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Letters to the Editor - Feb. 26

February 26, 2011

Waiting longer to fix things will hurt more

To the editor:


The reality of today’s economy can only be faced and resolved with actions that reflect that reality. Fixing the problem must be shouldered by everyone and action must be taken now.

Those who can afford to help the most must help the most, but everyone must help. As former President Kennedy said, we need to ask what we can do for the country.

To stem the flow of jobs overseas, we must set the tax rate on business to a point where it does not make sense to ship jobs overseas. We should even consider a zero tax rate. Yes, this will mean bigger profits, but will result in bigger dividends to the company shareholders. To counter this loss of corporate tax revenue only a portion of unearned income should be taxed at a lower rate. Above that level, it should be treated as earned income. Additionally the total value of all executive compensation must be taxed as earned income.

To address the issue of Social Security the age of full retirement should be raised by one year for those 57 and older, two years for those 50 to 56, and three years for those younger than 50. The most important thing is removing the cap on income that is subject to FICA withholdings; all earned income should be subject to FICA. This age change is for full retirement — retiring at 62 would remain, but the benefits would be at a lower rate as it is now.

Medicare’s biggest problem is us. Fact is, we are all getting older and older people face more medical issues. But the biggest problem with us is we are bigger. I have heard the one area of the biggest expense to Medicare is chronic diseases. Treatments for high blood pressure and diabetes consume a high percentage of Medicare’s expense. Much of this expense is the result of our personal lifestyles. We are eating more of the wrong food and doing less. Instead of going to the mall’s food court we should go to the mall and walk.

Turning things around will hurt — waiting longer will hurt more.

Cliff Lane
Hagerstown


Television is a very poor babysitter

To the editor:

Many young married couples decide to locate in the Tri-State area because they feel this location is more advantageous to raising children. This is only partially true. Regardless of where one raises children the influences of the media, especially television and the movies, are in play. Many people complain about the influences of the media, but only some screen what is shown in their house. I encourage all parents to be very careful what they allow their children to view.

Young minds soak up most of what is shown to them visually. Television is a very poor babysitter.
Almost daily, local papers report drug-related arrests and many alcohol-related infractions. Years ago, this region was insulated to some extent from the problems of suburban areas. That instance occurs less and less all the time.

Sometime I think I should relocate to southeast Alaska, but they have plenty of problems there, too.
 
Meredith Fouche
Sharpsburg

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