Nugent off mark on debt ceiling
In U.S. Rep. Rich Nugent's July 24 letter, he states that the "onus is on the president to prioritize" payments to various groups if an agreement on raising the debt ceiling is not reached by Aug. 2. Raising the debt ceiling is about providing funds for expenses the country has already incurred, not about developing a budget for the future. The process of raising the debt ceiling has occurred over 20 times in recent years in both Republican and Democratic administrations, without the ridiculous theatrics taking place now.
The reason this country's debt is so attractively priced is that it has the full faith and credit of the U.S. government behind it. Once we abandon that pledge it will be more difficult and more expensive to convince others to accept our debt. There is simply no telling how the financial markets, corporate America and foreign creditors will react.
Finally, I couldn't but smile at his closing comment that "we are all in this together." Somehow I don't think Mr. Nugent's financial situation is similar to the typical local resident.
Tom Welter, Trinity
Broken promises make leader unfit
U.S. Rep. Rich Nugent needs to answer the following questions:
1) How many dollars have been borrowed to pay Medicare claims for the past 40 years ?
2) How many dollars have been borrowed to pay Social Security claims in the past 60 years ?
Neither program has contributed one cent to the deficit. I and millions of other Americans have paid into these programs our whole lifetime of employment, and I will not willingly let him or any of his Republican ilk take them away just to let the rich pay less taxes.
What the Republican Party would like to do is not pay back the almost $3 trillion borrowed from the Social Security and Medicare trust funds. This money was borrowed over the years to reduce taxes. Then the Bush administration borrowed even more for the wars, and cut taxes at the same time. So now the Republicans want to lower the deficit by not paying that money back, forcing seniors to pay more and reduce the taxes on the rich.
That money was paid in via FICA taxes over the years and not income taxes. Rep. Nugent needs to know we are aware of his actions and it just shows he is not fit to be our congressman. In his short campaign for office, he pledged to protect Social security and Medicare. Now he has gone against that pledge. His behavior is appalling.
Jon Knudson, Spring Hill
What a Tea Party America would look like | July 22 guest column
Tea party wants lean government
It is quite apparent the guest columnist is an advocate of a big government concept. It seems to be his belief that a collectivist society manipulated and controlled by the mandates of central planners in Washington is the way for the country to proceed.
His latest venture is to castigate the tea party folks through the use of distorted logic. In his lead paragraph, he acknowledges that the tea party folks believe in "smaller government with less regulation of our personal freedom." However, in his follow up narrative, he uses the old broad brush technique to create the impression that their philosophy will result in an irresponsible government which fails to serve its citizens in a responsible manner.
To the contrary, people who believe in constitutional government, including but not limited to the tea party folks, will not tolerate a bloated, inefficient and wasteful government. To be quite certain, they look forward to the day when a lean, efficient federal government performs its duties within the constraints of the United States Constitution.
The United States Constitution was designed to circumscribe the powers of the federal government and thereby prevent it from intruding on the American spirit of self-reliance and individual accountability. In that respect, the Constitution does not authorize Washington politicians and bureaucrats to trample on individual rights by means of confiscatory taxation, profligate spending, social engineering and the redistribution of wealth.
The disgust and outrage of the American public toward Washington is not restricted to the tea party folks. It just so happens that they are the most visible which makes them a convenient target for ridicule and disparagement by those who favor the left wing, big government agenda. It is well to keep in mind, however, that the tea party did not create the $14.5 trillion debt that now hangs around the necks of the American people like an albatross.
Jack B. McPherson, New Port Richey
Traffic needs better policing
The New Port Richey red light cameras reveal that the police have not been doing their jobs. All this could have been prevented if there was a concerted effort to enforce existing traffic.
Police car flashing lights should always be to show that offenders of all kinds are being reprimanded. That would solve the monkey-see monkey-do syndrome that prevails on our roads. Just seeing a sheriff or police cruiser usually gets people's attention, but when a car is in front of that cruiser, it becomes a very real reminder that there are penalties for bad driving actions.
Aldo Boselli, New Port Richey
If we have $1.1M, why all the cuts?
Every budget year Sheriff Bob White claimed he did not have enough money to run the department. Now his handpicked successor (with the help of Gov. Rick Scott) does not need $1.1 million.
While library hours were being reduced, pools closed, maintenance for parks reduced, county employees losing jobs, and other cuts being made, there was $1.1 million available. Is our County Commission asleep? If the budget was over-funded by $1.1 million in the current year, I would expect the County Commission to reduce the upcoming sheriff's budget by at least that amount.
Increase library hours, open pools, return the services you have taken away from the taxpayers.
Lynn W. Lindeman, Hudson
Re: Internet cafes
Tax gambling for state's benefit
Wow, isn't it wonderful to know what our attorney general and our police forces are doing? Who is looking for the bad guys?
When will this state get smart and allow gambling so the state can tax it? Maybe this state wouldn't be so broke then.
Sharon DeMaria, Hudson
Decreasing river's flow is harmful
The state of Florida, through its acolyte agency Southwest Florida Water Management District, has proposed decreasing the flow rate of the Chassahowitzka River by 15 percent.
Why would they do this and how? And what would the consequences be? These questions were asked at a public workshop held in Lecanto last week.
The apparent answer is that the water is needed for new development along the Nature Coast. As water is withdrawn from the Floridan aquifer to supply the new development the flow of springs and rivers in the area is reduced. This includes Chassahowitzka, Homosassa, Crystal and Weeki Wachee Rivers and the springs that supply them.
The consequences will be environmental damage on a scale not yet seen on the Nature Coast because, as the rivers' flow is decreased, salt water intrudes from the gulf, killing fresh and brackish water species.
Doug Leeper of Swiftmud verified what many local residents have seen; that encroaching sea water has already had this effect on the outer shores along the coast. Fishermen report palm trees dying at the mouth of the river. Doug showed a graph predicting a rise over the next 30 years of at least 6 additional inches. Considering the destruction of habitat that is forecast due to increase in sea level, it seems irresponsible to decrease the flow of these rivers even further by permitted pumping from the already stressed aquifer.
Russell J. Watrous, Land O'Lakes
We would pay for the rich to play
Our British cousins have shown what happens to news when it's Murdochized — putting a newspaper in bed with politicians. But the Pasco Times knows how the game works when cheerleader/reporter Lee Logan writes a one-sided story on Commissioner Jack Mariano being a monumental pusher of more destruction of Pasco wetlands, gulf waters and pristine aquifer-fed lakes at a place called SunWest.
Does the article mention the thousands of upscale houses and a resort to be built, or the widening and lengthening of a canal to enable the rich to park their yachts in freshwater that the federal protectors of our Florida wilderness (we no longer have state protectors) say is the biggest single destruction of unique and delicate water resources in Florida's history? Of course not. Whether pushing drugs or commercial dreams, the pusher doesn't want you to see the ultimate devastation their actions will cause.
Instead, Logan and Mariano try to lull us by throwing a few bones our way: Wake boarding (very popular among elderly taxpayers), beaches, boat ramps and maybe even volleyball! Again we pay for the wealthy to play. Don't forget that while this commissioner is selling you a chance to look at a wealthy enclave from your little beach, they are demanding a fee from you above the taxes you pay to enjoy the parks we already have.
Daniel Callaghan, New Port Richey