Insurers pick consumers' pockets
They sure didn't waste any time. I just got my renewal offer from my property insurer and was less than thrilled to discover a premium increase of 36 percent. Based on my premium, one would think I was living in Key West instead of an area that hasn't seen a direct hit in 90 years. So, thank you Gov. Rick Scott, and thank you Republican legislators, but I would have preferred you raised my taxes instead of allowing your colleagues and financial supporters in the insurance industry to pick my pocket. Taxes, at least, would have gone to parks and schools, police and fire. Everyone who gets their "insurance company tax raise" this year should thank the GOP at the ballot box.
William Adams, St. Petersburg
Mr. Mayor, won't you come out against illegal guns? | May 28, Sue Carlton column
Group works against honest gun owners
Sue Carlton is calling out St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster for respecting the rights of law-abiding gun owners and not joining a New York City gun control organization that lobbies against the rights of honest citizens.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's organization, Mayor Against Illegal Guns, is not about illegal guns; it is a front for gun control activities against law-abiding gun owners.
When MAIG lobbies against reciprocity for law-abiding gun owners who have licenses to carry firearms for self-protection, that is not about illegal guns. That is about denying self-protection rights of law-abiding gun owners.
When MAIG lobbies to regulate gun shows out of existence, that is not about illegal guns. That is about shutting down a legal activity that has a positive economic impact on communities.
When MAIG lobbies to take away the privacy rights of law-abiding gun owners, that is not about illegal guns. That is about violating the rights of law-abiding gun owners.
Carlton tacitly suggests that joining MAIG would be a symbolic gesture. It is actually a political gesture. How can joining an organization run by antigun New York City politicians be good for the honest, freedom-loving, law-biding citizens of St. Petersburg? The answer is simple — it is not.
Marion P. Hammer, NRA past president, Tallahassee
Unpopularity is a good thing | May 27, letter
Those who serve
This letter writer feels that "government workers are parasites living off the fruits of the hosts, which are the taxpayers." As a government employee, I guess that makes me a parasite.
Yes, as a government employee I am dependent on the taxpayer for my income, and I do get annoyed when cutbacks are made to programs that affect my job.
This "government employee parasite," as the letter writer would call me, happens to be a soldier in the U.S. Army with two tours in Iraq and one in Afghanistan. I'm sure that "government employee parasite" law enforcement officers, firefighters and teachers would also take exception to the letter writer's description.
Peter Clark, Tampa
Gov. Rick Scott
A job well done
What a surprise — a politician doing what he was elected to do. Our new governor gets my 95 percent approval with his vetoes of overspending in this budget. For the so-called representatives who don't seem to get the message, voters will remember next election.
Scott would have had my 100 percent approval if he had stuck to his 5 percent that state employees should pay into their own retirement. Personally, I resent paying 97 percent to their benefits. Thanks again, governor. Job well done.
Ronald Payne, Safety Harbor
Budget is for all Floridians
The Florida budget was not signed in public but at a "private party" where anyone with an opinion different from Gov. Rick Scott or the Republicans was removed. If this is the budget for all Florida, not just for the Republicans and tea partiers, then it needs to be signed in public. What happened to the Sunshine Laws?
Scott and the Republicans have made it clear that they want free speech dead in Florida. To add insult to injury, I received a robo-call from him telling me he signed the budget and bragging about his vetoes. What office is he campaigning for now? Did we, the taxpayers, pay for this campaign call?
Esther Kirk, Riverview
Teachers should earn more
There is a great debate in this country over how much teachers should be paid. On one side, people claim teachers only work roughly 10 months and have shorter work hours so they should be paid less. Others claim teachers are invaluable and work longer hours because they often grade tests and papers at home. My take on this issue is that teachers should be paid respectfully because they are irreplaceable. America's education system is in turmoil, and paying teachers a higher amount will allow for more experienced people to seek to do the work.
Educators play an important role in not only educating our youth but in improving the economy of our nation. They are the cornerstone for a country's success, and without them children would lack opportunity for triumph.
Hamad Sagheer, Brooksville
Brinksmanship required | May 28, letter
Don't ignore consequences
The cavalier view calling for America to hit rock bottom by not extending the debt ceiling is not one shared by government, economic and business experts. Among the most serious consequences would be a stock market plunge and the escalation of interest on the debt — which could mean trillions in additional interest costs in the next several decades. That would raise mortgage rates. All could be potent inducement for another recession.
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner recently told congressional leaders that "a broad range of government payments would have to be stopped, limited or delayed, including military salaries, Social Security and Medicare payments, interest on debt, unemployment benefits and tax refunds." A letter from the Business Roundtable, National Retail Federation and U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and other business organizations stated: "With economic growth slowly picking up, we cannot afford to jeopardize that growth with the massive spike in borrowing costs that would result if we defaulted on our obligations."
It is vital that Congress begin balancing expenses with income, and it should not happen with the debt limit held hostage. It took time to amass the debt and it will take time to carefully and responsibly reduce expenses. Cuts on the backs of the middle class and poor, and further breaks for private interests and the wealthy, are not acceptable.
Gerard G. Meyn, Dunnellon