Wednesday, April 25, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Wednesday's letters: Regressive tax left untouched

Obama's tax rate below secretary's | April 14

Regressive tax must be reformed

The White House just released President Barack Obama's tax return and said it shows a slightly lower income tax rate than his secretary's. What the release didn't say is that the president, and the vice president, paid a dramatically lower portion of their incomes in Social Security tax than the secretary.

According to the release, Obama's secretary would have paid Social Security on all of her salary; the president would have paid it on about a fourth of his salary; and the vice president would have paid the tax on less than half of his salary. Obama is fighting with Republicans to raise income taxes on the very rich; however, he appears to be in complete agreement with Republicans on the Social Security tax — none of these well-paid politicians seem to be interested in eliminating the cap on wages subject to Social Security tax.

If Obama is interested in tax equity, he should stop ignoring this most regressive of all federal taxes.

Jerry Stephens, Riverview

Legislative menu: turkey | April 14

List missed a big turkey

Florida TaxWatch has not included the proposed 12th university to be located in Polk County on its 2012 list of legislative appropriation turkeys (pork barrel projects). By any objective measure, this omission has made the Florida TaxWatch name an oxymoron. There is no way this new university proposal can be justified, and it will cause an unjust burden for the taxpayers and further drive up students' expenses.

Apparently the Florida TaxWatch staff did not realize was how this omission would damage their credibility. Their explanation lacks common sense, and they should re-evaluate their position. Just because an appropriation passes through the legislative process does not automatically preclude it from being a financial turkey.

Roger H. Wilson, Seminole

The road to nowhere

Florida TaxWatch seems to have overlooked state Sen. JD Alexander's $35 million "road to nowhere." Perhaps they are not "watching" closely enough. How could they think this is a worthwhile budget item, or are they just they just following the Republican lead?

Rich Gurczinski, St. Petersburg

Baboons take step toward reading | April 13

Educate children, not apes

What a slap in the face to our educators. Don't spend any of my tax dollars on this project.

Our teachers are taking money out of their own pockets to help educate our children because of inadequate funding for our schools. Teachers invest an inordinate amount of time on revenue-generating projects during the school year on their own free time. This money is spent to help educate our children, again because of inadequate funding from the government.

This baboon project is totally backwards. Can anyone explain why a baboon needs to learn how to read? Our children are our future — not baboons.

Judy Lavaron, St. Petersburg

Campaign 2012

Attack problems, not people

I know it is a pipe dream, but wouldn't it be productive if rather than attacking each other the candidates attacked the critical issues facing our country?

Could they not spend the next months articulating how they would approach solving our problems — lack of jobs, crumbling infrastructure, pointless wars, tax reform, etc.? This I would listen to. The other, I'll ignore.

Sandy Ericson, Clearwater


Claim sinks under scrutiny

With all the recent attention on the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic, one significant fact should be clarified.

Neither builders nor owners ever made the claim that the ship was "unsinkable." Marine engineers at the beginning of the 20th century were not naive, and understood that whenever 88,000 tons of steel is placed on water, it can indeed sink. They correctly proclaimed it "nearly unsinkable."

Following the disaster, it made for good press to proclaim that an unsinkable ship had sunk on its maiden voyage, meaning it was headline writers who instigated the claim that survives to this day.

Ed Golly, Tampa

Affordable Care Act

Welcome tax relief

For the first time ever as a small business owner, I am getting some tax relief for providing health insurance to my employees. Because of the Affordable Care Act, we have received a $13,000 tax credit over the past two years.

It is still not easy being a small business in today's economy. Being able to stay competitive and hire quality employees is critical. Offering health insurance is such an important way to show employees that we care about their well-being. This tax season, I am grateful.

Dr. Hansel Leavengood, Tampa

Romney focuses on future in speech at NRA gathering | April 14

This isn't the Wild West

It continues to be a disappointment that politicians choose lobbyists over the people. On the one hand Mitt Romney is letting the NRA know that he will support unbridled gun ownership. In the same day's paper there are three stories on gun violence and death, plus the Trayvon Martin case.

