Live with bad decisions
In your editorial "Bank of America put on notice" (Our Views, June 22), your final statement is "Bank of America needs to live up to the terms of the settlement, or face the consequences." I agree with that. However, I also believe that mortgagors need to live up to the terms of their loan, or face the consequences. I never hear that from the Tribune, Pam Bondi, et al.
I have great empathy for the family where Mom or Dad lost their job and are now struggling to keep their home. But, I suspect, these represent a small minority. I feel confident that the vast majority seeking relief either bought a house they could not afford, planning to flip it in a couple of years for a quick profit, or through a line of credit withdrew and spent a significant amount of cash with the same intention to sell the house in the near future.
Well, all I can say is "sorry." You made a bad decision, and you need to live with it. Live with it just like the thousands upon thousands who lost significant value in their 401(k) and other retirement accounts are living with their bad decisions. I never hear anyone lamenting the fact that so many 65- and 66-year-olds cannot afford to retire as planned.
No question that financial crisis was devastating on many, but we have to quit blaming everyone but ourselves.
TampaThe 800-pound gorilla
On June 21 Karl Nurse, who said he is a member of the top 1 percent, stated on the Tribune's Other Views page that he and those like him should pay more taxes ("Big corporations and wealthy need to pay their fair share"). I am not a member of the 1 percent, but I do not advocate that Nurse's taxes or anyone else's taxes be raised.
Our federal government spends hundreds of billions of dollars every year on things that have nothing to do with the federal government's constitutional duties. For example, reading the Tribune over the past number of months, I note that Zephyrhills received a $30,000 federal grant for the purchase of a Toyota Prius. Although this grant may be beneficial to Zephyrhills, how can anyone imagine that buying a new Toyota is a responsibility of the federal government?
Another local example is a federal grant of about $2 million to fund high-speed Internet for a Tampa neighborhood for a couple of years. How is this a responsibility of federal taxpayers? Why was this neighborhood selected to receive free Internet? Why wasn't my neighborhood or every neighborhood given free Internet?
Multiply these examples by tens of thousands, and one can see that federal spending is out of control.
Nurse also decries the sequester for reducing government spending. The facts are that the sequester represents about 2 percent of federal spending. Who among us has not had to reduce our spending by more than 2 percent during this time of economic stagnation?
Federal spending sits like an 800-pound gorilla crushing our economy. It removes resources that would be more efficiently allocated by the free market and grants them to those individuals and groups that the government deems as more worthy than the rest of us. If we really care about economic growth and the middle class, we would reduce federal spending and get the federal government and all of its inefficiency off our backs.
Land O' Lakes
Hire the Israelis
I think the best way to keep terrorists out of our country is to contract with the Israelis to manage our immigration and entry process. Personally, I would feel a lot safer.
The acting trade
A popular actor of a popular TV drama passed away recently. To hear the media, he was a saint. Although this fellow may have been a swell guy, the relationship between being that and him being an actor bears examination.
A TV or film actor is an individual who speaks lines penned by an author and adapted by a screenwriter who indicates the action; he postures, makes facial expressions and gestures on the instructions of a director. He has flaws and blemishes deleted by a makeup artist. He is clothed by a costume designer and has his performance clipped and corrected by an editing team.
As an actor, he has do-overs the rest of us do not. He has studios, agents, spokespersons, lawyers and accountants to represent him and help with every life decision. If a good actor, he may be not a bit like the characters he portrays. He is essentially a puppet. Celebrity adds nothing to his fundamental integrity or wisdom.
Acting is not an accomplishment; it is a trade, with a very public face. It's nice to hear he was a good man, but he was no more than that, for being highly recognizable as either hero or villain, in what is basically a culturally destructive industry.
TampaTime for a chat
Chris Ingram's op-ed regarding the sweetheart deals that state Rep. James Grant gave himself using public money was disturbing ("You may fleece, but you can't hide," June 19). Grant has embarrassed his supporters, his constituents and his political party.
With the disinfectant of sunlight now shining on Grant, perhaps he should consider whether or not he still deserves to represent the people of his district. Perhaps Speaker of the House Will Weatherford should have a little chat with him and help him make up his mind.