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Saturday, Jun 23, 2018
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Letters to the editor: ‘Dishonest aspersion’

‘Dishonest aspersion’

I watched Charlie Crist’s launch video that was written about in The Tampa Tribune, and I was reminded of a Charles Dickens quote: “I have known a vast quantity of nonsense talked about bad men not looking you in the face. Don’t trust that conventional idea. Dishonesty will stare honesty out of countenance any day in the week, if there is anything to be got by it.”

It is amazing that this Pinocchio would be critical of Gov. Rick Scott and the Republican Party when it was Crist who left both the state and the party in disarray and debt. Because of Scott’s actions, Florida’s unemployment rate has dropped 4.1 percent, the second-largest unemployment drop in the nation.

The Republican Party also is back on sound footing as well after suffering from Crist’s chosen chairman and friend, Jim Greer, who is serving time in federal prison for money laundering and fraud.

But most disturbing and perfidious is the insinuation by Crist that the governor and Republicans in Tallahassee have denied Floridians the right to vote. Florida is one state among many that provide ample time for early voting, no-excuse absentee voting, provisional ballots and the traditional Election Day voting. I would suggest to our ex-governor, who left the post when he was needed most, that he seek to rectify voter disenfranchisement in other states before he cast such a dishonest aspersion on the state of Florida that he proclaims to love so much.

Sandy Graves

Land O’ Lakes

The writer is the Republican state committeewoman for Pasco County.

The common good

Regarding “The Obamacare blues” (Our Views, Oct. 25): Not so fast. This editorial helped me put into perspective something that has been nagging at me for some time.

The author enumerates the 10 mandatory insurance benefits of the Affordable Care Act and, among others, laments that consumers will not be able to tailor an insurance policy to fit their needs. For example: “A middle-aged childless couple does not require a policy that includes maternity care or pediatric coverage.”

This begs several questions: Why should a childless wage earner or an elderly empty-nest couple have to pay taxes to support a school system? Why does every wage earner pay a Medicare premium, a Social Security premium and a contribution to unemployment insurance? A young wage earner may not live to benefit from Medicare and Social Security. Why do our property taxes include a levy to support public parks that are not used by everybody, or libraries, or recreational centers? These are just glaring examples.

The answer is obvious: If we do not all contribute according to our means, we will have to do without services that are for the common good. The much-criticized Affordable Care Act is attempting to do the same for health care. I am not a fan of it. I think our president has the right idea but is trying to please all and in so doing is failing.

Lodewyk Lemmer, M.D.

Tampa Palms

Time warp

I felt that I had entered a time warp when reading your Sunday paper. The front-page story “Builders look across the border to hire help” and “Jobless people over age 50 face rough road” could have appeared in your paper a few decades ago when it was fresh news.

Builders have been hiring folks from other lands (many illegally in the U.S.) for a long time. As a male in my early 60s I can tell you that age discrimination has played a major part in our society to reduce meaningful employment for workers over 50.

Richard Rager


Incentives not to work

The front-page story discussing why Florida companies have to look south of the border for construction workers appears to point out something we already know. Why would people receiving government handouts to the tune of $30,000 to $50,000 a year in some states go to work? Our government has 126-plus programs for the poor and low-skilled that provide food, housing, medical care, child care, and actual cash to not work, which has eliminated the need for people to actually break a sweat to earn any income. The U.S. Census Bureau announced last week that there are more people receiving government entitlement checks than the number of those employed full-time. We have reached a point where it is easier and possibly more beneficial to claim disability, unemployment and every other benefit our government provides than to earn a living.

We should provide for those who can’t provide for themselves. But for those who can provide for themselves, all benefits should be temporary. Studies have found that those collecting unemployment benefits tend to look for a job near the end of their benefit period. If this holds true for every able-bodied person currently receiving benefits, announcing an end to benefits, say after six months, should result in every construction job, farm job and many other jobs getting filled.

Scott Harrison

Apollo Beach

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