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Means testing is a starting point

Published: Mon, April 25, 2011 @ 12:00 a.m.

Means testing is a starting point

I have seen or heard many solutions to the problems with public employees, Social Security and Medicare on the Internet and on talk radio. Some are very sensible in my opinion.

The first thing we need to do is apply a “means test” to Social Security payments. Then establish rules requiring retirement as a condition of payments.

After this is done all people who derive their income from public employment should be enrolled in S.S. and Medicare. An exemption could be made for those nearing retirement soon. The same age requirements should apply to them.

The retirement funds of those folks should be rolled into S.S. and an accounting could be done to reimburse any worker who has from their own funds contributed more than would have been deducted for S.S. Most public workers have not paid their own share of pension funds completely anyway.

I am sure better minds than mine can devise a system to keep the best and brightest without regard to seniority in the event of staffing cuts.

Now that all this has been done I think union memberships should be voluntary and no payment to unions other than those who desire representation. This will be the hardest to do because union bosses know they will lose the huge amount they use to buy favor with those who sit across the table at contract negotiations.

When these things are done we can begin a meaningful discussion of campaign finance reform across the board. This is a fair and balanced solution.

Robert J. Husted, New Springfield

Shame on Tressel and OSU

I am not a sports fan but I read with a great deal of interest the article on Jim Tressel. I am deeply disappointed in Mr. Tressel.

But once again a slap on the arm is given for both him and the five players involved. As far as I’m concerned they all should have been fired. As long as the punishment doesn’t fit the crime we will continue to have more of the same. Its just a question of time.

What message does this send to everyone? There are so many people involved in this that did wrong. Dr. Gee should have insisted on harsher punishment. His University was being smeared. Ditto Mr. Smith.

I guess sports and the big money it brings in is more important than honor and decency. Jesus was correct when He said “the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil.” I will never think of OSU in the same manner again.

Margaret Henning, Youngstown


1Springman(235 comments)posted 4 years, 2 months ago

Mr. Husted,

You apparently want to turn Social Security into a welfare program. Of alll of the crazy ideas to "fix" Social Security, means testing for Social Security is the worst. People pushing it (Pete Peterson et al) have been opposed to the entire concept and want the program to fail.



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2Springman(235 comments)posted 4 years, 2 months ago


Actually, that idea has been around for a long time, started by Milton Friedman and espoused by the Chicago school of economics. For me it is prroof that the extermes reflect themselves better than the means in politics, as it is communism with a small "c."

Howver those of us who paid in have a legal right (not a privilege) to get what we have been paying to get. The way it works is that Social Security is like an insurance policy, and when you meet the terms and conditions set by law, you get it. Wall Street and some politicians have wanted our money for a long time. Are you one of them? If not, you are doing their bidding!

If you looked at the links above, retirement benefits are based on a "High 35" method. If a person has not paid into the fund for 35 years, and paid at the top amount of FICA tax, retirement amounts are decreased.

The retirement fund is fully funded for the next 26 years. That is because as surplusses were accumulated, the "debt" has risen. Actually, at the end of each year, the fund lends money to the general funds to run the government. However this is not debt as if a person went to a bank to get a mortgage. No service charges. No penalty clauses. No middleman. If you loan money to yourself it is a wash for bookkeeing purposes.

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