Letters to the Editor

Get real

October 18, 2009


To the editor:

I have grown thoroughly sick of the many letters in which the uninformed and ignorant continuously lambaste the U.S. Postal Service, Social Security and Medicare programs as total disasters. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The USPS delivers more mail to more addresses in a larger geographic area than any other postal system in the world. Last year, they processed 203 billion pieces of mail. This figures out to be 463,000 pieces each minute and 28 million pieces of mail per hour. I’d surely like to see FedEx try that. The recent financial problems they have encountered have been because the idiots in Congress moved to privatize the postal system to obtain alleged “market efficiencies.” This of course required USPS to immediately self-fund about $7 billion in retirement benefits.

Social Security handled claims and benefit payments on behalf of about 52,000,000 Americans in 2008. Similarly, Medicare provided benefits and claims to about 45,000,000 people in 2008. Speaking as someone who is a recipient of benefits under both these programs, they have been godsends to me. I have found them to be astonishingly quick, efficient and accurate to deal with. Perhaps Mr. Mach and some other writers would like to create their own competing systems. Good luck with that.


Richard Heckler 8 years, 6 months ago

WE all see how the private medical insurance industry gets away with over charging consumers billions which is profitable. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/06/24/AR2009062401636.html

WE see how the private medical insurance industry reckelssly spends health care dollars to bribe Washington D.C. which effectively denies health insurance to millions who are uninsured as result of being canceled after taking clients money for years and years.

This is something to never forget. It is the private medical insurance industry that cancels YOUR medical insurance.

WE see how the private medical insurance industry reckelssly spends health care dollars to bribe Washington D.C. which effectively keeps the USA medical insurance industry the most expensive in the world.

How is that done?

The nations consumers could have excellent National Health insurance for all if one would remove:

*elected officials as shareholders http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/06/12/AR2009061204075.html

*special interest campaign funding:

FROM Democracy NOW

Study: Health Industry Accounts for Half of Blue Dog(Dennis Moore) Campaign Donations

A new study shows more than half of the $1.1 million in campaign donations given to the group of right-leaning Democrats known as the Blue Dog Coalition came from the pharmaceutical, healthcare and health insurance industries.

The Center for Public Integrity says the Blue Dogs received more donations than any other congressional grouping over the same period. On average, the Blue Dogs received over $62,000 more from the health industry than other Democrats. The Blue Dogs have played a key role in the standstill over healthcare reform since voicing objections to a public health insurance option last month.

*the insurance industry recklessly spending health care dollars to bribe votes:


If you’ve been watching the Senate Finance Committee’s markup sessions, maybe you’ve noticed a woman sitting behind Committee Chairman Max Baucus. Her name is Liz Fowler.

Fowler used to work for WellPoint, the largest health insurer in the country. She was its vice president of public policy. Baucus’ office failed to mention this in the press release announcing her appointment as senior counsel in February 2008, even though it went on at length about her expertise in “health care policy.”

Now she’s working for the very committee with the most power to give her old company and the entire industry exactly what they want – higher profits – and no competition from alternative non-profit coverage that could lower costs and premiums.

*the news media offering misinformation ( their large advertising revenue is at stake)

Yes the entire republican party is a huge obstacle but as we see some influential democrats also want to protect their sources of wealth and campaign funding

Richard Heckler 8 years, 6 months ago

Paying More, Getting Less

How much is the sick U.S. health care system costing you? By Joel A. Harrison Paying through the Taxman

The U.S. health care system is typically characterized as a largely private-sector system, so it may come as a surprise that more than 60% of the $2 trillion annual U.S. health care bill is paid through taxes, according to a 2002 analysis published in Health Affairs by Harvard Medical School associate professors Steffie Woolhandler and David Himmelstein. http://www.dollarsandsense.org/archives/2008/0508harrison.html

Richard Heckler 8 years, 6 months ago

*During the 20th century, there were several periods lasting more than 10 years where the return on stocks was negative.

After the Dow Jones stock index went down by over 75% between 1929 and 1933, the Dow did not return to its 1929 level until 1953(24 years). In claiming that the rate of return on a stock investment is guaranteed to be greater than the return on any other asset would be a lie.

*Until 1984, the trust fund was "pay-as-you-go," meaning current benefits were paid using current tax revenues. In 1984, Congress raised payroll taxes to prepare for the retirement of the baby boom generation.

As a result, the Social Security trust fund, which holds government bonds as assets, has been growing. When the baby boomers retire, these bonds will be sold to help pay their retirement benefits.

*If the trust fund went to zero, Social Security would simply revert to pay-as-you-go. It would continue to pay benefits using (then-current) tax revenues, and in doing so, it would be able to cover about 70% of promised benefit levels.

According to analysis by the Center for Economic and Policy Research, a 70% benefit level then would actually be higher than 2005 benefit levels in constant dollars (because of wage adjustments). In other words, retirees would be taking home more in real terms than today's retirees do.

