Letters To The Editor
Letters to the editor: The proper use of wisdom
Proper use of wisdom I would like to thank those businesses in Tampa that chose to refrain from billboard advertising either Mitt Romney's or Barack Obama's religion as the convention approaches. This is wise. While we, as Americans, have the God-given right to use the freedom of speech doctrine within the confines the Constitution describes, there is something else of synonymous, if not paramount, importance here. That is the proper use of wisdom. In this case, proper wisdom supersedes the use of freedom of speech rights so urgently felt by the nationwide spokesman for an atheist group that put up billboards in Charlotte disparaging Mormonism, Romney's religion. It was unwise, unkind and a see-through tactic that distracts from the real issues.It is inhumane to degrade another and their spirit. Using religion to attack a candidate in this way, no matter who it is, is a backdoor approach for political suicide. I believe Obama is helping to cut his own throat by allowing such behavior to occur. I am a proud and happy member of The Church of Jesus Christ Of Latter-Day Saints, sometimes referred to as Mormons. I encourage anyone who wants to know more to talk to someone who is a member of the church. I look forward to watching, with excitement, the convention. I am grateful to you for choosing and doing the right thing. Jim Valenti Carthage, Mo. Class warfare If the national Democratic Party didn't have low class, it wouldn't have any class at all. Dispatching Joe Biden to Tampa on the first two days of the Republican National Convention is unprecedented and cheesy, to say the least. Traditionally, the opposing party has basically left the other convention alone on those days while in session and let it bask in the sunshine. They are sending crazy Uncle Joe to our city to stir up whatever hate and discontent he can find. The Democrats say they are doing it to "offer a rapid response" to the GOP. However, the first day of the convention generally introduces the candidates' wives and offers a rather soft beginning. What will Biden's "rapid response" be to that? The GOP will have enough class to leave the Democrats alone during the week of their convention. The Democrats have enough explaining to do as it is. James B. Scully Tampa Welfare scheme Proposals to decrease the size of Citizens Property Insurance Corp. by transferring some of its surplus funds to private insurers in exchange for assuming policies may seem like "corporate welfare" ("Citizens Property's 'corporate welfare' carrot," Other Views, Aug. 17). However, if private insurers agree to cover those policies at the same actuarially unsound low rates that Citizens does, there has to be a source of funds to pay for any potential losses. If there are no losses, the insurer would reimburse those funds to Citizens over a few years. The current system is a far greater welfare scheme: 77 percent of Florida homeowners assume a significant chunk of risk belonging to the 23 percent who are covered by Citizens and enjoy paying a lower rate insufficient to cover their risk. This is in addition to the businesses, charities, religious institutions, automobile policyholders and local governments and school boards that purchase private insurance and are also are subsidizing Citizens' policyholders. The risk the "77 percenters" and the other non-Citizens policyholders assume is essentially an enormous sleeping tax that will awaken the day Citizens finds itself without enough money to pay claims after a bad hurricane. Moreover, private insurers in Florida receive cheap reinsurance coverage by the state-run Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund, which is also subsidized courtesy of Florida taxpayers. Government should not be in the business of forcing people to subsidize other people's risk. More of it should be transferred to the private sector, and Citizens, like every company, should charge enough to pay its own claims so the rest of us don't have to Christian R. Cámara Tallahassee
The writer is Florida director of The R-Street Institute, a think tank that supports free markets, limited government and responsible environmental stewardship.