Letters 10-12-2015

Replacing Pipeline Is Safe Bet On Sept. 25, Al Monaco, president and CEO of Enbridge, addressed members of the Northern Michigan Chamber Alliance. His message was, “I want to be clear. We wouldn’t be operating this line if we didn’t think it was safe.”

We pretty much have to take him for his word...

Know The Root Of Activism Author and rabbi Harold Kushner has said, “People become activists to overcome their childhood fear of insignificance.” The need to feel important drives them. They endeavor good works not to help the poor or sick or unfortunate but to fill the void in their own empty souls. Their various “causes” are simply a means to an end as they work to assuage their own broken hearts...

Climate’s Cost One of the arguments used to delay action on climate change is that it would be too expensive. Such proponents think leaving environmental problems alone would save us money. This viewpoint ignores the cost of extreme weather events that are related to global warming...

A Special Edition Cuckoo Clock The Republican National Committee should issue a special edition cuckoo clock commemorating the great (and lesser) debates and campaign 2016...

Problems On The Left Contrary to letters in the Oct 5th edition, Julie Racine’s letter is nothing but drivel, a mindless regurgitation of left-wing stuff, nonsense, and talking points. They are a litany of all that is wrong with the left: Never address an issue honestly, avoid all facts, blame instead of solving; and when all else fails, do it all over again...

Thanks, Jack It is so very difficult for the average American to understand the complex issues our country faces in far off places around the globe. (Columnist) Jack Segal’s career and his special ability to explain these issues in plain English in many forums make him a precious asset to all of us in northern Michigan...

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Let‘s Keep the Security in Social Security

U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow - March 24th, 2005
Social Security is a great American success story. It represents the best of American values – if you work hard and play by the rules, you earn a secure retirement and a basic quality of life in your older years.
And it works. Before Social Security, 50 percent of older Americans were living in poverty. Now, it’s 10 percent.
Social Security is more than retirement. It covers you if something goes terribly wrong – a financial crisis, loss of a spouse or parent, or disability. It protects you whether you are a 25-year-old starting your career, like my daughter, or a 78-year-old retiree, like my Mom.
There are misconceptions about Social Security. Here are the facts:
Nearly every working American – including me – pays into Social Security.
According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, Social Security can pay 100 percent of its commitments through 2052. After that, it will be able to pay 80 percent of benefits owed. We know Social Security faces long-term challenges, and I intend to be part of the effort to strengthen it for the long term.
But privatization is not the answer, because the numbers just don’t add up. In fact, the administration’s plan doesn’t do one thing to ensure the long-term security of Social Security.
Privatization will require cutting benefits by one-third or more – even for those who choose not to participate in privatized accounts. According to the Center for Economic and Policy Research, the average retiree can expect to lose more than $152,000 in benefits over a 20-year retirement.
The administration’s privatization plan also includes a “privatization tax” that reduces benefits by up to 70 percent or more. Essentially, as the government would initially lend workers the money to open a private account, they would require you to pay it back with interest when you retire, thus imposing an additional tax and reducing your Social Security benefits.
Beyond its deep benefit cuts, privatization would add $5 trillion in debt over 20 years. Much of that money would be borrowed from countries like China and Japan, which already hold half of America’s foreign-owned debt.
Our country now faces the largest budget deficit in our history. Taking on even more debt could destabilize financial markets, drive up interest rates, and stifle economic growth. All that Americans will own under privatization is nearly $17,000 in additional debt – the amount of new debt each man, woman and child will be responsible for if we privatize Social Security.
We must reject privatization schemes that just don’t make sense. We need to work together; there are small things we can do now that will have a big impact in strengthening Social Security. We also must develop innovative ways to promote savings, so more Americans can save for their future.
You can help. Visit my web site at www.stabenow.senate.gov/socialsecurity to sign my petition to reject privatization and to use my Social Security calculator to see how the President’s privatization accounts would affect your benefits.
Together, we can keep the security in Social Security.

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