Governor mistrusts voters on transit plan | April 10, editorial
Veto maximizes voters' options
I agree with the governor's veto of HB 865 and the editorial when it said, "The Pinellas transit project can proceed without the legislation that Scott vetoed." I also have faith in Pinellas County voters, faith that they will choose to reject a higher sales tax for transit projects like light rail. HB 865 was political sleight of hand that would have robbed the voters from seeing all their options. Maybe they want to keep the ad valorem tax and impose the highest sales tax in the state to pay for light rail. I know I don't, and I bet a majority of voters don't, either.
The governor's veto doesn't "sidetrack" Pinellas' transit plans. On the contrary, voters now have the maximum amount of options. If the proponents of higher tax revenues for transit projects like light rail truly believe voters support their cause, then let's indeed put it to a vote. I assure you, I will be there fighting it every step of the way.
Improved public transportation should be executed with these principles in mind. First, a comprehensive business plan should be drafted that clearly defines the market, costs and goals. Second, any plan should be about filling a need in the marketplace and where possible the PSTA should look for the private sector to provide this service first. Finally, the plan should be carried out as a self-sustaining model that does not require ever-increasing subsidies to implement.
State Rep. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg, District 52
Wrong day for a rant
On the holiest day of the Christian church calendar, your staff managed to put two antireligious stories on the pages of the Perspective section: Jefferson's Bible, which edited out the divinity of Christ; and an atheistic rant by Lawrence Krauss. He is well known for using scientific terminology to publicize his atheist views instead of adding to technical knowledge.
Atheists should be free to disbelieve anything they want to, but why are they so intent on converting everybody else to their beliefs? It's hard not imagine a sinister force behind their actions.
Robert A. Stanton, Seminole
Easter message missing
The Perspective editor makes an interesting point that the Jefferson Bible could be a model for good conduct, which he said is "a nice thought on this Easter Sunday." Except that he failed to mentioned that Jefferson also cut the Easter story out of his book.
Christopher D. Martinez, St. Petersburg
Affordable Care Act
Make it Medicare for all
Let's stop the charade of arguing how to line the pockets of insurance companies by forcing everyone to buy health insurance. We don't want health insurance; we want health care. The only reason we are having the argument is because politicians are beholden to insurance companies, their donations and lobbyists.
The question I want politicians to answer is: Should health care be a privilege or a right? If you believe it's a right, then let's put everyone on Medicare by removing two words in the law: over 65. No 2,200-page law, no new rules, no new loopholes, no societal upheavals. The system is up, working and efficiently serving millions with expenses at about 2 percent, far less than current industry markups of 30 percent.
It may not be perfect, but a good plan today is better than a perfect plan that never arrives. All we need to do is pay for it.
I suggest a modest payroll tax, like FICA, that is shared by the employee and employer. All employers would embrace this simple solution, with a modest cost, that would end the hassles of workplace insurance. It's far cheaper than paying 50 percent of current premiums and all the lost productivity revolving around insurance enrollments, product comparisons, and sick employees that cost them productivity and divert attention from making a profit.
The savings that come from people getting early treatments and avoiding the emergency room will immediately lower real costs dramatically. Medical professionals could, once again, focus on healing rather than billing, and politicians could focus on improving efficiency and effectiveness instead of pandering to their donors.
Kurt Steinmann, Belleair
GOP seizes on its own 'war on women' attack April 13
Mother is a 24-hour job
I may be getting a bit old, but I do not recall anyone making disparaging comments about the current first lady when she was the candidate's wife.
Raising a family, especially in numbers beyond one, doing the volunteer work at schools, seeing that everyone has food and clothing to wear is quite a job. And it's a 24-hour-a-day job.
The Democratic operative's lack of dignity and respect for others is appalling.
P.W. Black, Tampa
Charge: murder | April 12
Law fails defendant, victim
Special prosecutor Angela Corey complains that in the case involving George Zimmerman and the shooting of Trayvon Martin, "so much information got released on this case that never should have been released."
That's right, because Zimmerman was not charged. If it weren't for the unaccountably hazardous "stand your ground" law, Zimmerman would almost certainly have been charged right away, and a good deal of information about the case would not have been released because of the pending court case.
Zimmerman would have had his day in court, whether guilty or innocent, with far less potential for a biased jury, one way or another.
The "stand your ground" law certainly did not protect Trayvon Martin from an untimely death; neither did it protect Zimmerman's right to a fair trial.
Rebecca Hendricks, Clearwater