Lower taxes equals more jobs | July 14, letter
Hunt for subsidies is hypocritical
Bing Energy's CFO is doing what any intelligent executive would do: playing one state and its governor against other states to get as many taxpayer subsidies as possible, thus covering a significant portion of the company's operating cost.
Where in the capitalist economic model on competition does it talk about government subsidies? What hypocrisy by the business community. I think the economic models would say that these subsidies are a misallocation of resources.
The number of people a company can hire has to do with demand, not income or profit. The U.S. corporate world is sitting on $1 trillion to $2 trillion in cash or its equivalent. The corporate world needs to stop blaming government for everything, especially since corporate greed and lack of government oversight got us into this severe recession.
Ken Lang, Spring Hill
Give us an accounting
Bing Energy's CFO implies that "without (Gov. Rick) Scott's pro-employer plan" to eliminate the corporate income tax, the company wouldn't have moved to Florida. Yet according to PolitiFact, the company already "had signed a high-tech commercialization agreement with FSU and sought tax breaks from local officials — all before Scott was even elected."
So, while the executive's words ring hollow, it would be nice to see him back them up with a pledge to add new jobs in Florida in exactly the amount of state income tax his company saves by moving to Florida. Of course, certified and audited reports could easily be produced to back up his claim.
Dan Favero, St. Petersburg
On the vital questions, Scott's reply is silence July 14, commentary
Childish questions don't serve the public interest
Columnist Michael Putney certainly has a right to criticize Gov. Rick Scott for not responding to his request for an interview. But let's drop all pretense that Putney would be fair to the governor. The list of submitted questions start with phrases like "are you clueless" and "what were you thinking." This sounds more like a childish rant than a legitimate attempt by a fair and accurate journalist to represent all readers in an honest discussion with Scott about his policies.
Scott needs to do much more in communicating his vision for Florida through the so-called mainstream media. But I can't say that I blame him for refusing to speak with a talking head who cares more about venting his biases than making an earnest attempt to find the truth.
Shame on Putney and any journalist who doesn't bend over backwards to be fair. And shame on Scott for hiding in his office and behind the microphones of friendly AM stations and annoying robocalls.
Who is going to be the adult here? Florida's future is at stake.
Mike Kersmarki, Tampa
The tax cut myth on jobs
I am tired of reading quotes about "taxing the job creators." Tax cuts do not create jobs. That's why unemployment is so high after 10 years of tax cuts for millionaires.
I have run a company for 15 years. I hire the number of people who will make me the most money — period. It does not matter if my tax rate is 10 percent or 30 percent; I hire the people who will make the most possible profit for me.
If you hire and fire people based on your tax rate, you are running a charity, not a business. Businesses hire to make profits, no matter how those profits are taxed.
Cutting taxes creates debt but does not create jobs — never has and never will.
Scott Cochran, Tampa
Deliver jobs, not just cuts | July 16, editorial
Repeating failed strategies
According to this editorial, the solution to our economic woes is to double down on a spectacularly unsuccessful "stimulus" program and raise taxes on those have committed the ultimate sin of having more money than the rest of us and who also create jobs. What's that line about the definition of insanity? Doing the same thing and expecting different results? Is the Times going on record in stating that the stimulus was a success?
It is time to dispel the liberal myth that more taxes equals more revenue, when in fact the opposite has proved true time and again. Raising taxes encourages people to do something less productive with the money. Even if we decided to take every single penny from the wealthiest 10 percent of Americans, it wouldn't come close to covering our expenses.
Chris Johnson, Clearwater
Young stands apart | July 16, editorial
Principle, not party line
Had I not read this editorial, I might have remained ignorant about the votes to curb the Clean Water Act of 1972. Reading about U.S. Rep. C.W. Bill Young's stance on the issue motivated me to write my representative in Palm Harbor, U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis, to let him know that his vote for HR 2018 was a vote against what is necessary for daily life — clean water.
Furthermore, your editorial prompted me to go online to see the final tally for myself. Yes, Young's was just one vote and it did not affect the outcome, but it did confirm that we, the voters, need to be more aware of what is going on in Washington.
We need to be informed voters, not party-line voters.
Courtenay O'Connell, Palm Harbor
Public schools bypassed | July 15
Pay now or pay more later
The massive cuts imposed by the Florida Legislature on the budget allocated for public school construction, from $254.2 million to just $51.3 million for the 2011-12 school year, will prove to be counterproductive and ultimately more costly for taxpayers in the long run.
Speaking as an architect who has worked on dozens of Pinellas County schools over the last three decades, the public needs to be aware that the majority of the 133 school facilities in the system are over 40 years old and in need of constant maintenance or repair — roofing and heating/cooling systems being two examples. Postponing construction for upkeep of these buildings is tantamount to not spending money to change the oil in your car. The savings may seen to be prudent initially, but in short order you'll be staring at an enormous repair bill.
Elton E. Jones, Clearwater