "My kingdom is not of this world."
If the Gospels can be trusted, Jesus never condoned political involvement with faith and religion. Clergy should not take political positions for or against politicians or parties without losing their tax exemptions. They should follow Jesus and remain aloof from politics.
Charles L. Sodaro, Tarpon Springs
A mean streak?
I agree that Russell Rhodes' behavior was newsworthy at the time of the incident. However, you have printed the picture of his battered face numerous times along with the stories. But now that he is back on the air and WTVT is giving him another chance, what's your beef?
I'd say you just have a very bad mean streak and need to assess your own faults!
Barbara Specht, St. Petersburg