The system won't be bankrupt in any sense.


Richard Heckler 8 years, 6 months ago

*What impact would a Wall Street plan have had on the national debt if Bush reublicans(RINO's) had sold out to Wall Street?

Unless taxes are raised, the government(taxpayers) would have to borrow up to $4 trillion over the next 20 years to make up the money that is drained out of the system by private accounts.

Social Security privatization will raise the size of the government's deficit to nearly $700 billion per year for the next 20 years, almost tripling the size of the national debt.

Richard Heckler 8 years, 6 months ago

*How would the rest of the U.S. economy have been affected if the republican plan had been enacted?

Put simply, moving to a system of private accounts would not only put retirement income at risk--it would likely put the entire economy at risk.

Gee the above sounds so familiar. The repubs have some history of putting the nations economy at risk:

  1. The Reagan/ Bush Home Loan Scandal = lost jobs,lost retirement and lost medical insurance not to mention loss of homes! And a Wreckanomic economy. http://rationalrevolution0.tripod.com/war/bush_family_and_the_s.htm

  2. The Bush/Cheney Home Loan Scandal = lost jobs,lost retirement and lost medical insurance not to mention loss of homes! And a Wreckanomic economy. http://www.dollarsandsense.org/archives/2009/0709macewan.html

  3. What did Bush and Henry Paulson do with the bail out money? FRAUD! http://www.democracynow.org/2009/9/10/good_billions_after_bad_one_year

Richard Heckler 8 years, 6 months ago

*The current Social Security system generates powerful, economy-stimulating multiplier effects. This was part of its original intent. In the early 1930s, the vast majority of the elderly were poor. While they were working, they could not afford to both save for retirement and put food on the table, and most had no employer pension.

When Social Security began, elders spent every penny of that income. In turn, each dollar they spent was spent again by the people and businesses from whom they had bought things. In much the same way, every dollar that goes out in pensions today creates about 2.5 times as much total income.

If the move to private accounts reduces elders' spending levels, as almost all analysts predict, that reduction in spending will have an even larger impact on slowing economic growth.

*The current Social Security system also reduces the income disparity between the rich and the poor.

Private accounts would increase inequality--and increased inequality hinders economic growth.

For example, a 1994 World Bank study of 25 countries demonstrated that as income inequality rises, productivity growth is reduced. Market economies can fall apart completely if the level of inequality becomes too extreme.

The rapid increase in income inequality that occurred in the 1920s was one of the causes of the Great Depression.


Scott Drummond 8 years, 6 months ago

Do the right wing fringe apologists have anything relevant to say in response to the letter?

"When the promise is broken you go on living But it steals something from down in your soul Like when the truth is spoken and it don't make no difference Something in your heart goes cold"

Flap Doodle 8 years, 6 months ago

Remember the sort of customer service you get whenever you walk into the post office? Now apply that to your doctor's office. Real spooky, ain't it?

Scott Drummond 8 years, 6 months ago

"Remember the sort of customer service you get whenever you walk into the post office? Now apply that to your doctor's office. Real spooky, ain't it?"

Go ahead, as long as you remember it before Ronald Reagan and the republicans began their effort to destroy government 30 years ago.

Scott Drummond 8 years, 6 months ago

And remember what you are comparing it to. The pay or die insurance industry. Phone tree hell anyone?

headdoctor 8 years, 6 months ago

TomShewmon (Tom Shewmon) says… Obama, Pelosi, Reid & Co. Inc. are sort of competing in a 'privatized' way if you think about it. Noone is privy to their business model for America, and they don't feel they're employed by Americans, but quite the oppposite–we work for them. They're the boss you hate; the boss that says “do as I say, not as I do”. It's a liberal-progressive thing. Barry has it right when he says progressives want Republicans money.

Just a little heads up Tom. The Republicans want your money too. It is funny that you don't like redistribution of wealth and yet you will gladly hand over your small sum and be all good with the others handing over theirs to the Republicans and their buddies but have a problem with it if it is a Democrat.

Another news alert. The effect of the Boomers on the economy is old news and last I heard the peak drain was to start around 2012. That drain and the effect of it doesn't have a thing to with Obama. The future story of that was written before Obama was even in politics.

lctchr1 8 years, 6 months ago

Our whole government is a joke. Wake up! Or, continue to watch Fox News or whatever other biased media outlet you choose and stay asleep at the wheel while we let the government drive the country into the ground. Dems=Repubs. They are all the same!!! Wake Up!!!!!

Scott Drummond 8 years, 6 months ago

"Oh brother! Gimme a break scott"

What a convincing retort.

The republican's well and often stated philosophy is that government is the problem. Their agenda is to starve the beast via "tax cuts." Then, when government service declines, they scream and yell some more about how terrible the government is and argue that more of their policies are needed to control the beast. For much of the last 30 years that argument has prevailed. The problem for the repubs is that Americans, having given the repubs all the rope they wanted, have seen the result of this policy - the near ruination of the country accomplished by the cheney/bush regime. Obama and the democrats have the agenda and we'll see what they accomplish. Only those ingest the poisonous daily propaganda of the right wing media machine look at the last 10 months and see disaster. You may want to lay off of the FOX, Tom. It is bad for you.

