Don’t blame grandma for entitlement woes

To the editor:

I see Jim Day has done it again. He indicates in his Thursday cartoon that mean old “tea party grandmas” are collecting Medicare and Social Security at the expense of young workers. He once again fails to understand that these programs have been paid for by senior citizens who have paid into them over decades.

The reason young people are now facing even higher taxes to cover the cost of these items is due to a combination of greedy politicians and simple mathematics.

There is a popular myth that, somewhere in the bowels of Washington, there exists a Social Security Trust fund. Not so. The greedy politicians have spent the money contributed by working people over lo, these many years. This necessitated the payment of monthly Social Security checks from monthly Social Security income. As long as the number of workers exceeded the number of Social Security beneficiaries by a significant number, the system worked.

(Of course, if anybody else tried this, it would be an illegal Ponzi scheme.)

Now, however, the baby boomers are retiring and there are, or soon will be, more retirees than workers. Thus, the system no longer works as constituted, so taxes are imposed on those still working in order to cover this deficit.

This does not indicate, however, that mean old grandmas are stealing money from those still working.

Just ask yourself this question, preferably just before you cast your ballot on Election Day. Since deficits can only be created by Congress, and Democrats decry the national budget deficit and say it must be reduced and Republicans decry the same situation, why do we have deficits? Can it really be caused by those two independents in the Senate?

I think not.

Daniel P. Doyle


Greedy insurers

To the editor:

I have to take issue with S.G. Hayes Sr.’s Wednesday letter to the editor, “No incentive.” His scenarios of people trying to get insurance after the fact cannot happen.

It is illegal to drive a car in 48 of our states without insurance. And no homeowner can get a mortgage without insurance.

However, he’s right about one thing. If these laws did not exist, and individuals were trying to buy insurance after an accident or a fire, people would be screaming, “There ought to be a law.” That’s why the current version of the health care bill mandates that everyone buy health insurance or be fined.

People are already hollering, though, “That’s not fair; it’s unconstitutional.”

Regarding pre-existing conditions: Many persons are too poor to pay the outrageous premiums that insurance companies now charge. Then there are the millions who have lost their jobs, along with their health insurance. Many have conditions that the insurance companies will determine to be pre-existing.

For example, I have a friend who lost his job. He tried to buy health insurance but was denied coverage because he has a pre-existing condition. The condition? He has acid reflux, for which he takes Nexium.

For even more serious conditions, should people who had insurance and lost their jobs not be able to get insurance for the rest of their lives, which will surely be shortened because they cannot afford treatment?

The insurance companies have a stranglehold on health care in this country. They care only about their bottom line. They do not care one bit about you or me.

We cannot allow their greed to continue.

Carolyn Robins


Coal company lackey

To the editor:

A leaned man such as economist Walter Williams calling global warming a religion is puzzling (Review-Journal, Wednesday commentary). By definition, religion is a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a supernatural agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs. Religion is sometimes interchangeable with faith, which is an unquestioning belief in god or religion.

Global warming is quite the opposite because it is a set of scientifically collected facts concerning its effect on climate change. Mr. Williams should know that science is a method of learning about the physical universe by applying the principles of the scientific method, which includes making empirical observations, proposing hypotheses to explain those observations, and testing those hypotheses in valid and reliable ways. No faith in untreatable opinions here.

Regardless of how the mass media handle this subject, the overwhelming consensus within the scientific community, especially among those scientists who study this subject (climatologists), is that global warming is partially caused by human activity such as burning fossil fuel. Also, global warming is fueling climatic change.

For Mr. Williams to say in his discussion that CO2 levels during the Cambrian Period were 18 times higher than today, and that during the Jurassic Period the CO2 levels were higher than today, is at the very least specious. The conditions of the planet Earth during those periods of time were considerably different than today.

Today, atmospheric levels of CO2 are increasing due to massive amounts of fossil fuel such as coal being burnt, and scientific studies have made a definitive correlation between increased CO2 levels and increasing global temperature.

More notably, this increase in CO2 has taken place within a very short period of time.

More importantly, I would like to know if Mr. Williams has a hidden agenda. I say this because he is an economist who has written numerous articles dealing with economic issues, and now all of a sudden he is getting on board with the global warming deniers.

Mr. Williams, are you working for the coal companies?

Foster Eubank


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