Tuesday, December 12, 2017
Letters To The Editor

Friday’s letters: Most unpopular tax bill ever

Tax bill clears Senate | Dec. 3

The most unpopular tax bill ever

"Democracy dies in darkness" is the motto of the Washington Post. At 2 a.m. on the dark morning of Sunday, Dec. 3, 51 Republicans approved the most wildly unpopular tax bill in U.S. history. This bill was soundly rejected and criticized not only by every Democrat and two-thirds of the voting public, but also by numerous economists and agencies aware of the impact of this legislation. These included Larry Summers, former president of the World Bank and treasury secretary, who said that the plan is "dishonest, incompetent and absurd" and, because it would kill what remains of the Affordable Care Act, would result in thousands of deaths.

It would actually raise taxes on the middle class, cut taxes for the top 1 percent and large corporations, and add least a trillion dollars to the national debt. But it will assuage the Republican donor class who haven’t had much to show for their investment in Donald Trump and the Republicans.

How will it be paid for? Trickle-down economics: The more corporations accrue, the more they will give to workers and the poor. That did not work for Ronald Reagan. Even George H.W. Bush referred to it as "voodoo economics."

President Donald Trump himself will benefit to the projected tune of approximately $1 billion. Sad.

Joseph Ferrandino, Land O’ Lakes

Tax bill clears Senate | Dec. 3

Partisan trickery

I support comprehensive tax reform, but I do not support the "Tax Cuts and Jobs Act."

This irresponsible bill adds at least $1.4 trillion to the deficit and could add as much as $1.7 trillion. The development of the bill completely left out rank-and-file Republicans and all Democrats. The proposal relies on magical thinking about economic growth in order to pretend there won’t be massive increases to the deficit and debt, and uses gimmicks to make it look like the changes in law cost less down the road.

In 1986, the last time Congress did comprehensive tax reform, it was an inclusive, bipartisan process, and the Senate finally passed it by a vote of 97-3.

Congress is taking us in the wrong direction and is playing tricks in order to get it done. They need to go back to the drawing board.

Michael Morinico, Sebring

Low incomes bear the brunt

Sen. Marco Rubio said the Senate tax bill should do more for low-income families but voted for it anyway. Low-income families will barely see enough of a tax break to make up for what they are losing, such as the ability to deduct interest on student loans, state and local taxes, and itemized medical expenses.

And that minuscule tax break for individuals disappears by 2025. Rubio said the child tax credit should be increased dramatically, and when it wasn’t increased to the level he wanted, he voted for the bill anyway. Rubio wanted the corporate rate to be higher than 20 percent, and when that didn’t happen he voted for the bill anyway.

Clearly, he cares more about his wealthy donors than average Floridians and should be hanging his head in shame.

It is up to "we the people" to insist that Congress work for us rather than the 1 percent and corporations. We need to call and demand our representatives oppose this bill. Then they can get back to work creating one that truly helps the average American.

Jenni Casale, Palmetto

A farewell plea: Be the Tampa Bay you deserve | Dec. 3

Columnist will be missed

I was saddened to read that Robert Trigaux is retiring. Though a rest is well deserved, I will surely miss his insightful, straightforward column. I hope Trigaux will honor his followers with his written wisdom intermittently in the future. Great luck in retirement and God bless, Robert.

James Gregor, Tampa

Voter ID’s unintended elder effect | Dec. 3, Perspective

Vote by mail is the solution

Paula Span, a New York Times writer, expresses concern for the disenfranchisement of older voters resulting from physical barriers at polling places such as steep ramps, inadequate parking and voting machines that do not accommodate wheelchairs or the visually impaired.

Span makes one of the strongest arguments I’ve seen for voting by mail. Fortunately, Florida is one of 22 states that offer voting by mail. When voting by mail, one never misses an opportunity to vote; you receive the ballot three to four weeks before the election, which gives you ample time to become familiar with issues and candidates; and there is never a line.

