LETTERS: Some entitlements have been earned

To the editor:

I’m glad Richard Fulton is speaking just for himself in wanting to cut back his Social Security and Medicare benefits (“Tea party patriots,” Monday letters). As someone who has paid 50 years into both programs, I know I have earned those benefits, unlike the handouts we see in numerous other programs.

I would much rather we find ways to make those programs more fair to taxpayers, especially when people gloat that they can buy an iPad with the food stamp money taxpayers hand over to them. But Mr. Fulton should definitely be free to return some of that money if he thinks he didn’t earn it.

Let’s concentrate on making the costly, unearned programs more efficient before we cut back on the earned programs people have invested in.



Purge the tea party

To the editor:

I have tried to analytically deduct the reasons for the government shutdown and debt ceiling crises, and how to prevent either from happening again. The main problem is that we have two factions within the Republican Party, with different agendas on what to achieve and different ways of doing business in order to achieve those agendas. To just create another team of negotiators will not solve the problems within the Republican Party, and we will end up with yet another manufactured crisis in early 2014.

In order to solve the problem in the longer term, the sensible Republicans will need to get the tea party faction out of the Republican Party, initially with temporary measures, then by forcing tea party members to form their own independent party before the next election.

I think the root problem is the de facto two-party system that we have in the United States. This forces the two main parties to try to shoehorn in marginal groups with diverging agendas in order to get a few more political representatives. Hence, in order to make voters regain confidence in the Republican Party, the tea party representatives must be forced out. Let them try to survive on their own agenda, instead of falling under the Republican umbrella. This will require some serious consideration and won’t be easy, but it needs to be done.



Obamacare and shutdown

To the editor:

Here we are again, just putting off problems for a few months instead of dealing with them. The dysfunctional Sen. Harry Reid with his do-nothing leadership style has again stuck it to the people. Why do some say that the last election’s only issue was to validate Obamacare? What happened to all the other issues, such as jobs, the economy, racism and immigration?

We keep hearing that the House of Representatives tried 40 times to stop Obamacare, but the bills failed. The bills failed because Sen. Reid never let them come up for a vote. The Senate has not proposed any bills until forced by outside actions.

There was recently a letter from a retired, disabled veteran (as I am) who said he supported the Affordable Care Act. And why shouldn’t he, since it doesn’t affect him? He has free health care for himself and his family. What would he think if he had to pay the premiums for care based on his income, which we know includes military retired pay, Veterans Affairs disability, Social Security and possibly other income? His premiums could be in excess of $1,000 a month, with large co-pays.

When the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act passed, President Barack Obama continually said it would not work unless everyone participated. Then he allows subsidies for Congress and exemptions for special interest groups and many others. How many millions are exempt while others are forced on? What happened to American’s individual freedoms and responsibility? As Ayn Rand wrote, it’s very clear that Atlas has shrugged.



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