Privatizing Social Security raises serious questions
Some questions regarding the Bush administration's plans to privatize Social Security:
When did Social Security become an entitlement rather than a benefit?
The administration paints a rosy picture, but when accounts are poorly managed who will be responsible? Will we allow the losers to live on the street?
What bureaucracy will manage these private accounts? What fees will be charged? What percentage will employers contribute? etc. etc. etc. In addition, the current Social Security Administration is one of the most efficient agencies in the country, yet its employees are being asked to support the president's program to reform Social Security.
This solution has been tried in other countries, namely England and Chile, with varying degrees of success. Why aren't we informed about the difficulties and failures experienced in these countries with such a program?
Couldn't the $2 trillion start-up cost of this program be better spent? Is it prudent to add such a cost to our exploding national deficit?
Whenever a question is asked regarding this proposal we are told the details are being worked out. Shouldn't all the details of this proposal have been worked out before it was presented to the country? Isn't that poor planning, isn't that shoddy work? Why don't we have graphs and charts and printed materials to study?
Shouldn't the president be working on an exit strategy for Iraq? Isn't that the most pressing issue? Does the loss of more than 1,300 lives, the maiming of 10,000 and the creation of 900 orphans matter? This administration seems unconcerned. How many 19-year-olds have to die? What makes us all think we are so worthy of these lives? We pay lip service to supporting our troops, shouldn't we be putting pressure on the president to bring them home?
Whenever a legitimate question is asked of the administration we are given the same stale answer, sore loser! You are either with them or against them or with the axis of evil. There is no room for constructive dissent.
I think we should start questioning our parents and grandparents about the Great Depression and what it was like to live through those times. When this administration gets done with us we won't have a country left. Our jobs will be outsourced, our benefits will have been given to illegal immigrants, Social Security will have been dismantled, we will have no access to health care, and we will be making below minimum wage if we are lucky enough to have a job at all. I guess we will be scrounging for bits of coal by the railroad tracks the way my grandmother, a young widow, had to do in order to survive. Perhaps we should start taking to the streets the way they do in other countries in order to have our voices heard!
MARY LAWRENCE O'BRIEN
Support for veterans
To the soldiers who have just returned home from their tours of duty, strength and generosity of community is very important. I am writing to express my gratitude toward one particular community organization that has recently exemplified such strength and generosity.
I contacted the Youngstown Playhouse and requested a donation for a Chinese auction. We are planning a party in February to welcome home a group of 140 Iraq War veterans. Instead of merely donating a single pair of tickets to be raffled off, the Playhouse has kindly donated a pair of tickets to each of the 140 veterans on their way back to us.
I am so pleased to see community groups supporting each other in this way and involving each other in the betterment of our town and our world. The Playhouse is exactly the kind of organization we need here in Youngstown. On behalf of myself and our brave veterans, we greatly appreciate this worthy gesture and we wish the Playhouse great successes in the months and years to come.