Two of these tragedies are not the result of criminals on the loose, and two are the result of the lax gun laws. I am not in favor of a Wild West mentality when I walk out of my door and will vote accordingly.

Diane Pearson, Dunedin

U.S., Canada alone in Cuba stance | April 15

Policy overdue for a change

It would be great if President Barack Obama's lecturing by the Western Hemisphere leaders regarding Washington's continuing Cold War policy of isolating Cuba would finally bring about change to that policy, but since this is an election year with both parties desperately courting the Hispanic vote, don't hold your breath.

It would make me proud to see some of our leaders show some guts and make a difference by hitting this idea of change out of the park.

J. Larry McElveen, Safety Harbor

Tough call on reservoir | April 12

Calling legal aid

Every few days we citizens learn that we're on the hook for still more money because of poorly written contracts — the latest being Pat Bean's legal fees and the repairs to the reservoir.

Who are these lawyers who can't even write a decent contract? There's an ad on TV for software that will compose legal documents, including contracts. It seems Hillsborough County and Tampa Bay Water ought to spend the $39.95 and buy it.

David Brown, Sun City Center


Wednesday’s letters: How we plan to improve foster care in Hillsborough

Improving foster care inHillsborough | April 19, editorialOur plans for helping kidsThis editorial poses many good questions. The Department of Children and Families’ peer review report is expected to be released soon. And while we welcome the an...
Updated: 11 hours ago

Pasco Letters to the Editor for April 27

Stop Ridge Road extension, reader saysWhen I spoke at the Dade City meeting of the Pasco County Commissioners on my opposition to the Ridge Road Extension, three of them responded, but only when my three minutes of free speech expired, and I could sa...
Published: 04/23/18

Monday’s letters: Term limits don’t work

U.S. Senate campaignTerm limitsdon’t workGov. Rick Scott has begun his run for the U.S. Senate with TV ads promoting term limits for representatives and senators. Aside from the probability that this would require a constitutional amendment, I think ...
Published: 04/22/18
Updated: 04/23/18

Sunday’s letters: Problems with high-speed rail

Thanks, Gov. Scott, for ghastly I-4 drives | April 18, Sue Carlton columnProblems with high-speed railIn her Wednesday column, the writer bemoaned the traffic on I-4 and blasted Gov. Rick Scott for turning down free government money for a high-sp...
Published: 04/21/18

Tuesday’s letters: Student journalists push to save their newsrooms and independence

Save student newsroomsAs professional newsrooms shrink, student newsrooms have become an increasingly important source of local coverage, holding not only our universities accountable but also local government. We write these articles, attending meet...
Published: 04/20/18
Updated: 04/24/18

Saturday’s letters: Don’t weaken rules on fisheries

Florida fisheriesDon’t weaken rules on fish stocksMembers of Congress are proposing changes to an important ocean law, the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, that would adversely affect coastal states including Florida.Since it...
Published: 04/19/18
Updated: 04/20/18

Friday’s letters: We owe it to our children to teach them history

If we don’t understand past, future looks grim | April 19, Daniel Ruth columnThe history we owe our childrenIt’s not often I agree with Daniel Ruth, but this article was spot-on. I’m not sure when the schools started ignoring Germany’s World War ...
Published: 04/19/18

Thursday’s letters: Gun research can save lives

Gun ownershipCommon ground: Find the factsThere are many areas in the current debate about guns and gun ownership where both sides must agree to disagree. But there is one area where common ground ought to exist. That concerns the need for continuing...
Published: 04/18/18

Wednesday’s letters:

Poverty and plenty in bay area | April 7, editorialStruggling poor are not a priorityI commend your newspaper for continuing to produce real and relevant news, particularly the recent editorial pointing out that a prospering Tampa Bay should not ...
Published: 04/16/18
Updated: 04/17/18

Hernando Letters to the Editor for April 20

Bar Association celebrates Law WeekPresident Dwight D. Eisenhower proclaimed May 1, 1958, as the first Law Day to mark the nation’s commitment to the rule of law. Every year on this day, we reflect on the significance of the rule of law and rededicat...
Published: 04/16/18
Updated: 04/17/18