The Social Security Administration has advised there will not be a cost-of-living raise for 2016 because gasoline prices are so low. What? What intellect thought up this excuse?
From what I and other Americans understand, the cost of living does not include food or energy, which is an oxymoron in itself. I can trump the Social Security Association’s low gasoline prices with sky-high, and growing, prescription medicine costs.
In 2009, there was no cost-of-living raise, but President Barack Obama “gave” each of us $250. (Isn’t that the same amount Social Security provides for burial?) Medicare costs $96.40 per month. There was no cost-of-living raise for 2010 or 2011, and Medicare deductions rose to $96.50. In 2012, the cost of living was raised by a whopping 3.6 percent and Medicare deductions rose again to $99.90 monthly.
In 2013, the cost of living was raised 1.7 percent and Medicare rose again to $104.90, where it has stayed to date. Our raise was 1.5 percent in 2014 and 1.7 percent in 2015. The total Social Security increase of our cost of living for the past seven years is 8.5 percent, or 1.21 percent annually. In the past seven years, the Medicare premium costs have surpassed these raises.
Those of us who have worked for decades, paid into Social Security, fought in wars, paid taxes and been the backbone of America are now being treated with less regard and support than undocumented immigrants.
Democrats and free stuff
Regarding Ross Tanenbaum’s letter (“Sanders and the ‘S’ word,” Saturday Review-Journal), I would like to set the record straight. In the Democratic presidential debate earlier this month, Sen. Bernie Sanders said we must look to countries such as Denmark, to see what those countries do for their people.
Here is what Denmark does for its people: single workers face a tax rate of nearly 40 percent; there is also a 25 percent sales tax; and there is a 180 percent tax on a new car purchase, meaning a car that costs $20,000 here in the U.S. costs more than $50,000 in Denmark.
Mr. Tanenbaum suggests young people are more receptive to socialism. Could that be because all they hear from candidates such as Sen. Sanders is, “Vote for me and I’ll give you free stuff,” never mentioning the fact that “free” stuff is really expensive?
Politicians and shootings
Reading the article about the massacre at Umpqua Community College was absolutely disturbing, to say the least (“Oregon massacre,” Oct. 2 Review-Journal). What makes the U.S. such a fertile incubator for mass shooters?
There’s only one explanation: worthless politicians. While people are being senselessly murdered, politicians sit around arguing without enacting solutions to this horrific problem. Do your jobs!
How much carnage is enough? How many more times must we suffer death and injury at the hands of murderers? The most recent tragedy at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Okla., where four innocents lost their lives and dozens more were seriously injured, is just the latest incomprehensible and unnecessary loss of life at the hands of a person who should not have access to a weapon (“Car slams into crowd at Oklahoma parade,” Sunday Review-Journal).
When will people wake up and realize that the only way to stop senseless murders is to ban the use of personal automobiles? Registration and licensing are not enough. We must remove the weapons so that they cannot be used to kill and maim.
Or maybe we should just realize and accept that tragedies like this happen, and that they are an unfortunate and sad price to be paid for the freedoms we enjoy in this country.
Mark R. Craven
If our community leaders are still scratching their heads, wondering why Southern Nevada has a tough time attracting new businesses, they need look no further than the tortuous journey ride-sharing companies have had to endure. Local and state leaders say they want to diversify the economy so that we are not so dependent on the gaming industry, but what they say and what they do are two entirely different things.
Until our leaders get their minds right and realize local and state government should facilitate new businesses opening, instead of impeding them, we will never get a diversified economy. Anyone starting or wanting to move a business here will look at what these cutting-edge companies have had to go through and probably decide to locate elsewhere — someplace that actually welcomes them, instead of throwing up roadblocks.