Published: March 1, 2014
Stealing from Social Security
Although I read and listen to as much as possible, I certainly am not aware of everything said or written. However, I don't ever remember anybody from either party or any administration ever mention paying back funds to the Social Security/Medicare trust which has been "borrowed" over the last 30 - 40 years. According to the Congressional Budget Office over a year ago, 30 percent of the federal deficit is money owed back to the trust. That's 5 trillion dollars owed to the American people. Paying it back over a 10- year period wouldn't solve all of the problems facing Social Security, but it certainly would help and relieve any immediate crisis. The funds taken to fund other programs or bills is not peculiar to either party or any one administration. They are pretty much all guilty.
Cutting Social Security and Medicare benefits is all I ever hear such as one of Rep. Doug Lamborn's recommendations in a recent article. How about a bill to start paying us back. By my definition, you've only borrowed money if you pay it back. Otherwise, you stole it!
Ronald Solomon, Colorado Springs
Benefits of raising minimum wage
The president's proposal to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10/hour is gaining significant momentum everywhere but in Congress. Republicans call it a job killer, but just how reliable are their claims? The Congressional Budget Office estimates a loss of 500,000 jobs, but also notes their estimate is imprecise and the range could be anywhere from "very slight" to 1 million.
That is a broad range of outcomes, which by the way, also includes the very real potential of almost no job loss impact. Now let's look at the benefits. Raising the minimum wage to $10.10/hour will not only provide a living wage for tens of millions of hard-working Americans, but will also lift 900,000 households out of poverty.
It is no wonder an overwhelming majority of Americans, from both parties, support this issue.
Yet, despite the outpouring of bipartisan public support, Republicans in Congress, including our very own Rep. Doug Lamborn, oppose the idea completely. This effort provides a rare opportunity to improve the lives of millions of hard-working Americans, without increasing federal spending or adding to our national debt. Maybe Republicans can explain to me again why this is such a bad idea.
Aaron Duggan, Colorado Springs
Keep promises to our veterans
Re: First Lady praises construction industry hiring, Feb. 10:
Construction companies who are making an effort to hire veterans deserve a round of applause. And after the last couple of years of doom and gloom, veterans needed some good news.
Sequestration cut on-base services they depend on, slashed tuition assistance and job training, and even cut beds in homeless shelters. Most recently, Congress cut veterans' retirement benefits.
Congress should be working to improve lagging VA services -not breaking promises to veterans by cutting them. It could pay for extra VA funding by streamlining the tax code to get rid of loopholes, reforming broader entitlement programs like Social Security, or cutting underperforming defense programs. If Congress tackled any one of these reforms, it could dramatically improve services for veterans.
Take one example: several defense analysts have said the new Joint Strike Fighter is so slow and heavy it will be a sitting duck in a dogfight, yet it's costing taxpayers $1.5 trillion to build.
Wouldn't this money be better spent in keeping our promises to veterans?
Gerald Shields, Dayton, Ohio
Route 66 is more nostalgic
While in the waiting room at the doctor's office this morning, the TV happened to be on CBS News and Michio Kaku, the theoretical physicist was talking about mind reading. It made me think of something I wrote several years ago, so I thought I'd share. It's called "The Next Generation:"
"Technology has left the old folks out on Route 66.
It seems the only invention left is a remote control that will beam us into the next dimension, like Star Trek.
We're on our way to infinity and beyond!
Voice boxes will soon become a thing of the past as we let our fingers do the walking and the talking!
We have created our own alien nation with techno geeks, micro bloggers and the emergence of quantum physics.
We are in a competition to make things smaller and faster. Body parts will have to be adjusted just to operate the devices we've invented.
"Doctor, can you make my fingers smaller, so I can operate my new devices?"
"And while you're at it, make my eyes bigger so I can read the small print!"
Instead of super-sized we have become compact-sized.
Soon we will come in our own soylent green packaging!
The next generation will be tiny beings with no voice boxes
And a pre-recorded message to "phone home!"
They will come equipped with tiny digits to operate their tiny gadgets. They won't need communication, as they will be able to read each other's minds.
I think I prefer to stay on Route 66 it is more nostalgic.
There may be a few more potholes, but at least there are no black holes to fall through."
Jody Davis; Colorado Springs