Letters to the Editor for July 9, 2013
Published: Tuesday, July 9, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, July 6, 2013 at 11:25 p.m.
If The Swamp restaurant manager, Michael Taphorn, or one of his staff had not served alcohol to a 17-year-old Aaron Hernandez, maybe there wouldn't have been an argument on April 28, 2007.
If they would have followed the law, checked his ID and refused him drinks, the incident described in The Sun's July 3 story would never have happened.
However, as usual, since he was a University of Florida football player, it appears the staff looked the other way. What a way to help nurture our young people.
The NFL is currently fighting an image issue due to numerous arrests of players over the past six months. Maybe, just maybe, if local folks around university campuses would not indulge college football players with gifts, money, cars and extra rope regarding laws, these young men might actually learn that they, like everyone else, must work hard and follow the rules to be successful in life.
Not that simple
In a June 28 letter, Steven Craig ridiculed my view that a sales tax is more "progressive" than a property tax. Of course a property tax is more progressive in structure than a flat sales tax, but it's not that simple.
The basic necessities are exempt from the sales tax: groceries, rent, utilities, health care, gas and even clothing (during state-sponsored holidays). These make up the overwhelming majority of lower-income budgets.
The sales tax applies largely to discretionary consumption, which makes up an increasingly larger share of middle- and higher-income budgets. A sales tax isn't burdensome to the poor if they rarely pay any.
The progressivity of property taxes is eroded by state law, which caps increases for homeowners at 3 percent per year and exempts the first $50,000 altogether.
Renters (the poor), whose property taxes are paid through their rents, enjoy no such protections. Commercial properties are taxed at full market value.
The U.S. Senate accomplished a remarkable act of courage in passing immigration reform last week. Proving that there are still elected officials who understand that compromise is not a sign of weakness, our senators addressed the most serious human rights issue facing our country today.
The baton is now passed to the House of Representatives, where the Republican majority must be convinced to follow suit. Alachua and Marion Counties depend on the success of this bill to maintain agribusiness important to North Florida.
Representatives Ted Yoho and Rich Nugent, who represent our districts, must consider their constituents as they vote. Both have stated that they do not support this bill.
Florida, a major food provider, depends on immigrant workers. Our representatives should support those who contributed to their political success.
The time is now to clear the confusion around immigration reform with a solid plan for a path to citizenship that is fair and attainable.
The Bible records this warning: "The wicked shall be turned into Hell and every nation that forgets God." America, its leaders and citizenry seem determined to bring down the judgment of God on this once-great nation. Turning our backs as a people we are, in effect, thumbing our collective noses at our creator and redeemer.
The Bible contains many examples of nations and empires that have been destroyed because of their refusal to honor God and his word (Sodom and Gomorra being only one example). By our approval of homosexuality, same-sex marriage, abortion and every other violation of God's law, we have placed our nation on on the very top of God's judgment hit list.
Our country was founded by God-fearing Christians. We built this nation on faith in God and belief in his word and ways. So America, prepare for judgment. It is sure to come.