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