Parents to ‘rule’ on masks | Sept. 23
Florida’s new surgeon general, Dr. Joseph Ladapo, is spot-on with his observation that the best form of prevention from COVID-19 is for persons to have an infection because this will provide the best immunity. I am aware that he is correct because of a recent experience with a member of my family. He had a severe infection from COVID-19. He is past that now and is completely immune — not only for COVID-19 but flu and other respiratory infections as well. Dr. Ladapo’s recommendation works. Of course we are burying this family member next week.
Charles Chamberlain, Spring Hill
A noble effort
A dad’s pledge to stop St. Pete gun violence | Sept.22
Writing this story must have been a challenge. It sounds simple: The subject, Maress Scott, has dedicated himself to persuade people to sign an oath to put down their weapons. Guns are so prevalent on our city streets these days, especially in more lower-income communities, that they are too often the chosen tool for both aggression and defense. Mr. Scott has a first-person view of this deadly equation, having lost a son to gun violence. I wish it were as easy as Mr. Scott’s pledge would like it to be, but life is complicated, and that is where Ms. Margo Snipe’s journalism shines. Her article provided a fuller picture of Mr. Scott’s checkered history so that we have a better understanding of the motivations behind his mission. Some would argue he’s on a path leading only to disappointment, but his heart tells him he can possibly save one or more lives. That makes it worth the effort. Thanks to Mr. Scott for his optimism, and thanks to Ms. Snipe for this good work!
Jon Crawfurd, Gulfport
Wait for the details
Dems appear inept as they debate spending | Editorial, Sept. 24
This Tampa Bay Times’ editorial headline asserts that Democrats have been “inept” to date reconciling their differences in seeking to repair and enhance the nation’s physical as well as its human infrastructure. Noting that the $1 trillion physical infrastructure package has bipartisan support, the editorial goes on to lament that its passage is being held “hostage to a profligate spending package” by the Democrats’ progressive faction, which “only imperils both parties’ priorities and weakens Biden and congressional Democrats as the midterm elections approach.” Asserting that Democratic leaders have been inept even before the contents of the $3.5 trillion human infrastructure package have been fully fleshed out through negotiations renders the term “profligate” both precipitous and pessimistic. What’s more, the final cost of the package has yet to be determined and, in any event, would be spread over 10 years and paid for in large part by tax reform. Furthermore, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will bring the physical infrastructure bill up for a vote early next week, only then to be followed by the larger social spending package to be handled via budget reconciliation without any Republican support. In short, if ongoing negotiations prove successful, both bills could be approved by the end of the month. This would considerably enhance the Democrats’ chances in the 2022 midterm elections given the broad public support enjoyed by both measures due to the significant social and economic impact they would produce.
Fred Kalhammer, Sun City Center
Bad to worse
Floridians are losing their homes while DeSantis sits on federal aid to help them | Column, Sept. 24
Former Gov. Charlie Crist knows of that which he speaks. As hard as it is to believe, and not even through his first term in office, Ron DeSantis has proven to be an even worse governor than his predecessor, Rick Scott. We working-class Floridians need a break after all these years of callous, tone-deaf Republican incompetence in Tallahassee.
Brian Valsavage, St. Petersburg
A flat tax
Bipartisan reluctance to rethink tax code endures | Dallas Morning News editorial, Sept.23
Perhaps it’s time to dust off the argument that Steve Forbes promoted about 15 years ago, namely a flat tax. I believe he proposed a flat 17 percent for everyone, no deductions, no exemptions, no exceptions. This would actually be “fair.” It would address the government’s need for operating capital, and it would afford those with little in the way of tax deductions a break on taxes. Hopefully, it would satisfy the envious who mistakenly believe the rich pay no or almost no taxes. Tax filing would be a breeze, how much do I owe? Duh, its 17 percent, so even a fifth-grader could do your annual return. I think it needs a serious look, probably will never happen as those who benefit the most under our current system would be vehemently opposed to such a radical proposal.
Steve Thomas, Tarpon Springs