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Letters to the Editor - June 7

June 07, 2011

Stop the raid on Social Security

To the editor:

Congress has raided Social Security ($1.92 trillion plus) since 2000. We need our representative to reintroduce and co-sponsor the “stop the raid bill.” With President Obama and a divided Congress sure to battle over spending and Social Security, seniors and their benefits need this protection against rampant spending.

Prohibit Congress from spending your Social Security money on anything except for promised benefits, not on pork barrel projects. This bill will block any attempt to raid the trust fund to finance so-called personal accounts or to privatize Social Security.

The trust fund is projected to produce a $1.69 trillion surplus over the next 10 years. Stop the big spenders from raiding this nest egg. If not, Congress will be forced to cut benefits, raise taxes or both.

There is debate on Capitol Hill about how to save Social Security. President Obama’s Deficit Commission is pushing benefit cuts. The Democrats and Republicans refuse to stop the threat to our retirement system. They are spending our Social Security money on pet projects and unrelated government programs. Government overspending, funded by the trust fund, has been completely out of control.

The big spenders continue each year spending to cause the serious damage to the trust fund inflicted on Social Security. Seniors must raise their voices of opposition to this mismanagement and to Congress’ risky schemes.

Many of the “reform” plans would end FDR’s vision of Social Security as a retirement insurance program and reduce benefits by stopping COLAs for two years. Social Security privatization would destroy our protection. If you pay payroll taxes during working years, this money will be saved in a trust fund to pay benefits checks, not just any expenses. Or Congress breaks this promise and digs its IOUs farther in debt. It must be stopped.

Anna Lee Burker

Don’t be fooled by false emails about United Way

To the editor:

Like everyone I get forwarded emails every day. Many are simply misleading.  I received one recently that purported that the top four charitable organizations in the U.S. are misusing the funds that are given by well-meaning donors. Such emails are often the source of unreliable information that can hurt the standing of a good organization.

Because that particular unsolicited email suggested that the United Way misused the moneys and good faith of their donors, I must respond.

I am a board member of the United Way of Franklin County (UWFC) and  have worked with some of the finest men  and women across Franklin County to ensure that our Agency is fiscally responsible and that the moneys entrusted to UWFC make a measurable difference.

UWFC  has 28 partner agencies that support such diverse community organizations like emergency ambulance services, hospice care for the terminally ill, therapeutic riding programs for the autistic, support for battered women,  community nurse programs — just to name a few.  Without the help of UWFC all of these organizations would have to cut back much needed services to those who are often the neediest in Franklin County. Some organizations might even have to close their doors without United Way funds.

Each year, individuals, corporate donors, churches and businesses participate in the United Way campaign. In 2010 UWFC  gave $651,831 to the community by way of services and program support  to our 28 partner agencies. Additionally,  we provided over $50,000 worth of volunteer support to the community last year. Of every dollar given, 86 cents was returned directly to needs and services right here in Franklin County.  

The overhead expense we have goes in to caring for our home offices on Second Street in Chambersburg, salaries, program costs and fees to UWFC’s parent organization, United Way Worldwide.

I am proud of the deep commitment by so many in Franklin County to care for those who need our help the most.  I would hope that you would feel a great sense of trust in the UWFC board who give selflessly to help and to care for our neighbors here.  

And I hope that when presented with the opportunity to participate in giving to the United Way of Franklin County, you would respond generously, knowing that your giving makes a difference for so many people.

Rev. Dr. Robert Cook
Chambersburg, Pa.

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