Insurance reform, immigration, Catholic teachings, teachers' unions | Letters, Jan. 1

Raising hail about fraudulent roofing claims

Wonder why you see so many tarps on homes lately? Ever wonder how often we get hail in Florida on the Treasure Coast?

In the last two years, there have been many homes where roofers told homeowners that they could get them new roofs because of the hail damage. A great deal of people went along with the roofers' claims and people got new roofs. How was the hail so bad that it ruined roofs, but not your car?

Now, all of the people in our area are paying higher insurance premiums, but you got your new roof. Sure, it was an old roof, but tell me again how your cars were not damaged?

Some people would say they keep their cars in their garage and that would certainly answer the question. But I challenge everyone who saw their neighbors get new roofs because of hail, to ask their neighbors why all their cars were spared hail damage.

Normally, people call their agents or insurance companies to file claims, but now insurance companies are receiving lawsuits from attorneys instead of notices of claims from policy holders. So when you get your insurance bill and it went up and you haven't put in a claim ever, walk over to your neighbor with three cars, a new roof due to hail, and thank them for your increase.

When legislation finally closes that loophole, maybe premiums will come back down to realistic levels. But as long as people just think of themselves and what they can get without looking at the morals of their actions, prices for insurance are going to keep going up.

Just try and tell me that there haven't been an excessive number of roofs replaced.

Michael Glennon, Port St. Lucie

Biden, Harris should tour Mexican border

The growing crisis on our Mexican border is yet another example of the ineptness of President Joe Biden's administration. This crisis, along with numerous others, starting with the botched withdrawal from Afghanistan, out-of-control inflation, and a hesitation to assist the Ukranian people at the start of the Russian invasion, has made America the laughingstock of the world and further eroded our position as the leader of the world's democracies.

Unless we secure our border and stop the flow of fentanyl, pedophiles, and cartel criminals, we won't have a country to speak of. Isn't it time that President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris visit the southern border and see firsthand the result of their ineptness and the devastation it has caused in this country? Their failure to do so is pure negligence.

Charles Miller, Port St. Lucie

Catholic Church must practice its preachings

The Catholic Church continues to actually push its congregants away from practicing the religion.  It has defrocked a priest who has  actively espoused his pro-life stance and being anti-abortion because of his public manifestations of what is the direction of the church.

We have become disgusted with this super-liberal pope and with the entire behavior of the Catholic Church.  Father Frank Pavone has been wrongfully treated by his bishop and the church.

Why hasn't the church excommunicated Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi and other Catholic politicians and "big shots" for their public espousal of abortion?

We can still believe in God, the commandments, and practice what is right without formally attending a church, and the Catholic Church is quickly earning its reputation for lack of compassion and for not practicing what it preaches.

Nancy Celano, Sebastian

Teachers' unions don't want what's best for students

I love teachers. They love their students and want them to succeed. Teachers' unions, on the other hand, seek  money and political power, with students as an afterthought.

During COVID, unions espoused keeping schools closed, even though healthy children under 20 had virtually no chance of serious infection. Meanwhile, students lost a year (or more) of academics, sports, camraderie, proms, and graduations.  Low test scores are the result.

While schools were closed, parents saw what the schools were teaching, and they didn't like it.  For years, the unions were gaining an increasing input into curricula, and it was more radical.

Parents relearned that even school board elections are important. One-size-fits-all national organizations may be good for standardizing sports rules, but not for local schools.

Then, there's the issue of charter schools and public schools. Both types are public schools, but charter schools may have special purposes, like gaining college admission.

Unions dislike charters because they are generally more flexible in their hiring and typically not unionized. Teachers' unions are heavy contributors to Democrats. So, surprise, President Joe Biden opposes charter schools.

But Donald Trump, Barack Obama, George Bush, and Bill Clinton all supported charters because of their outstanding record in reaching their goals.

Hurrah for teachers; boo for their unions.

Tom Miller, Vero Beach

Whelan's no prize on trading block

President Joe Biden is incompetent because he exchanged a “ninny over a military hero”? Paul Whelan is no military hero.

Whelan was convicted of espionage, caught with classified information he intended to sell. In 2008, Whelan was given a bad conduct discharge from the Marines for attempted larceny, making false statements, Social Security fraud, and check kiting.

In some people’s eyes, Paul Whelan is an American hero, but to me, he’s just a ninny stuck in a Russian prison for being a crook.

Chris Christensen, Palm City

Insurance 'reform' bill did homeowners no favors

Our new property insurance is meant to hurt, not help, the homeowner. Instead of addressing the real cause of high insurance rates, namely forcing new construction to use metal rather than shingled roofs and local authorities allowing construction in flood plains and water frontage, legislators addressed flood insurance and our ability to sue insurance companies.

One portion of the new bill requires condo owners, not the associations that own the structures, to have flood insurance. Now, does it make sense for someone living on the 15th floor of a condo to have flood insurance?

They should have required the structure owners to carry it, but, oh well, they have a strong lobby. If the flood reaches the 15th floor, they don't need insurance, they need Noah's ark.

Another portion of the bill makes it almost impossible to sue a carrier. If one owns a home with $30,000 of damages, the company will only offer the owner $20,000 for it knows the homeowner will take it because a lawyer will want $10,000, which will give the owner the same $20,000.

Then with a $5,000 deductible, the poor home owner gets 50% to repair his home, but is paying 150% more for the coverage, like I am.

Apparently, the Legislature's real purpose is to drive the middle-class homeowner either into leaving Florida to the wealthy or going bankrupt.

All of you had better examine just who you are voting for for state senator and representative before they destroy Florida for us and make it another Hamptons in New York.

Edward Marasi, Port St. Lucie

Roofers replace an old roof on Monday, Feb. 21, 2022, at Indianwood Golf and Country Club in Indiantown. Homeowners insurance premiums have increased 25% this year and many insurers are not writing policies for roofs over 15 years old.
Roofers replace an old roof on Monday, Feb. 21, 2022, at Indianwood Golf and Country Club in Indiantown. Homeowners insurance premiums have increased 25% this year and many insurers are not writing policies for roofs over 15 years old.

Inflation figures don't tell the complete story

It seems nonsensical to me to relate current inflation figures using year-over-year calculations. That bakes in earlier periods of high inflation, which gives us a deceptive figure.

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers All Items was 278.802 last December. The June figure was 296.311.

That means if inflation was brought down to zero for the months of July through December, we would be told that the current rate of inflation in December would be 6.3%, which would have all accrued last December through June.

As it happened, the total inflation between June and November (when the CPI equalled 297.711) was less than 0.5%, or 0.1% per month. This works out to a roughly 1.2% annual rate.

Two percent per year is the target rate for the Fed. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell recently indicated we need lower wages and higher unemployment to fight inflation and the Fed will continue to raise interest rates to accomplish this.

This is reminiscent of Paul Volcker in the 1970s and '80s and succeeding Fed chairmen marching up to Capitol Hill to testify that the greatest threat to our economy is workers being paid more.

Inflation may or may not have been brought under control. The current evidence, however, should lead one to believe that we should wait to inflict harm on our economy until such time as we determine upcoming inflation figures indicate we should do so.

Steve Tierney, Fort Pierce

This article originally appeared on Treasure Coast Newspapers: Insurance reform, immigration, Catholic teachings | Letters, Jan. 1