Haridopolos admits to ethics slip | Dec. 4
Senate leader should step down
Mike Haridopolos should step down. One of his first actions as president was to appoint Jim Norman, another ethics violator, as a committee chairman. Now he is exposed for false reporting.
He claims no one pointed out his error, so he repeated it year after year. He says as a college teacher he should have filled out the forms correctly. How does he manage to correctly fill out his complicated federal income tax forms? This is shades of U.S. Rep. Charles Rangel.
Now he is considering running for Bill Nelson's job. There is a senator named George LeMieux who has already had on-the-job training. Haridopolos should stick to his college teaching job and audit a course on ethics.
Peter J. Brock, Sun City Center
Not what Florida needs
For all of those who believe Florida Senate President Mike Haridopolos made a minimal, unintentional error in the accounting for his $400,000 home and his $120,000 consulting fee over four years, I have some property on the moon I'd like to sell them.
If Haridopolos makes $520,000 "ethical errors," he should not be a Florida legislator. We need someone with smarts in Tallahassee, especially as the Senate president.
If Haridopolos is the one calling the shots in the Florida Senate, our government is in a world of hurt.
Walter Gay, Dunedin
Let them expire
All of the Bush tax cuts should be allowed to expire at the end of this year. After seeing the effects of this policy for the last 10 years, I'm convinced that these tax cuts have done a lot of economic damage to our country. I have not seen any of the benefits that were claimed for these tax cuts when they were passed.
My own income is modest, so allowing all the tax cuts to expire means that my taxes will go up. I'm willing to do my part.
Frederick Berg, Tampa
All should pay their share
The Bush tax cuts have nothing to do with our present economic situation; that was caused by the collapse of the housing bubble.
If we need to raise taxes in the middle of such a fragile economy, then raise them for everybody. We are all Americans; we don't sacrifice based on class. I say this as a person who is well under the $250,000 income being currently debated but also as a person who doesn't want to see class warfare destroy the will and motivation for the job creators to do what they do.
Jeff Reckson, St. Petersburg
Well-off should pay more
America prospered when tax rates for the wealthy were above 80 percent from 1918 to 1980, but now the wealthy somehow can't be asked to pay 39.5 percent.
We hear that we must protect small businesses, but any business with over $250,000 in taxable income must have a gross income of at least $1.5 million. This is not a small business.
No one seems to make the essential moral argument that the wealthy, who have benefited immensely from our free enterprise system, have an implicit obligation to contribute at least a small percentage more of their income to the nation, with its dire current needs.
This argument is certainly made in the Bible: "For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more."
Bruce L. Marsh, Ruskin
Citizens must be informed
WikiLeaks has exposed serious problems with how our government conducts its business.
The government's approach to containment reveals grievous threats to citizens' freedom to know. Officials appear to be exerting subtle pressures on both foreign governments and businesses who assist WikiLeaks. The arm-twisting sends a clear message: Expose our back-room deals and we will get you.
Our founding fathers understood that an informed citizenry is basic to a free and democratic government. Much as I deplore the damage done by WikiLeaks, I applaud their right to act.
Jay Hall, Tampa
New reality in the U.S.: forever jobless Dec. 3
Older workers are key
As a person between jobs for an extended period of time and an example of the skilled, knowledgeable, responsible and mature workforce in America, this article sent shivers down my spine.
Russ Muncy of Tampa thinks prospective employers are "definitely … not even looking at you" if they know you've been out of work a long time.
I know from experience that this thought is prevalent among hiring managers and in HR departments. But I think these same skilled, learned and experienced people are the very workers whom this country needs to help bring this economy back.
Guy M. Neuf, Lutz
Scott's tour is in and out of the public eye Dec. 8
What is Scott hiding?
So much for the Sunshine Law and transparency. Gov.-elect Rick Scott receives about $100,000 to tour industries for five days. (How do you spend $20,000 a day meeting with industries?)
The meetings with these industries are secret. No media allowed. What is he hiding?
Esther Kirk, Riverview
Doctor's visit could be by video, e-mail or telephone | Dec. 2
Old practice is new again
Call a doctor and get a prescription? What an innovation! I did that back in the '60s when my kids were sick. Doctors didn't demand that you "come in" (so they could charge a fee) like now.
I suppose if you've never seen the doctor, a case can be made for a visit, but the paralegal in the article should have been able to call her own doctor, describe her problem, and have her/him call in a prescription to the drugstore.
This would certainly cut costs, but providers are not interested in cutting costs but increasing them. Maybe this "innovation" can give the millions who have lost their jobs and who have no health insurance an inexpensive alternative to our insurance-run system. But chances got slimmer on Nov. 2 with all the "campaign contributors" dictating our legislation.
Elly Wencka, Tampa