Delaying rate boost foolish
An uproar demanded that entitlements, subsidies and the resulting deficit be reduced, and Big Government responded with a reduced FEMA National Flood Insurance Program. Unfortunately, those whose pocket books were directly and indirectly impacted cried out in pain. Their political representatives heeded their call primarily because their assets are more substantial than those having their food stamps and health care cut.
This apparent bipartisan effort to delay the eventual necessity to end the national flood insurance subsidy to property owners is folly. When FEMA was first established these subsidies were justified. They should have been phased out gradually a long time ago. If we are truly a market-driven economy, this needs to happen now. Property owners and lenders need to bite the bullet and take short sales as other underwater mortgagees have (pardon the pun). During this foolish delay, if high water hits another bail-out will occur and raise the deficit. This impact on the national deficit needs to be addressed now.
Stop federal gravy train
I strongly disagree with your editorial endorsing a four-year delay in raising National Flood Insurance Program premiums (“Congress should act swiftly to fix flood insurance reforms,” Our Views, Oct. 30). The flood insurance program is more than $20 billion in debt, which has to be paid by taxpayers. People on the coasts have been subsidized by taxpayers for years. Thousands of these homes are mansions on the beach that most people can only dream of owning. Thousands more are investment properties whose owners should be sophisticated enough to know that the federal government insurance gravy train would have to end sometime.
If the politicians want to protect the little guy in this mess, they should set up an insurance subsidy only for owner-occupied homes of modest value, such as under $200,000. It makes no sense to subsidize rich investors by taxing the rest of us.
A four-year delay in raising flood insurance rates will turn into another federal giveaway that will be delayed annually once the four years are up. Let’s not kick this can down the road.
Land O’ Lakes
The 3-foot rule
To the Hillsborough County Solid Waste Department and Progressive Waste Solutions: We appreciate the fancy new trash and recycling carts. They have certainly brightened up the neighborhood. Although they’re certainly a visual improvement and no doubt a labor/cost saver to the county, they do come with some very particular rules. If rules are to be set, then it’s only fair to expect they be enforced fairly.
I take particular exception with the 3-foot rule — meaning that nothing can be within 3 feet of a cart. I believe that it’s time that you provide your collectors/drivers with yard sticks, so they can grasp the concept of 3 feet. Clearly, this is not happening, as I’ve now received two non-collection notices stating that I had violated the rule. I can assure you that I understand the concept of 3 feet and know that the distance between the vehicle and cart was closer to 9 feet — in both instances.
I’m willing to ignore the missed pick-ups on recycling days as startup glitches. After all, you are a government agency, and there’s only so much we can expect of our government these days.
Address health care costs
All these troubles with implementing Obamacare are reminders about how expensive American health care is, and not just health insurance. We spend much more money on health care than other nations, even those with single-payer systems, and we are not the healthiest, nor do we live the longest. Our troubles go well beyond health insurance.
Perhaps President Obama should put a hold on the Affordable Care Act and give a mandate to the medical, legal and insurance industries that they have a year to create solutions to this bottleneck of problems we have keeping our citizens healthy. If they don’t work things out by reducing excessive and expensive medical tests, horrendously expensive monetary awards in courts, and escalating insurance rates, then the government will intervene.
The real causes of expensive health care remains and will remain unless we take a look at all the causes.