Saturday, November 18, 2017
Letters To The Editor

Sunday's letters: The key: Live within means, save

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Retire? A sad reality | July 29

The key: Live within means, save

This article suggests that somehow a government mandate on retirement saving would be far superior to our own voluntary retirement plans. She mentions that a voluntary Social Security system, left up to the people without our government mandating it, would have been a disaster. But it is a disaster as it is.

People on Social Security alone have a rough time surviving, even with an inflation guard. The Times reports this fact frequently. The same government the article suggests will save us all in our retirement is now $16 trillion in debt. Are we supposed to trust this government when it can't even manage to pass a budget and is buried in debt?

The writer also states that a voluntary retirement account plan is a disaster. She couldn't be more wrong. Saving for retirement is our responsibility, and with a little discipline, "we the people" can do a much better job.

Her article tells us that in old age, we need 20 times our annual income to "maintain living standards." Assuming she is correct, let me suggest a simple but disciplined approach without the government's "help." A 20-year-old with an average income of a mere $30,000 per year over his or her working lifetime who consistently saves 10 percent of income will retire at age 65 with over a million dollars in a retirement account (considering 8 percent annual returns).

We don't need more government intervention. We just need to let go of the entitlement attitude that has gripped our nation, work hard, and live within our means.

Dale Sieber, Hudson

Completing our gorgeous waterfront July 29, Robyn Blumner column

Enough places to relax

Robyn Blumner has it backwards with her comparison of the Lens proposal and the High Line in Manhattan. The needs of St. Petersburg residents in regards to public park space are so much different than in Manhattan. In the hustle and constant bustle of that wonderfully crazy city, people are flocking to the High Line park to get away from it all and overlook the mighty Hudson River and even catch a sunset over the water.

In contrast in St. Petersburg, people are seeking activity and action in their city as things can be pretty slow around here at times, especially in the hot and humid seasons we have about half the year.

The present Pier accommodates those wishes, with or without a special event there. Integrating public transit such as a municipal water taxi would only enhance the excitement of the attraction.

There are plenty of places to "get away" from the "hustle and bustle" of St. Petersburg. We don't need to spend $50 million on a traditional pier that offers more solace than we need.

Jeannie Cline, St. Petersburg

Five years of gun deaths | July 29

Looking for context

After skimming over this article, I've concluded the following:

1. Many of the killings were by family members, even a grandmother killing her grandchildren.

2. Many of the killings were by an assailant known by the victims.

3. Many of the killings were by people with mental problems.

4. Many of the killings were by suicidal people.

What I didn't read was what gun law(s) would have prevented any of the above.

So now it's time to be fair. How about a full page of armed citizens who have saved themselves, family, friends, or even people they don't know over the last five years from some assailant by having a firearm?

James Molloy, Pinellas Park

Filling education's leadership void Aug. 2, editorial

Behind the debacle

Thank you for your editorial of support for public education, and for pointing out the poor leadership of Gov. Rick Scott.

It is critical for the public to be aware of how public school teachers have been demonized, scapegoated and not paid properly over the last five years, while the general public view our schools as failing. Many try to blame teachers unions for this demise. I submit that the FCAT debacle and excessive testing are the real reasons for these false perceptions.

David Pike, Odessa

GSA suspends execs' bonuses, freezes hiring July 18

Prosecute the wrongdoers

I have been watching TV interviews of congressmen talking about various government financial scandals. The attitudes of these congressmen, both Republicans and Democrats, is atrocious.

They have done a good job of uncovering fiscal "improprieties" by those who administer (or mismanage) our tax dollars. But uncovering them should be only the first step. Crimes have been committed. Documents have been deliberately altered to cover up the crimes. Where are the arrests? Where are the prosecutions?

If a bank teller steals $100 from the till, he goes to jail. If you or I forge a check, we go to jail.

But government employees routinely steal millions of tax dollars, lie about it, forge papers, and the worst that happens to them, if caught, is that they resign and go on to other careers. Some even retire with full pensions.

Part of the problem is that everybody in Washington is connected to everybody else. No matter whom you might choose to prosecute, he is the brother-in-law or uncle of someone you work with, and well, let's not cause hard feelings.

The criminals need to be prosecuted. That might deter future crimes.

Robert Arvay, Tampa

Fans flock to area Chick-fil-A's | Aug. 2

First Amendment issue

Why didn't this article include the real reason for Chick-fil-A appreciation day?

Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy faces a consumer protest for expressing his opposition to same-sex marriage. Fair enough. Offended, the Democratic mayors of Boston, Chicago and San Francisco threatened to prevent the Georgia-based fast-food company from operating in their cities.

Whether for or against same-sex marriage, what part of the First Amendment do these radical mayors not understand? This was a clear-cut case of suppression and punishment of Cathy's right of free speech.

Even Chick-fil-A's opponents admit they find no instance where the company denied service to a customer, refused to hire someone because of sexual orientation or fired someone for being gay.

John Whelan, Dunedin

Comments

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

Wednesday’s letters: Generosity makes all the difference

National Adoption MonthThe difference generosity makesAs a football coach, I always had to be ready to overcome unexpected challenges. With injuries, crowd noise and especially weather, the game plan is always adjusting to overcome adversity.Our stat...
Published: 11/13/17
Updated: 11/14/17

Monday’s letters: Moore is not fit for public office

Woman: Candidate pursued her as a teen | Nov. 10Moore is not fit for public officeIt is sad that Roy Moore, a self-professed religious man, is running for a Senate seat when he is clearly unfit for any job involving the public for so many reasons...
Published: 11/10/17
Updated: 11/13/17

Monday’s letters: Don’t fall for the tax cut ruse

Tax billDon’t take your eye off the ballThe rush is on. The Republican Congress is rushing to pass a modest tax cut for the middle class while giving corporations a massive tax cut. While taking away some of the tax deductions from ordinary taxpayers...
Published: 11/10/17

Sunday’s letters: End greyhound racing in Florida

Tom Lee wants to phase out greyhound racing | Nov. 8Put a stop to this cruel industryKudos to Sen. Tom Lee for shepherding a constitutional amendment to end greyhound racing in Florida. Greyhounds forced to race live in misery and frequently die ...
Published: 11/09/17
Updated: 11/10/17

Friday’s letters: Hillsborough school making strong progress

Hillsborough school district in financial, leadership crisis | Nov. 5, editorialSchool district’s achievementsWhile I respect the Times’ editors and acknowledge our district is facing financial challenges (facing them head-on, in fact), I feel it...
Published: 11/08/17
Updated: 11/09/17