Mortgage plan finally gets serious | May 19, editorial
Too many looking for a handout
Am I the only person who sees the glaring unreasonableness of the federal Hardest Hit Fund Principal Reduction Program? How is it fair that people who have knowingly taken on the responsibility of repaying their mortgage, but now find their homes financially underwater, are justifiably entitled to receive government assistance at taxpayer expense?
Speaking for myself and others who have faithfully paid down their mortgage, perhaps we would have been in a better position had we become delinquent in our repayments. After all, most of us find that our homes are appreciably less valuable than when we first bought them. Just because the real estate market has depreciated the value of our homes, does that make them any less livable or attractive? Have things changed so much since we first applied for that initial loan? Perhaps we have taken on more debt that has impacted our ability to repay our mortgage? Whose fault might that be?
Homes are like any investment. There are risks and downsides. Why must we look to government for a handout, usually at the expense of those who have honored their commitments?
Earl A. Myers Jr., Tampa
The Times 10: Tampa's biggest public companies | May 11
Rethink executive pay
It is admirable to see the great work of Tampa Bay corporations in bringing jobs and economic growth to our area, which does so much to benefit thousands of people as documented in your article. It is also encouraging to see comments by some of the executives who advocate improving education, reducing crime, upgrading the infrastructure and supporting the arts in our community. Much good is being accomplished.
However, seeing the exceedingly high level of compensation led me to a thought I never had before: Why? Why in the millions, ranging from $1.7 million to $13.8 million?
All people who go to work deserve reasonable compensation for doing their best; but why does corporate executive compensation seem to be from a different solar system? What are our societal assumptions? Are they valid?
Unchallenged assumptions of a time and place can lead to a later time of enlightened thinking that makes the way of the past seem barbaric (for example, medical experimentation on mentally disabled people in state institutions in the 1950s). Are we missing something here in our day?
The U.S. president receives total compensation of $569,000 (and the last raise was in 2001), and if we add housing, perhaps we can call it a million. Isn't a million enough for anyone doing anything? Apparently Congress has thought so for more than 10 years.
If $1 million became the new national standard for CEOs, think what else could be done with the excesses, such as bonus checks for employees. What a joyful gift to be received, or an opportunity lost.
Perhaps the board members of the top 10 highlighted in this article, as well as other corporate board members in our area, could give some deep thought to this question, and perhaps speak with other board members throughout the country to examine the unexamined, and imagine the other possibilities of what could be done with the excess money not given to the top executives.
The Rev. Thomas E. Tobin, St. Petersburg
'Cutting and running'
I have seen some ads aired by Gov. Rick Scott's re-election campaign hanging the name of "cut and run Charlie" on his likely opponent.
Let me understand: If you are the CEO of a company that pays a billion-dollar fine for fraud, you take the Fifth when questioned about it, grab a golden parachute and head to the beach, that's acceptable.
If you serve your state admirably in Tallahassee for a while, in several different capacities, then decide you can further serve your state in Washington, in the Senate, that's "cutting and running."
Rich Eschen, Hernando
Elephant makes a splash after working a party | May 20
Was this supposed to be a feel-good story? It wasn't for Judy the elephant. That poor creature was ripped from the wild, and for what? To be carted around and exploited. Elephants are social, sentient creatures. Judy lives alone.
How can someone be so selfish to think that having approximately 40 people riding an elephant is not cruel? The $4,500 spent should have been donated to a conservation group to help these magnificent animals in the wild.
Barbara Frank, Lutz
Winston misses hearing | May 21
Not worthy of trophy
Jameis Winston has shown he is neither a good citizen nor role a model. So far he is just an embarrassment to the Heisman Trophy. Aren't character issues taken into consideration in the voting, or is it just based on athleticism? He should never have received this until the sex case was totally investigated and not swept under the rug.
His stealing from Publix affects all of us. Stores' losses are always picked up by the us, the shoppers.
Winston should be required to give up the Heisman Trophy so it can be awarded to the second-place finisher.
Martha Wakaruk, Brooksville
Is this your future neighborhood? | May 18
Living a wonderful life
I am disappointed with this article about mobile homes. There are many of us who sold our homes up North and chose to settle in a mobile home because of the wonderful communities and friends we enjoy. We would feel confined in a condo or apartment after enjoying mobile home living.
This article gave the impression that mobile homes were a last resort for the poor. That is not true, and many of us find that insulting. We wouldn't want to be anywhere else. We are a close-knit group, and we have found many wonderful friends in our mobile home community.
Janice Wohlhaupter, Largo