Tuesday, March 20, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Vote for the January letter of the month

Editor's note: Letters to the editor offer a significant contribution to the discussion of public policy and life in Tampa Bay. To recognize some of that work by our most engaged readers, the Times will select a letter of the month and the writers will be recognized at the end of the year. We will choose the finalists each month based on relevance on topical issues, persuasiveness and writing style. The writer's opinion does not need to match the editorial board's opinion on the issue to be nominated. But clarity of thinking, brevity and a sense of humor certainly helps.

Help us choose the letter of the month for January 2013 by reading through the three nominated letters and voting on the ballot at the bottom of the web page.

Gun plan tackles a daunting task (Jan. 17)

For the greater good

Over the past few weeks, a number of my friends have proffered the following argument: "I have always been a careful and responsible gun owner. Why do I have to give up my constitutional right to have a gun - be it an assault rifle, a gun with a large magazine clip, etc.?"

My retort has been: "I have been a careful and responsible licensed driver for over 50 years (one ticket and no accidents). Why do I have to give up my right to drive my car at any speed I deem careful and responsible?"

Here is why: Sometimes in a society like ours, reasonable and responsible people have to forgo certain rights and/or privileges because of the misuse and or abuse of them by unreasonable and irresponsible people. Sometimes we have to give up certain rights and/or privileges for the better good. Doing so, at least in my view, is being a mature, reasonable and responsible citizen.

William G. Emener, St. Pete Beach


Social Security tax (Jan. 20)

Who really benefited?

As workers have started receiving 2 percent less in their paychecks, the real beneficiaries of the recent fiscal cliff deal have become apparent. Individuals with incomes above $400,000 suffered a stiff income tax increase. Those who earn less avoided the income tax increase but got hit with a substantial hike in their Social Security tax. Individuals earning between $110,000 and $400,000 made out best on the deal because they avoided the income tax increase and their wages above $110,000 are excluded from all Social Security tax.

I fully understand the need to end the Social Security tax holiday in order to avoid further damage to the financial stability of the system, but I am disturbed that our politicians didn't bite the bullet while they were sticking it to everybody else and eliminate the cap on earnings subject to Social Security. Such a move would have let this prosperous group share more equitably with other Americans in the increased tax burden, and it would have permanently eliminated any future Social Security funding problem.

Jerry Stephens, Riverview


Pension levy is upheld (Jan. 18)

A good argument unused

I think that the reason the state Supreme Court ruled for Gov. Scott on the issue of the state workers' being charged 3 percent is that the state workers are using the wrong argument. They argued collective bargaining, but here is what they should have said: Since the money being taken was used as tax money (it plugged a budget hole) and it is taken from wages, it is an income tax, which is prohibited by the state Constitution. And it is a discriminatory income tax on a select portion of the population.

Thomas Sarsfield, Valrico


Pasco Letters to the Editor for March 23

Re: Residents object to solar farm | March 16, storyLakeland Electric has shown that residential customers can be incentivized to allow placement of utility-owned solar panels on their roofs. Likewise, business owners can be incentivized to allow...
Published: 03/19/18

Tuesday’s letters: It shouldn’t be this hard to fly

Tampa International AirportIt shouldn’t be this hard to flyI’ve given the train two tries now from economy parking at Tampa airport. It’s a lot of work. How silly to go down one bank of elevators, then take a good walk to the next set of elevators to...
Published: 03/19/18

Monday’s letters: Protect Floridians’ right to privacy

People push for changes at Constitution hearing | March 14Protect Florida’s right to privacyI attended the Constitution Revision Commission’s public hearing at USF St. Petersburg last week. I was there because I thought it was important to have m...
Published: 03/18/18

Sunday’s letters: Effort to stem pet cruelty pays off

Puppy millsEffort to stem cruelty pays offThank you to everyone who contacted their legislators, and a huge shout-out to the Tampa Bay Times for letting us know that state legislators were considering a bill to eliminate the hard-achieved gains on lo...
Published: 03/17/18

Saturday’s letters: Insurer focused on repairs, not fees

Citizens hit with $12.7M verdict | March 15Insurer’s focus: repairs, not feesCitizens Property Insurance Corp. has spent the past several years making sure that insurance proceeds for sinkhole repairs are used to restore a home and make it whole....
Published: 03/16/18

Friday’s letters: Put young people to work rebuilding infrastructure

Smart way to pay for infrastructure | March 13, commentaryMake rebuilding a youth project Raising gas taxes to pay for infrastructure may not be the best way to go. I suggest we re-invent the old WPA (Works Progress Administration) and draft high...
Published: 03/13/18
Updated: 03/15/18

Thursday’s letters: An alternative for giving: Breadcoin

Panhandling paradox | March 11Innovation in giving: BreadcoinPanhandling is destructive to the donor, panhandler and our community — a guilt trip that erodes personal dignity, respect and self-worth, making the recipient more beholden and entitle...
Published: 03/13/18
Updated: 03/14/18
Wednesday’s letters: Daylight bill is bad for business

Wednesday’s letters: Daylight bill is bad for business

Daylight saving timeDaylight bill is bad for businessI encourage Gov. Rick Scott to veto the daylight saving time extension bill. It makes no sense. It puts Florida out of sync with the rest of the country. Commerce will be affected. The entire Easte...
Published: 03/13/18

Pasco Letter to the Editor for March 16

Re: Pasco to test roadside recycling | March 9 column Pasco County (and its residents) have financial incentives to recycle, but the participation rate is low. Clearly, Pasco County either needs to make recycling mandatory — by making residents r...
Published: 03/13/18
Tuesday’s letters: Billionaire’s personal agenda

Tuesday’s letters: Billionaire’s personal agenda

Billionaire targeting young voters | March 7Using youths in personal agendaIs anyone surprised that Tom Steyer is using his extreme wealth to support his personal agenda and the liberal agenda of the Democratic Party? His real motive, hidden in h...
Published: 03/12/18
Updated: 03/13/18