Stop flood insurance act
The Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act will have catastrophic economic effects on hundreds of thousands of Florida homeowners, including destroying many financially for life. They will no longer be able to afford their homes because in many cases their new premiums for flood insurance alone will be $10,000 to $15,000 annually. And to add further insult to injury, these unconscionable flood rate increases will force real estate values to precipitously fall. Last week Gov. Rick Scott forecast “that it is going to devastate our real estate market right here.”
I am calling upon all my fellow citizens to voice your pleas for help to your representatives, senators and any other voice of influence you may know. This act must be stopped, not delayed as some of our political pundits are espousing. If it is not, per our local newspapers, more than 55,000 homeowners in Pinellas and Hillsborough counties alone will suffer financially — especially our seniors.
Keep act on course
Tribune columnist Joe Henderson is wrong to call for delays in changes to the National Flood Insurance Program (“Fair play needed in flood insurance debate,” Oct. 1). Although the changes may cause some pain for some people, they’re absolutely necessary. Quite simply, NFIP cannot continue without the changes. Indeed, the program already owes the Treasury more than $25 billion that it has no practical way of paying back.
The reforms now going into force will exempt the overwhelming majority of primary homeowners now in the program. In fact, the overwhelming majority of properties that have already seen rate increases since Jan. 1 are second homes or properties that taxpayers have already rebuilt. As high rates are phased in for more people, some homeowners of modest means may have a difficult time paying their premiums, but the best solution to this problem is to provide them with some help rather than pulling back on necessary changes in the program.
Without reforms, NFIP simply won’t be able to go on providing coverage to the millions of Americans and thousands of communities that depend on it. The best solution isn’t to simply give up on the idea of reform.
The writer is Florida director of the R Street Institute, which advocates for free markets, limited government and environmental stewardship.
Too many bosses
There is a lot of debate about privatizing certain functions of the government. Why is there such a debate in the first place? After all, the inefficiency of government (federal) is due to 536 bosses — Congress and the president. States support their own number of bosses. Another problem with so many bosses is that each boss has their own ideology or philosophy, such as socialism versus capitalism, or individualism versus a nanny state. When a stalemate occurs, the process of compromise begins, which is fine except when the Constitution is defaced in the compromise.
What usually happens is that something under government control is transferred to the private sector. What we have now is taking what is private and putting it under government control. The Patient Protection and Affordable Health Act, also known as Obamacare, has taken our good health care and put it under the control of 536 bosses.
Another name for “partial shutdown” — living within your means (like the average American has to do). Lost in all the drama is the fact that there are now 800,000 nonessential federal workers affected, while during the last shutdown — I mean, living within your means — in 1995 there were only 300,000 such positions. This means that the number of nonessential federal workers has grown by 267 percent in 18 years.
Is there any wonder why our government is buried in debt?
Send them packing
Why can’t we fire the political idiots who are holding our country hostage? Wake up, people. This is not negotiations; this is blackmail. If this were done on our level (citizens), we would be in jail. You can’t bargain with something that is a “done deal.” I can guarantee you that all of the people who are currently in office will not be after the next election.
Sharon R. Jones
Lack of leadership
Greg Schiano has become the flashpoint for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers organization. Why Bucs management has not muzzled him is beyond belief.
When your team is 0-4 and the focal point is the perceived lack of honesty on the part of the head coach, and his continuing last-plays-of-the-game aggressive attitude, which does not conform to NFL-accepted sportsmanship, your organization has real problems.
If the Bucs continue to lose and Schiano does not clean up his act, he will be fired by Nov. 1. Another example of Bucs ownership not showing leadership.
Bring back blackouts
Please bring back the Bucs’ blackouts until Tony Dungy gets back as head coach. In the meantime, I will be watching reruns of “Gilligan’s Island.”