Carroll says Christians persecuted | Sept. 23
Words of minister, not politician
I find it both shocking and disturbing to read the comments made recently by Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll.
What is disturbing is that she is a government leader who appears more concerned with religion than her job. Why she is speaking about so-called anti-Christian bias is beyond me.
Secondly, some of her comments are barely hidden attacks on anyone who happens to not be Christian. Who is the "minority" who is "poisoning the majority," as she states? Could she be covertly be referring to Jews, Muslims and others who do not share her Christian beliefs? She compounds this attack by stating that "there is no gray area — you either believe or you don't believe."
Sorry, lieutenant governor, but I have religious beliefs that do not jibe with yours. That is my right as an American. If you are so concerned with what you see as an attack on Christianity, I suggest you resign your position and, perhaps, become a minister in the church of your choice.
Ronald Medvin, Tampa
Sacrifice should be shared
I'm not saying soak the rich, but they certainly need to get a little bit wet. After all, they've been hosing the middle class for more than a decade.
A significant portion of the money borrowed by our government since 2001 was borrowed to make up for revenue not collected from those who benefitted most from the Bush tax cuts. Now that it's payback time, the GOP argues it must come from cuts that largely affect the middle class and poor. In essence, those groups must give back all the tax cuts they got during the Bush years, while the rich get to keep theirs. That's not shared sacrifice.
Robert Rabinowitz, The Villages
'Doughnut hole' solution | Sept. 22, letter
AARP worked to close hole
Readers should know that AARP never stopped working to close the "doughnut hole" and finally succeeded.
This year, under the new Affordable Care Act, people enrolled in Medicare Part D (prescription drug coverage) and who go into the doughnut hole receive an automatic 50 percent discount on brand-name prescription drugs and a 7 percent discount on generic prescription drugs while in the coverage gap. These discounts will increase each year until the doughnut hole is closed.
Lois Herron, St. Petersburg
U.S. Postal Service
A manufactured crisis
In 2006, President George W. Bush and the Republican Congress passed a law mandating that the post office begin making massive payments to fully fund health care for its employees and retirees for the next 75 years. This is unheard of in the private sector. The "goal" was to fund health care costs for future employees who have not even been born. The projected payment is $5 billion this year alone.
Meanwhile, the postal pension fund is overfunded by $50 billion. A simple bookkeeping entry could easily balance out these two funds and solve this manufactured crisis.
Why did Bush and the Republicans pass this onerous mandate? It was envisioned that this phony crisis would lead to the breaking of the postal union. And second, the insidious, ultimate plan is to turn the post office over to private contractors with the result of massive campaign donations to the Republicans by prospective contractors before and after the post office privatization.
John Connolly, St. Petersburg
Lenders foreclose, owners still win | Sept. 25
Sorry state of affairs
According to this article, "Some banks also make payoffs if owners agree not to trash their homes before leaving."
I guess that means I can get paid for not trashing my home. Perhaps this behavior is learned as children, when their parents bribe them to be good. Have we lost all self-respect? This is a really sad state of affairs.
Doris Carroza, Clearwater
Movie is a brief respite for working moms Sept. 26, commentary
Skewed view of workers
I am always amazed when I see on television or read in the paper about the working mom dilemma and the women who are part of the discussion are always well-paid professionals. Why not get the views from women who are part of a family where two people are working and maybe making $40,000 to $50,000 a year? They can't afford sports, music, dance or nannies. Then you might get the opinion of people who really are struggling to balance family and work.
In the '70s women demanded to be part of the work force, which is great, but were they prepared for the consequences?
Thomas White, Valrico
Temporary hold on hike in fees for beachgoers | Sept. 24
Fees help to maintain parks
Thank you, Pinellas County commissioners. I am pleased that the park entrance fee has been approved after much debate and public input. Entrance fees will allow us to bring back positions eliminated by previous budget cuts.
Fort De Soto's staff and funding have been cut by about two-thirds, yet the park still gets approximately 3 million visitors a year from all corners of the globe. Park visitation has increased over the past few years as families are doing more with less; meanwhile the parks have been cut severely and are being held to the same high standards.
I applaud the commissioners for realizing the benefits of implementing a parks fee. To help the parks we all know and love, please consider becoming a volunteer.
Monica Craig, St. Petersburg
The Republicans' strategy of calling the Environmental Protection Agency and its life-saving regulations "job killers" is already bearing fruit. President Barack Obama caved to pressure from corporate polluters in telling the EPA to drop its work on a new ozone standard that would save up to 12,000 lives a year.
No matter what the Republicans say, letting big polluters off the hook won't create jobs or fuel innovation. But it will cost lives and endanger the health of children and seniors. The EPA estimates that the new ozone standards would prevent thousands of heart attacks and tens of thousands of asthma attacks, and cut emergency room visits and sick days dramatically.
We must protect the EPA from further attacks and hold national leaders accountable.
Tom Tomlinson, Palm City