So our esteemed governor rejected a proposal for Amazon.com to build at least one warehouse in Florida, after saying since Day One that jobs are Priority One. It has been explained that he does not want his name attached to something that would cause Floridians to pay sales tax on purchases from Amazon. Seems as if Priority One is Rick Scott.
I am disgusted on many levels. Floridians should be paying taxes on these purchases already. The only reason they don’t is that there is no process in place to collect taxes on Internet purchases from out of state. In addition, what does this say to all of the businesses with physical locations in the state employing Floridians? Gov. Scott seems not to mind that they are at a disadvantage. The 2,500 possible jobs, as well as a more even playing field, would have been welcomed by those businesses already situated in Florida.
As you review the $10,000 college tuition deal, the hastily-put-together teachers raises and now this, it is obvious that all that concerns our fearless leader is his re-election. It is time to remind Gov. Scott that his responsibility is to Florida, not to Rick Scott.
Rejecting Amazon benefited no one
Gov. Rick came down on the side of no one with his rejection of the Amazon deal to build warehouses in Florida. He did not come down on the side of brick-and-mortar businesses, large and small, that not only collect the sales tax but incur the expenses of maintaining physical facilities here and have long complained about having to compete with online retailers that have no such expenses. He did not come down on the side of Amazon, which wanted to build the warehouses, collect the sales tax and create up to 2,500 jobs. He did not come down on the side of people who need the jobs.
According The Palm Beach Post, he rejected it because he was afraid he would be accused of raising taxes. The trouble is that the tax is already owed by the purchaser; it is just not collected because of the difficulty of enforcing it. So he has really come down of the side of not enforcing the law. He has added final proof that it is a bad idea to let a person buy a job for which he is not qualified.
JAMES F. LOGAN
We already pay enough taxes, fees
Regarding the editorial “Scott jobs the unemployed”: Government at all levels collects tons of (our) money from taxes and fees levied by every branch, agency, authority, district, and so on. How else do budgets even on the local level reach into the billions?
Just because existing sales tax law could not foresee the rise of e-commerce does not mean that the tax should now be applied to Internet sales. Instead, we should ask why the government is entitled to take more of our money every time we buy something for ourselves and our families with after-tax dollars.
Better alternative than Bradshaw plan
Regarding Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw’s proposal to create “violence prevention units”: Why create new programs when one already exists? In place throughout most of the state is the CIT (Counselor in Training) program. It is geared towards training officers to better handle those with chronic mental illness and/or a history of violence.
Why not put expand the program? Have more officers trained. Add guidance counselors to middle and high schools. Train teachers to be alert to certain behaviors. Coach children to look out for one another and not be afraid to share what they’ve heard in the hallways or the lunch room. Encourage parents to seek help for their children without the associated stigma.
There are usually warning signs. Sixty-three percent of the perpetrators involved in mass shootings over the past 30 years had a history of mental disorder and/or violence, yet 80 percent of these people obtained their weapons legally. We need new programs and better screening. Our children shouldn’t have to live under martial law.
Editor’s note: Gov. Rick Scott vetoed $1 million for the violence-prevention units.” The sheriff’s office will “re-evaluate” the idea.
Random violence cannot be stopped
Regarding E. J. Dionne’s column “Slow-motion murders”: Everyone seems to have his or her own answer to stopping the apparent spate of soft-target gun attacks. Why hasn’t some intelligent mind simply defined the problem before advancing a solution?
These attacks like Newtown, relatively few, are of random violence, as is every act of terrorism. As random acts, they cannot be stopped, only punished. Attempts at gun control will never work. Such laws only operate to rob honest citizens of their ability to protect themselves in times of mortal danger. Serious moves toward punishment for violent acts would go a long way toward ameliorating the problem. Nothing can stop random acts of violence. Not even martial law.
Letter-writer’s math doesn’t add up
Regarding the letter to the editor “School spending needs scrutiny”: I hope the writer is not a math teacher in the Palm Beach County School District. He should have come up with a figure of $660 per computer, not $6,000.
Public employees count on benefits
Regarding the debate over state pensions: I work for Palm Beach County. The depiction of public employees “making out” while others are suffering demonizes different groups and suits political agendas, since the public readily scapegoats immigrants, government workers, people in poverty or whoever is convenient.
The Florida Retirement System was proven to be healthy, yet the Legislature tried to eliminate the defined benefit plan for new employees. Palm Beach County workers have not gotten a raise in five years, more is taken out for health benefits as well as higher co-pays, and in 2011 Gov. Rick Scott and the Legislature required a 3 percent pension contribution, which the Florida Supreme Court upheld in January. We are now making approximately 30 percent less than anticipated six years ago. Don’t people realize that public sector employees make less but count on the benefits?
Prayer should bebetween you and god
Regarding the letter to the editor “Right to pray is constitutional”: What is it with these “persecuted” Christians and their need to force their beliefs on the rest of us? No one is keeping anyone from praying, but you don’t have to bother or insult others while you do it.
You can pray in the middle of a crowd or in solitude anytime, anyplace without anyone stopping you because prayer is supposedly between you and your God. It’s in the Bible; read Matthew 6:6. Does God only hear people when they pray aloud, or are these people really trying to preach to everyone else?
People should say prayers between themselves and their god, and quit being so hypocritical. No one is going to “deny that privilege in this land of the free and home of the brave.”
Palm Beach Gardens
Lake Worth deserves better deal
Regarding The Post’s coverage of Lake Worth’s electric utility: For too long we in Lake Worth have wanted to see our rates as low as FPL’s. I am encouraged by our elected officials taking a public stand to bring down our rates to what our neighbors pay FPL. That’s something no other city-owned electric company in the state is now able to do.
We all want to believe that it could happen. We’ve been promised that before. Let us all hope we have the unified will to make the sacrifices to wean ourselves off the cash fix our electric utility has hooked us on, to make up for our depressed property values. Small cites never can attract experts to compete with a company like FPL. Our government-owned electric utility is a big drag on our local economy. Lake Worth is a special place, but not special enough to charge us higher rates for lesser service, especially when there’s a better option all around us.