Letters

Letters 05-23-2016

Examine The Priorities Are you disgusted about closing schools, crumbling roads and bridges, and cuts everywhere? Investigate funding priorities of legislators. In 1985 at the request of President Reagan, Grover Norquist founded Americans for Tax Reform (ATR). For 30 years Norquist asked every federal and state candidate and incumbent to sign the pledge to vote against any increase in taxes. The cost of living has risen significantly since 1985; think houses, cars, health care, college, etc...

Make TC A Community For Children Let’s be that town that invests in children actively getting themselves to school in all of our neighborhoods. Let’s be that town that supports active, healthy, ready-to-learn children in all of our neighborhoods...

Where Are Real Christian Politicians? As a practicing Christian, I was very disappointed with the Rev. Dr. William C. Myers statements concerning the current presidential primaries (May 8). Instead of using the opportunity to share the message of Christ, he focused on Old Testament prophecies. Christ gave us a new commandment: to love one another...

Not A Great Plant Pick As outreach specialist for the Northwest Michigan Invasive Species Network and a citizen concerned about the health of our region’s natural areas, I was disappointed by the recent “Listen to the Local Experts” feature. When asked for their “best native plant pick,” three of the four garden centers referenced non-native plants including myrtle, which is incredibly invasive...

Truth About Plants Your feature, “listen to the local experts” contains an error that is not helpful for the birds and butterflies that try to live in northwest Michigan. Myrtle is not a native plant. The plant is also known as vinca and periwinkle...

Ask the Real Plant Experts This letter is written to express my serious concern about a recent “Listen To Your Local Experts” article where local nurseries suggested their favorite native plant. Three of the four suggested non-native plants and one suggested is an invasive and cause of serious damage to Michigan native plants in the woods. The article is both sad and alarming...

My Plant Picks In last week’s featured article “Listen to the Local Experts,” I was shocked at the responses from the local “experts” to the question about best native plant pick. Of the four “experts” two were completely wrong and one acknowledged that their pick, gingko tree, was from East Asia, only one responded with an excellent native plant, the serviceberry tree...

NOTE: Thank you to TC-based Eagle Eye Drone Service for the cover photo, taken high over Sixth Street in Traverse City.

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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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