U.S. pays in Afghan killings | March 26
Money came from all Americans
It was with dismay that I read the United States paid in compensation $50,000 for the families of those killed in the rampage in Afghanistan and $11,000 to the wounded. The payments are okay. What is not is that the villagers were told the money came from President Barack Obama. Did he pay this out of his own private money? Of course not.
The villagers should have been told that this money came from the people of the United States.
Irmgard Knorr, Sun City Center
Pull plug on Medicare power scooter fraud March 18, editorial
This editorial brings to mind the issue of handicapped parking permits being handed out like candy canes. A lot of the people who are issued them, if you pay attention, can outwalk most of us (and I ride a bike plus walk for exercise). But if they continue their no-effort approach, they will eventually not be able to function.
I have had a person in my vehicle with her handicapped permit and placard in her purse who, when we reached our destination, told me to park in the handicapped space and use the placard. I dropped her at the door and parked my car, leaving the handicapped spot for those who need it.
Timothy E. Wohlfiel, Hudson
Cut out the waste
We hear a lot these days about how much we seniors are going to have to give up if the politicians cut the funding available to Medicare. They wouldn't have to cut funding if Medicare would stop throwing the money they receive down the drain. If Medicare cut out half their waste, we'd never have to worry about Medicare funding again.
Recently I received a Medicare Summary Notice in the mail. This notice concerned a pneumonia vaccination I received when I was in the hospital in February 2010, and said, "This is an adjustment to a previously processed claim and/or deductible record." I looked at the original notice I received two years ago and found that the adjustment was made to the amount Medicare paid the provider. The amount had changed from $70.31 to $70.25. Both notices showed that Medicare had paid the entire cost of the vaccination and that there was no cost to me.
That's right: Medicare spent 35 cents in postage, used two sheets of paper and an envelope, and paid someone an unknown amount of salary for the sole purpose of telling me that the provider had been paid a whole 6 cents less than originally reported.
And some people wonder why Medicare and the U.S. government are in financial trouble.
Alfred T. Barnard, Beverly Hills
Analysts: Taxing the rich not so lucrative March 21
Day after day I listen to our president attempt to shove the idea down our throats that America is an "unfair" system because the rich "don't pay their fair share." Letters to the Times push this same idea. If only the rich would step up and do their part, then all will be well in our capitalist world. This stupidity actually has a "name" in liberal circles: the Buffett rule.
Obama claims that Warren Buffett pays a smaller percentage in taxes than his beloved secretary. This is balderdash. Buffett's tax is paid on capital gains, not wages. The income is based strictly on his investments. It's not even apples and oranges. It's apples and walnuts.
Aside from this, the Buffett rule is flawed economic theory. Applying it to all people earning over $1 million per year raises $47 billion. This covers less than four days' worth of Obama spending.
Jay Johnson, St. Petersburg
Emergency medical service
There has been much controversy over Pinellas County's emergency medical system, so I would like to share the recent medical treatment I received.
I collapsed while working in my back yard. A friend seeing my plight used his cellphone to call 911. While he was still talking to the 911 dispatcher, the Pinellas Park Fire Department medical unit arrived and began first responder treatment. A few minutes later, the ambulance arrived and I was transferred to it. Within 10 minutes of the initial call, I had received a blood sugar test, blood pressure test, pulse rate test, EKG and an IV had been started.
While this was going on, another tech was in contact with the Northside Hospital emergency room technician relating my status and giving them an expected arrival time. With 20 minutes of the initial call I was in the Northside emergency room under care of their responder team.
I would like to thank all who participated in my successful recovery. Down where the action is, the system really is remarkable.
Walter Ehman, Kenneth City
Valid ID is part of voting | March 20, letter
A constitutional right to vote comes with responsibility. The majority of Americans see no parallel between past discriminatory practices and requiring today's citizens to present a valid ID prior to casting a vote.
Analyzing Texas data, the Justice Department contends that anywhere from 6 percent to 10 percent of Hispanic registered voters don't have ID.
How did they register to vote? There is no good reason not to have a voter ID requirement, unless you are committing voter fraud.
Why do the Democrats always single out minorities and poor people as being those who are so inept that they cannot get an ID?
Government cannot mandate respect, self-respect or otherwise. But government (primarily the Democratic Party) unrelentingly tries to mandate disrespect for minorities. I would think minorities would be tired of hearing that expecting them to actually be able to get ID is something that is beyond their capabilities.
John M. Whelan, Dunedin
Gas price blame game | March 25
Drilling in the Arctic will not provide cheap oil, and reliance on dirty oil will pollute our environment and injure our health. Three things are absolutely necessary:
• Looking into alternative energy;
• reliance on public transportation.
We all need to work together.
Marilyn Elsen, Dade City