$200M more on idle plant | Aug. 5
Nuclear plant debacle gets worse
The debacle of the Crystal River nuclear plant is nothing short of infuriating. Progress Energy has already sunk billions into this black hole; now Duke Energy plans to sink millions more of our money into it.
If you add up $500 million to repair the first three cracks, $1.3 billion in projected repairs, another $1 billion in replacement energy costs, together with an additional $200 million in upgrades, it tops out at $3 billion.
Here's the kicker. First Solar is building a 550-megawatt solar power plant in California. Both General Electric and Exelon have bought into the project, according to a Reuters article. The cost is $2 billion.
Imagine how many people would be employed constructing a new solar plant. On top of saving consumers $1 billion, it would produce 550 megawatts of electricity. That's enough to power 170,000 homes, according to a 2009 article on green investing — or all of Citrus County and most of Pasco County.
Is anyone else as mad as me about this?
John Andrew Warrener, Odessa
Romney's smoke, mirrors | Aug. 6, editorial
Romney tax plan is good for middle class, job creation
It seems the editorial board only read the Obama campaign's spin, not the actual Tax Policy Center report referenced in a recent editorial. The report's first page specifically declares: "We do not score Romney's plan directly." Instead, the report makes various assumptions to reach an unsupported conclusion about Mitt Romney's tax reform proposal. The plan their report analyzes doesn't even meet a central promise of Romney's plan because it increases the share of taxes paid by middle- and lower-income Americans.
Romney would work with Congress to permanently lower individual rates by 20 percent for all Americans. He will eliminate taxes on interest, dividends and capital gains for middle-income Americans. They can save and invest tax-free even as wealthier Americans continue to pay those taxes. Together with comprehensive corporate tax reform and a pathway to a balanced federal budget, Romney's plan will encourage entrepreneurship, savings and investment and will unleash a new wave of robust economic growth.
As president, Barack Obama has raised taxes on the middle class. PolitiFact, a product of this newspaper, awarded President Obama a "promise broken" on his pledge to not raise taxes on families earning less than $250,000 a year. His budget promises another $2 trillion in taxes, more spending, and more budget deficits. Given Florida's above-average unemployment rate, 23 million Americans struggling for work and four years of the slowest economic recovery since World War II, it's clear we can't afford another four years of President Obama.
Lanhee J. Chen, director of policy, Mitt Romney campaign, Boston
Doing the math on health law | Aug. 4
Controlling costs is key
Once again, the "experts" have dissected the health care law to weigh the statistics in favor of whichever side they represent. They all miss the point.
In 1972, Rep. Wilbur Mills, then chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, told six of us young physicians in training over dinner, "If we don't figure a way to control the cost of medical care, the government is going to try to pay for it, and it will bankrupt the country." The current health care law is a step toward making Mills a prophet.
Many employers will opt to pay the cheaper fine than the higher cost of insuring employees. The cost of Medicaid will swell due to the increase in eligibility.
Also driving costs higher: the consumer who expects miraculous cures; technology companies who produce higher-cost equipment; and physicians who practice defensive medicine, ordering more tests than needed to protect against lawsuits.
Something needs to be done to control costs. Then the access issue will be less of a problem. However, the heath care law is not the answer.
Jack Summers, Sun City Center
U.S. gains 163,000 jobs | Aug. 4
This front-page article attributed Friday's 217-point stock market gain to that day's jobs report showing lackluster jobs creation and an unemployment rate that inched upward to 8.3 percent.
Actually, our stock market gain was because Spain's prime minister signaled that his country would consider seeking a sovereign bailout to bring down their cost of borrowing.
Because of the uncertainty over small business tax rates, the U.S. markets had already discounted the anticipated poor jobs data.
David Brown, Sun City Center
Kids' court-appointed guardians empowered Aug. 4
Help for guardians
Between 2006 and 2008, I served as a court-appointed guardian ad litem. One of the greatest hindrances I faced was not being permitted to transport a child in my care.
As of July 1 the law has changed and guardians are permitted to transport children in their care. I am near retirement and considering becoming a guardian again. This change in the law will certainly enhance the ability of any guardian to perform his or her duties for children fortunate enough to have a guardian.
Jerry Rosen, Lutz
Public denied pier vote | Aug. 3
I was disappointed to read that the City Council of St. Petersburg declined the people of the city the opportunity to vote on the question of the pier complex.
I sail into the city often, and the Pier is the landmark to which I head. Its design is classic even by current standards.
I recommend that citizens vote the rascals out. The city belongs to the citizens and it is high time that the politicians learned that lesson.
Browne C. Altman, Jacksonville
352M-mile journey over for Mars rover Aug. 6
Piercing the unknown
I compare in significance the Mars probe initiative to Thomas Jefferson's commissioning of the Lewis and Clark expedition. Both were sent into the unknown to enlarge man's knowledge of his world. We all await with great anticipation the results of this most recent investigation.
Nicholas E. Karatinos, Tampa