Using polling place access as an excuse for not participating in states where voting by mail is available is just that, an excuse. Those states that do not offer it should support the democratic process by initiating a mail-in option.

Dave Loeffert, Dunedin

And now create your own public apology
Dec. 3, Perspective

Moral rot in high places

The burgeoning number of prominent men accused of sexual misconduct is not surprising given the pervasive climate of corruption fostered by the corruptor in chief, Donald Trump. The president sets the moral tone for the country. He has the highest number of accusers of impropriety, 16 (or more?), has 600 provable lies spoken publicly, has an unknown number of fraud suits against him, and has stacked his administration with the worst foxes in the henhouse ever.

Once we elected leaders based on good character, and we have had some admirable presidents, honorable and trustworthy. I hope for our country that we may find our way to that again.

Lorraine Madison, St. Petersburg


Tuesday’s letters: Writer should look to his own mistakes

Is anyone ever wrong anymore? | Dec. 8Writer should look to own errorsIn Mitch Daniels’ article about people who have been wrong, he finishes with the statement that our lives would be greatly improved with more people saying, "I was wrong."He mi...
Published: 12/08/17
Updated: 12/11/17

Monday’s letters: Don’t drill in Arctic refuge

Arctic National Wildlife RefugeStop plan to drill for oil in refugeOur nation faces yet another effort to open up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge reserve to oil and gas drilling. Drilling in the Arctic simply doesn’t make sound financial sense. W...
Published: 12/08/17

Sunday’s letters: Tax bill puts U.S. on right course

The GOP’s regressive tax plans | Dec. 5, editorialTax bill puts U.S. on right courseThe Times is already crying wolf over the new tax cuts, claiming that the new laws "could" result an increase in the national debt of $1.5 trillion over the next ...
Published: 12/07/17

Saturday’s letters: Don’t inject political money into churches

Tax billKeep political cash out of pulpitA provision buried in the 429-page House tax bill, Section 5201, nullifies the Johnson Amendment, which protects houses of worship from partisan politics by prohibiting them from endorsing or opposing politica...
Published: 12/06/17
Updated: 12/07/17

Friday’s letters: Most unpopular tax bill ever

Tax bill clears Senate | Dec. 3The most unpopular tax bill ever"Democracy dies in darkness" is the motto of the Washington Post. At 2 a.m. on the dark morning of Sunday, Dec. 3, 51 Republicans approved the most wildly unpopular tax bill in U.S. h...
Published: 12/06/17
Updated: 12/07/17

Thursday’s letters: Give your child the gift of reading

Fatherhood Involvement in Literacy CampaignGive your child the gift of readingPart of a successful game plan in sports is identifying plays that can put points on the scoreboard. Whether I was playing quarterback at Florida State or running the point...
Published: 12/05/17
Updated: 12/06/17

Wednesday’s letters: Bill gives small businesses tax relief

Tax bill clears Senate | Dec. 3Small businesses get tax reliefThe Senate and House have now passed their respective tax bills. Once Congress sends a final package to the White House, President Donald Trump will deliver us the most powerful tax re...
Published: 12/04/17
Updated: 12/05/17

Tuesday’s letters: Transplant bill will help Medicare patients

November Letter of the MonthThe winning letter addressed the unresponsiveness of elected officials.Representatives aren’t listeningFor whom do our legislators work? I ask because my Florida senator doesn’t appear to work for me. I drove 27 miles on N...
Published: 12/04/17

Monday’s letters: A citizen’s heroic act

Suspect arrested | Nov. 29A courageous citizen’s actOn Nov. 28, a courageous act occurred in the Tampa Bay area. It was one that law enforcement professionals applaud and hope becomes more frequent. An ordinary citizen did the right thing and spo...
Published: 12/01/17

Saturday’s letters: Historic preservation process needs fixing

A preservation problem | Nov. 25, editorialApplication process needs fixingThere is a reason why smaller rather than larger groups of property owners are getting together to seek historic district designation: It is St. Petersburg’s application p...
Published: 11/30/17
Updated: 12/01/17