Time to see what's on readers' minds …
Scott, thank you for a great Sunday column about how only 2 percent of Florida businesses pay corporate taxes. Did you send this column to every member of our legislature and the executive branch? — Jimmee
Well, I know Gov. Rick Scott's office read it — because they started complaining about it moments after it was published online. (We're talking 10 p.m. on a Saturday, just in case you've ever wondered what Scott staffers do on the weekend.) Alas, it wasn't to give me an attaboy. The governor's stated goal is to reduce the number of businesses paying state corporate-income taxes by half … down to 1 percent.
I never read your columns. — Harry
Harry, that's why it means so much that you took the time to write.
I don't read any of your columns. — Hal
You too, Hal? Do you and Harry also spend a lot of time writing to stores at which you never shop?
I only read you so I can call you and tell you how stupid you are. — Bruce
Now that I actually believe. Still, Bruce, the circulation department says thanks.
A million thanks for the article in Sunday's Orlando Sentinel ["Florida is taking elderly down a dark, deadly path"]. I am 84 yrs old and it is very frightening to me! I just pray God will take me home before I would have to live in such a manner! — Shirley, U.S. Navy widow
Shirley, I'd rather pray that our elected officials show more respect for our elderly residents — and the problem of nursing-home neglect. I heard from scores of readers who shared your fears and outrage. Most were particularly galled by the attempts to crack down on the volunteer watchdog program. There's no cost-saving justification for going after volunteers. And no moral one, either.
Scott, for decades, Florida enticed retirees to come live and play in our great state. They sold their homes up north and brought their retirement pensions … This model works well for a couple of decades until retirees need the assistance of which your column addresses today. — Ted
You are right, Ted. But if the documented cases of abuse, neglect and death continue, Florida will quickly lose its luster to those trying to decide where to spend their golden years — and retirement savings.
How does one become a volunteer watchdog of nursing homes? Disturbing what you have been reporting in past months. — Matthew
I love that you want to help, Matthew. For more information, visit ombudsman.myflorida.com.
I am one of those 400 volunteer ombudsmen. Thank you from those of us who believe each resident in a "facility" should be treated with dignity, respect — and an acknowledgment that each one has a fascinating life story. While families have good intentions, caregivers know that sentiment soon dissipates as mom or dad needs constant attention and care. Regardless of income, everyone who lives long enough might face living in a long-term facility. If we allow the homes to deteriorate in quality, all of society is to blame. — Choice
Eloquently stated, Choice. And those who think only the poor have to worry about these issues might be shocked to know how quickly their retirement savings can dry up. A recent study by Genworth Financial found the average annual cost of a private room in a nursing home in Florida is $83,950. For an assisted-living facility, it's $31,950.
Scott, thank you for keeping those of us who read the paper informed on what's going on with our Florida legislators. It just plain stinks!! I'm thoroughly disgusted with myself for voting for Scott! I knew better. I let my rabid Republican husband convince me. NEVER AGAIN!! — Mrs. T
Helen, listening to your husband was your fatal flaw. If all wives did such a thing, this country would be full of women who scratch themselves and blame the dog for gas it didn't pass.
Mr. Maxwell, this is Jim over in Cocoa Beach. I've been thinking about how all these legislators just do what the special interests want. So let me ask you something: If we got rid of all the legislators and their staffs, we'd be up a few million bucks, right? So how about we just let the lobbyists write all the bills and let the governor pick what he wants. I think that's be a better deal — and more direct — than what we got now.
I'm pretty sure Rick Scott would be cool with that.
Do your bosses realize you have no readership? — Bob
Geez, Bob, keep it down. They might be listening. Besides, how would you, Hal and Harry spend all your time if you weren't not reading my columns?
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