Thursday, November 23, 2017
Letters To The Editor

Sunday's letters: Refundable carbon tax is best bet


A Republican solution to stem climate change | June 29

Refundable carbon tax is best bet

Thank you for your recent coverage of various well-known government officials and opinion writers who are in favor of a carbon tax. One particular kind of carbon tax (if it can even be called a "tax") has not been mentioned, even though it is by far the best one for the economy. That kind is one in which the revenue collected is returned totally and evenly to all consumers.

This past week such a revenue-neutral carbon tax proposal was presented to over 500 federal legislative offices. Each presentation was by five people from Citizens Climate Lobby, an organization that had more than 600 of its volunteers in Washington, D.C., specifically to give those presentations.

In addition to understanding climate change, all those volunteers were armed with a recent study from Regional Economic Models Inc. that showed their program would generate 2.2 million jobs and raise the gross domestic product by $80 billion to $90 billion in 10 years. There would be 13,000 fewer deaths from the effects of fossil fuel emissions each year, and many catastrophic economic impacts of global warming would be avoided.

It seems to me that any legislator can and should support a revenue-neutral carbon tax for its economic and health benefits.

John E. Darovec Jr., Bradenton

Unemployment insurance

3 million still need help

Members of the House and Senate are again introducing legislation to renew the emergency benefits of unemployment insurance. A bill passed the Senate in April that would have done this, but it was ignored by the House and quietly died June 1. The new legislation removes the retroactive provision of the previous bill, which was exceptionally egregious to Republican members.

I am among those whose benefits were cut. I have been both surprised and saddened by the lack of protest against and coverage of this issue. There are 3 million of us. Are we so numbed by the political process that we expect nothing from Washington and will lay down like sheep in the slaughterhouse? And media coverage has been confined to specialty websites.

How many individuals will lose their homes, run up huge credit card debt and go broke because of this? The congressmen who are roasting us on the spit won't need unemployment insurance — we will keep voting for them. Shame on us.

Stephen Murphy, Tampa

Ruling hits Obamacare | July 1

It's a man's world

It's not a surprise that a court dominated by conservative old men would consider it their right to restrict a woman's right to choose her contraceptive tool. Just don't touch their Viagra.

Warren Klein, Oldsmar

An attack on liberty

The court's decision did not "hit" Obamacare; it hits thousands of women who work for companies that claim the right to impose their religious beliefs on their employees. Our country was founded on religious freedom and I find this ruling to be contrary to that.

Diane Pearson, Dunedin

Religious preference

This ruling opens the door to the installation of the Christian organized religion as the de facto U.S. national religion. If this had been a different religion and objection under that faith, the outcome would have been different.

Damon Castle, Clearwater

Birth control choices

The Supreme Court ruling regarding Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties has started a firestorm of criticism. But over what? The companies did not challenge all 20 birth control methods in the Affordable Care Act, just those four that cause abortions.

Liberals drag out the same tired scare tactic of "endangering a woman's health." Just because you have to pay for something doesn't mean your health is in danger — you're not "sick," you're pregnant, and it's not a disease. If you're old enough to have sex, then you're old enough to pay for your own birth control.

Debra Ford, St. Petersburg

Big tent or pup tent? | June 29, Daniel Ruth column

Move beyond sarcasm

Daniel Ruth's comparison of Mississippi state Sen. Chris McDaniel's conservative platform to deposed Egypt's Mohamed Morsi and the Klu Klux Klan is a vicious character assassination. Is he really implying that the 49 percent of Mississippi citizens who voted for McDaniel have dead brain synapses and are potential "terrorist supporters"?

The public's need for in-depth analysis in today's world requires more than character assassination and sarcasm. Our country has been targeted by real "terrorists" who want to attack us again.

Pat Jenkins, St. Petersburg


Lessons from history

I could not understand why so many voters, particularly low- to middle-income members of the Republican Party, continue to re-elect leaders who don't have their interests in mind. Then I remembered the song Cool, Cool Considerate Men from the musical 1776 — worth watching over this holiday weekend.