Phil Minkin 8 years, 6 months ago

Here's a thought: Have a separate posting area for the top 10 posters so they can attack each other, cut and paste and name call to their hearts content. Then those with a genuine comment about the letter or article won't be drowned out by the clique of full time bitchers.

tomatogrower 8 years, 6 months ago

Wow, I go into the doctor's office and have all these forms to fill out, and have to wait for several minutes to see the doctor or a nurse practitioner for about 15 minutes for which I pay a $20 copay, and my insurance company pays more. I go into the post office, and yes, I often have to wait, but I don't have to pay an arm and leg, and they always are very nice. And almost everyday they make a house call. At least the doctor's office has chairs to sit in while I wait.

Scott Drummond 8 years, 6 months ago


Love it!!! In keeping with the recent headlines about the party increasingly appealing to and representing the least educated in our country.

BigPrune 8 years, 6 months ago

I would love to start a local mail delivery business and charge people 25 cents for local mail delivery but it was successfully tried in another city and made money but the postal service deemed it illegal and it got shut down.

tomatogrower 8 years, 6 months ago

Actually it hadn't really made any money, before the government shut it down. I used to know the guy who ran it.
Really, try delivering the mail yourself. It will cost a lot more in gas to take a package across the country. A private company would have to charge more. They need to do more than break even.

lctchr1 8 years, 6 months ago

foodboy--Sounds like a good idea. Scott--LMAO! Sad but true.

jumpin_catfish 8 years, 6 months ago

Merrill sees all and knows all. Darwin bless us everyone whatever that means.

Brent Garner 8 years, 6 months ago

Mr. Warrick:

Your statements regarding the USPS, Medicare, and Medicaid are absolutely correct as far as you take them. However, you ignore the fact that all three of these are either broke or are going broke. Why is this so? Because as they are currently structured they do not pay for themselves. THAT is why they are considered disasters!

jaywalker 8 years, 6 months ago

To the letter:

"The recent financial problems they have encountered have been because the idiots in Congress ..."

Ta da! You just answered your own criticism. It's not the programs people are criticizing; it's the 'intstitution' running them. The Postal Service has been great; the government has mismanaged the branch to near-bankruptcy.
Social Security is a noble program. The government renegged on their promise not to touch it; the government has mismanaged the branch to near-bankruptcy. Medicare is a noble program. It's success is predicated on support from the private sector. The government last year alone mismanaged 18 billion with improper payments in the Medicare program, by far the largest such fund mismanagement year in and year out.
It's not the programs that are bad, it's who's running them. And that's why they've been brought up as support for an argument against government involvement in the healthcare industry.

Richard Heckler 8 years, 6 months ago

People denounce Medicare and Social Security as some evil kind of insurance without acknowledging what great service it has provided to millions of senior citizens and millions more who lost their retirement plans and jobs to many many white collar criminals.

The global economy has cost upwards of 20 million USA jobs which included retirement plans,homes and medical insurance.

Think: • Home Loan Scandals 1&2 1. Reagan – Bush http://rationalrevolution0.tripod.com/war/bush_family_and_the_s.htm 2. Bush -Cheney http://www.dollarsandsense.org/archives/2009/0709macewan.html

• ENRON • high tech scandal • Global Economy = millions upon millons of lost USA jobs • Iraq/Afghanistan Illegal Occupation = loss of good incomes • Maddoff ripoff • Book Cooking Scandal • During the 20th century, there were several periods lasting more than 10 years where the return on stocks was negative. After the Dow Jones stock index went down by over 75% between 1929 and 1933, the Dow did not return to its 1929 level until 1953(24 years)

Does anyone believe that all of the white collar criminals waiting to steal retirement plans are in jail? Polticians and corp America are still sending USA jobs abroad.

National Health Insurance not only will encourage new industry,new small business ventures but will protect the middle class against financial disasters that millions upon millions had no part in creating. Social Security Insurance is a helpful partner.

Without the middle class the USA economy is doomed.

Left_handed 8 years, 6 months ago

I forget, what branch of the armed forces did Barack Obama serve in?

jafs 8 years, 5 months ago

jaywalker has the best comment here.

If we could get the government to stop mismanaging their programs, they'd be much better, and function as they should.

How could we do this?

GoHawks1 8 years, 5 months ago

Mr. Warrick:

I suggest you watch the following 60 Minutes piece on our efficient Medicare program -


Your claims of the US Postal Service being a model of efficiency is another joke. Logistically the US Postal Service is quite efficient. When is the last time the US Postal Service has operated in the black or at best broke even? If my memory serves me, the US Postal Service has always hemorraged money. If you call that efficient I thank God you are not running our country.

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