Letters

Letters 12-14-2014

Come Together There is a time-honored war strategy known as “divide and conquer,” and never has it been more effective than now. The enemy is using it against us through television, internet and other social media. I opened a Facebook account a couple of years back to gain more entries in local contests. Since then I had fallen under its spell; I rushed into judgment on several social issues based on information found on those pages

Quiet The Phones! This weekend we attended two beautiful Christmas musical events and the enjoyment of both were significantly diminished by self-absorbed boors holding their stupid iPhones high overhead to capture extremely crucial and highly needed photos. We too own iPhones, but during a public concert we possess the decency and manners to leave them turned off and/or at home. Today’s performance, the annual Messiah Sing at Traverse City’s Central Methodist Church, was a new low: we watched as Mr. Self-Absorbed not only took several photos but then afterwards immediately posted them to his Facebook page. We were dumbfounded.

A Torturous Defense In defense of the C.I.A.’s use of torture in a mostly fruitless search for vital information, some suggest that the dire situation facing us after 9-11, justified the use of torture even at the expense of the potential loss of much of our nation’s moral authority.

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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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