Letters to the Editor - March 22

March 22, 2011

Social Security can be fixed

To the editor:

This is a reply to Charles Krauthammer’s article, “Obama fiddles as Social Security burns,” in the Sunday, March 13, Herald-Mail.   

If current trends do not change, Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid spending would soon exceed the current federal budget. However, grouping those three programs together hides a significant fact: The driving force behind the inflation of those “entitlement” programs is the increase in medical spending.

With a few minor adjustments, the Social Security system is far more sustainable than the current Medicare and Medicaid programs. Removal of the $106,800 cap on each worker’s total earnings subject to the payroll tax would entirely fill any funding gap.

Health expenditures have long operated upon a blank check model with considerable waste, fraud and abuse. It is not acceptable to pay twice as much as any other developed country for one of the worst health care systems that leaves over 50 million people without any health care coverage. We will probably have to abandon private employer-based coverage and adopt a public single-payer health care system.  

Social Security is solely funded by a payroll tax that is raised, accounted for, and spent separately from all other federal funds. Social Security is an incredibly effective, efficient program that operates with an administrative cost that is about one-tenth of that of  private insurers.  

In 1983, Greenspan and company sold a regressive tax switch by raising the Social Security payroll tax on the workers and cutting them on the wealthy with an earnings cap. The increased payroll tax created a Social Security surplus to pay the benefits of the Baby Boomers and has now increased to more than $2.5 trillion dollars.

In the interim, the federal government transferred that money to the Treasury, pledged nonnegotiable Treasury bonds in its stead, and spent the money on tax cuts, wars, bailouts and other forms of welfare for Corporate America and the politically powerful elite.

Those reserve funds will soon be needed to pay those benefits to the Baby Boomers.

The only way Social Security gets in trouble is if Congress votes not to honor U.S. Treasury bonds held by Social Security.

Earl L. Jackson Jr.
Charles Town, W.Va.

The future of travel

To the editor:

I’ve been reading and hearing about the possibility of the U.S. building high-speed passenger trains. I think it’s a good idea; in fact we should have done it long ago.

In my opinion, we should have kept the railroads up and running all along, improving the freight and passenger trains. However, I want to talk about future travel by individuals.

Within the next 20 years or sooner, there will be automobiles that will be able to take off vertically, powered by atomic energy. They will travel on a radio beam at various altitudes, depending on direction of travel. They will also be protected by a negative magnetic outer band to avoid collision.

This modern updated vehicle will be capable of traveling at high speeds and will have unbelievable maneuvering capabilities, equipped with radar and many other advanced technologies that will be invented by then. I can imagine you are smiling about this and thinking it’s impossible.

Well you may be right but then again it may be possible. I remember when I was a young boy, we read about Buck Rogers and rocket ships, that was back in the ’30s and ’40s. How did that work out?

Think about it.

Jack Myers

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