Letters to the Editor - July 2

July 02, 2011

Transfer agents are not the answer for Congress

To the editor:

Why do we treat government spending as though it is entirely separate from the rest of our society? All of the conversation about cutting the cost of government seems to assume that if the government doesn’t spend money in some area or another, the cost to our society goes away. This is nonsense.

If the government puts a warship into mothballs, an expense to the government (and our society) is eliminated. If an unneeded military post in a country that poses no threat to us is closed, the government and our society eliminate a cost.

If Medicare is cut, the expense does not go away — it is transferred back to the people who can least afford the expense. People will continue to get sick; people will continue to get old; people will continue to fall on hard times — these things do not go away. It makes no difference to our society on a global sense whether we pay for things through a government mechanism as a transfer agent or we pay for things through an insurance company as a transfer agent, except that experience tells us that government programs as a transfer agent cost less.

Cut Social Security and grandma’s care falls back on the children or the charity agencies — grandma does not go away. Cut Medicare and the costs fall back on the family or charities — illness does not go away.

Medicare is not the problem. Medicare is simply a program to share the cost of poor health through the tax code instead of the proven failings of the insurance industry. The problem is that medical costs to our society are 17 percent of our gross national product. Medicare is 17.6 percent of that 17 percent, making it 3 percent of our gross national product. Simply saying that the government is not going to pay for services does not eliminate the services needed. That’s foolish.

Congress should begin cutting the avoidable expenses before we look at government programs that are merely transfer agents.

Bob and Earlene Ayrer
Falling Waters, W.Va.

Thanks to all for support in our time of loss

To the editor:

Over the past few weeks, we have experienced many acts of kindness. On May 15, two dogs mauled and killed 14 of our lambs and yearling sheep. On that day, with the help of our family and 4-H families, we were able to clean up and start the healing process.

On May 16, a lady who told us she would like to be considered a concerned citizen gave us money to help with our upcoming vet bills. Today, another lady with two small children stopped by our barn and handed a stuffed white-faced lamb to our son and said it was a gift for the people who own the sheep. How did they know I collect white-faced sheep? How sweet is that?

We feel blessed to have all these people in our lives. We would like to thank those of you we do not know and for those of you we know ... thank you, thank you, thank you. You have held us up and kept us going. God bless you all.

Joe and Debbie Frey

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