The piece is sung by the monied Congress members who continue to vote against the Declaration of Independence because it would risk their prominence. They ask John Hancock, himself a man of prominence, why he sides with John Adams in favor of independence.

John Dickinson: Mr. Hancock, you're a man of property. … Why do you persist on (siding) with Mr. Adams? Be careful, sir. History will brand Mr. Adams and his followers as traitors.

John Hancock: To what? The British crown? Or the British half-crown? Fortunately, there are not enough men of property in America to dictate policy.

John Dickinson: Well, perhaps not. But don't forget that most men with nothing would rather protect the possibility of becoming rich than face the reality of being poor. And that is why they will follow us. …To the right, ever to the right …

Terri Benincasa, Palm Harbor


Friday’s letters: Find private investors for a new stadium

Opening offer from Rays on stadium sounds too low | Nov. 17, editorialFind private investors for stadiumThe Rays "offered" to pay 18.75 percent of the costs? How outrageously presumptuous to say that they offered! Put another way, they demanded t...
Published: 11/21/17
Updated: 11/22/17

Thursday’s letters: Tax plan won’t help wages

Tax billThis won’t help stagnant wagesThe unfair tax proposal that cuts taxes for the rich and most powerful and cuts the ability of working people to claim any comparable deductions is no more than another greedy power grab by the rich and powerful....
Published: 11/20/17
Updated: 11/22/17

Wednesday’s letters: Breaking down health data

Don’t let news on blood pressure raise yours | Nov. 17, commentaryBreaking down health numbersThank you for publishing the timely commentary by Dr. H. Gilbert Welch on blood pressure. The point he makes about relative risks versus absolute risks ...
Published: 11/20/17
Updated: 11/21/17

Tuesday’s letters: Disgraceful tax proposals

Tax billDisgraceful, harmful proposalsThe very fact that the Congress of the people of the United States would propose, not to mention pass, the current tax bill is nothing short of disgraceful. What sort of representatives of the people support cutt...
Published: 11/20/17

Monday’s letters: Doctors should speak up on harassment

Sexual harassmentDoctors need to speak upThe recent widespread recognition, followed by disapproval, of sexual harassment across many workplaces signals a paradigm shift in social attitudes toward abuse of power that is long overdue.The male-dominate...
Published: 11/17/17

Saturday’s letters: Reservoir project off to a good start

Lake OkeechobeeReservoir project off to good startThis year, more than 70,000 Floridians contacted their legislators to support expediting a reservoir project south of Lake Okeechobee. Another 150 business people, anglers, health care professionals a...
Published: 11/15/17
Updated: 11/17/17

Sunday’s letters: Roundabout way to help the rich

Senate GOP’s tax plan to kill ACA mandate | Nov. 15Devious way to hurt middle classSo, let’s see if we have this straight. The proposed amendment to the Senate tax plan, to kill the individual mandate, will cause young people to not buy health in...
Published: 11/15/17
Updated: 11/17/17

Friday’s letters: Stop laying blame on teachers

Hillsborough teachers are set to protest | Nov. 14Stop laying blame on teachersI am a veteran teacher, coming up on 30 years of service to public education. My mother was also an educator, clocking over 40 years of service in public education. Sh...
Published: 11/15/17
Updated: 11/16/17

Pasco Letters to the Editor for Nov. 17

Questioning fees draws snarky responseYou are probably aware of the new Pasco utility fees that became effective last month.Under the dubious title of "convenience fee" for making utility payments by credit card or e-check, Pasco Utilities adds $2.75...
Published: 11/15/17

Dollars need to stay at home if south Brooksville is to survive

As a member of the Moton High School Class of 1967, I grew up a poor but very happy child because of the love given to me by all. So all I had to do was be a child and not rush to be an adult.There were many black businesses along a four-block area o...
Published: 11/14/17
Updated: 11/22/17