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Thursday, Dec 18, 2014
Letters To The Editor

Letters to the editor: Don’t give in to law-breakers

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Don’t give in

Why do we want to raise the speed limit? The present 70 mph limit is not enforced enough now by the Florida Highway Patrol or the county cops. I’ve asked why the county cops don’t enforce the speed limit, and I’m told it’s because almost all the revenue goes to the state, not to the county.

Drive the interstate today at 70 mph, and you are the slow car on the freeway. The average speed on the interstate is between 75 mph and 85 mph. All raising the speed limit does is allow those who are breaking the speed limit to receive a lower fine if they’re caught.

I’m against raising it. I’m for changing the revenue path to allow the counties to get a bigger portion of the fine revenue because they are the main ones making the stops, not only on the interstate but mainly on the county roads. The speed problem is not only on the interstate but on all roads.

Redo the fine system to help the counties want to enforce the laws. Don’t give in to the speed-limit violators!

J.R. Matthews

Wesley Chapel

Pulling a fast one?

State Sens. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg, and Jeff Clemens, D-Lake Worth, want to raise the speed limit to 75 mph on some of our interstate highways, but neither seems to be able to give any really good reasons why. Your article on the subject (“Bill would raise speed limit to 75,” front page, Nov. 13) quotes several “experts” on the matter, but again, no really viable reasons for or against. I’m really surprised that your writers didn’t pick up on this one right away.

So why raise the speed limits? It’s very simple — increased tax revenue. With the introduction of newer cars over the past decade that get better gas mileage (miles per gallon), drivers are buying less gasoline to travel the same number of miles. This translates into lost tax revenues for state and local governments. However, as vehicle speeds increase, MPG decreases, and at higher speeds, the rate decreases exponentially. So if drivers can be enticed to drive faster, in doing so they will use more gas to travel the same distance, and in doing so state and local governments will collect more tax revenue on the increased sales.

Just think about it. It’s a politician’s dream come true — a way to increase tax revenue without raising taxes and selling it to the public in such a way that we think they are doing us a favor!

Such a deal!

Lester E. Scates

Plant City

Honesty in gambling

The gambling debate has given rise to a lot of misinformation about the gambling issues, along with some very cleverly calculated confusion. Soapy Smith, the legendary king of the con men in the gold rush days, would be envious.

The general public is woefully undereducated about gambling. Most know how to play a few games but know very little about the industry as a whole. And those who are in a position to reap huge profits from the gamblers are in no hurry to inform the people how it all works. Their motto comes from a W.C. Fields character, Larsen E. Whipsnade: “Never give a sucker an even break or smarten up a chump.”

In the past couple of years there have been several local votes in favor of having slot machines at horse tracks, dog tracks and the jai-alai frontons. The owners of these facilities are quick to point out that the citizens passed these referendums by large margins.

But in reality the vote was rigged. The gambling public definitely wants to play slots. It’s the biggest gambling venue of all time. But on the ballot the only choice was play at the track or don’t play at all.

The ballot should have given an honest choice to the gamblers: If you approve of the public being allowed to play slots, where do you think they should be able to play? At the track, the local mall, slot parlors in strip malls, recreation centers, retirement communities, or other places where people go for recreation? If that had happened, the votes might have turned out quite different. There is no question the people want to play, and they should be given the opportunity.

The tracks and frontons would be great venues for slot machines, but having an exclusive deal over other businesses and recreational facilities is suspect.

Terry Terril

Land O’ Lakes

The writer is a gambling educator and theorist who operates itsaboutgambling.com.

Schiano’s ‘strategy’

Regarding the Tampa Bay area’s lack of support for Bucs head coach Greg Schiano:

Schiano has a plan! He got rid of quarterback Josh Freeman (even if it was about a year too late), but hey, some people forget he didn’t agree to be the Bucs coach until late January 2012.

And congrats to No .99, Warren Sapp, on his induction into the Bucs Ring of Honor. So glad the Bucs could win one in support of that ceremony.

Now, what was Schiano thinking, winning that one on Monday Night Football after going 0-8? That’s a lot of witnesses. At least he remained true to the three-point margin of victory.

We will forgive this one, Coach, in honor of No. 99. Now please get back on track in support of your strategy to ensure the Bucs get the No. 1 draft pick in the NFL draft next year.

Tony Kluz

Valrico

Take care of our own

If Medicaid would investigate applicants first, and thoroughly, there would be enough money to cover those who really need it. Period. Everyone knows someone who is getting Medicaid — a friend of a friend or a neighbor, who is cheating or telling lies just to get it. How many unwed mothers are out there living with the fathers of their children but won’t marry them so she can get benefits? How many illegal immigrants get it because they know how to answer the questions to qualify?

As much as we would like to take care of everyone in the world, we must take care of our own, first and foremost.

Cindy Conti

Apollo Beach

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