Letters to the Editor for July 4, 2013
Published: Thursday, July 4, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, July 2, 2013 at 10:19 p.m.
Thanks to Steven Craig for his June 28 letter pointing out Alachua County Commissioner Mike Byerly's confusion regarding the difference between a regressive and a progressive tax. The idea of restructuring the county's tax base in favor of a higher sales tax (versus a higher property tax) was called “progressive” by Byerly.
I had read Byerly's comments at the time, and assumed he had been misquoted. But, by George, I think Craig is right. Byerly apparently doesn't know the difference between a regressive and a progressive tax if he thinks sales taxes are progressive.
Earth to Byerly: Any time that Susan Baird takes a stand on taxes, be assured her stand favors the 1 percent. I guarantee that she wasn't confused.
Byerly had better think twice anytime he sides with Baird on an issue involving taxes.
Mary V. Graham,
I recently violated my personal integrity by taking a plea bargain of traffic school over going to court over a traffic citation.
I believe this citation was completely inaccurate and out of line. However, virtually everyone I spoke to said it would be my word against an officer's and I would not prevail.
Avoiding points on my license after never once having a ticket in my 71 years seemed the better alternative to the risk of not being believed in court.
Yes, I am aware that many people feel their citation is undeserved. I can only deal with my own heart and respect for the truth.
Gainesville residents, beware. Motorcycle officers are on the prowl and overzealous. I was respecting the law when ticketed. I would like to think the officer had a perception problem at the time. Alternative explanations are just too disappointing for those of us who do respect the law.
EarthJustice's David Guest (column, July 6) is once again spot-on in his assessment of the true causes of water pollution in Florida. The agent most to blame is greed, hands-down.
Our state takes the cheap way out of holding industries accountable and making them clean up their messes, let alone making sure they don't pollute in the first place. When something as relatively simple — and inexpensive — as inspecting septic tanks once every five years is gutted after a fear-inducing campaign of misinformation, it says a lot about who really runs Florida (big ag and big industry) and who does their dirty work (the Legislature).
Our estuaries (like Indian River), other irreplaceable rivers, fisheries, and our once world-famous and now dying springs will continue to degrade until all concerned Floridians rise up and demand real change in how our state is run. We need to get the too-compliant foxes (a.k.a. the Legislature) out of Florida's henhouse.
Checks and balances
In The Sun on June 27, Sen. Marco Rubio was quoted as opining that “the court should not have second-guessed the will of the American people.”
I thought that is exactly why our Founding Fathers established the Supreme Court; as part of our Constitution's checks and balances.
The Supreme Court has often second-guessed the will of the majority of Americans: with women's rights; African-American's lack of access to schools, libraries, theaters and other public venues; and other minorities disenfranchised by the will of the majority.
Looking back, we realize the court needed to intervene when the will of the American people was misguided or based on unjustifiable prejudices.
I suspect that history will show that the court's intervention on behalf of rights for gay and lesbian families will also help to guide us on a course closer to “one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
Regarding Herb Dupree's May 29 letter discussing entitlements: He is talking like our president's mouthpiece, with regards to Social Security and Medicare.
We, the working people of America, paid into the Social Security fund, with our employers providing matching funds. Every President since Lyndon Johnson has used Social Security as a slush fund, borrowing from it, putting in IOUs and never paying it back.
When President Obama and Dupree call Medicare and Social Security an entitlement, they are both showing a lack of intelligence. Medicaid is considered an entitlement, because nothing is paid in, but rewards are granted.