Letters to the Editor

Protect benefits

July 30, 2011


To the editor:

Right now, the president and Congress are considering a deal to pay the nation’s bills that could cut billions from Social Security and Medicare benefits for today’s seniors.

Some in Washington want the deal to include proposals that could raise Medicare premiums, co-pays and deductibles for seniors, shifting costs to seniors rather than lowering costs throughout the health care system.

Politicians are also considering including a proposal that could cut Social Security by $112 billion over 10 years by permanently reducing Social Security cost-of-living increases. This proposal is particularly upsetting to seniors who have seen shortcomings in the current Social Security cost-of-living formula leave them struggling with no cost-of-living increase despite two years of steadily rising costs for fuel, food, prescription drugs and medical care.

Washington needs to reduce our nation’s growing debt, but it should crack down on wasteful spending and close tax loopholes, not cut the Medicare and Social Security benefits seniors worked for their entire lives.


usnsnp 2 years, 8 months ago

Not only are people proposing adjusting the COLA for Social Security, the same adjustment are being planned for Military Retirement, Vetrans Pensions and Federl Workers retirement. Stop and think over a period of 20 or 30 years how much this will cost the people receving theis retirement plans. By the end of a 20 year period it will amount to approzimately 1500 to 2500 a year less. But you keep hearing people making millions of dollars a year cant afford to pay a little more taxes.


Flap Doodle 2 years, 8 months ago

How many times have we seen you post that same text, merrill?


Richard Heckler 2 years, 8 months ago

What's missing from this national deficit debate? JOBS JOBS JOBS AND MORE JOBS

With corporations routinely defaulting on their pension promises, more and more workers must rely on their individual wealth to make up the difference. The stock market collapse at the turn of the millennium wiped out much of the financial wealth of middle class Americans, and the collapse of the housing bubble has wiped out much of their remaining wealth.

Removing the large tax dollar subsidies to very wealthy USA corporations should be the priority.

Then apply these tax dollars to a new type of medical insurance for all that which creates a strong economic driver to promote new employment, new industry and new wealth for the nation.

This is a thrilling conversion.

If all city and state governments plus the federal government would cut corporate welfare and invest this money in IMPROVED Medicare Single Payer Insurance for ALL.

The economic impact of IMPROVED Medicare Single Payer Insurance:

  1. many of us would be saving thousands of dollars annually

  2. big business and small business could operate for less

  3. all governments and school districts could cut operating expenses substantially

  4. employed blue and white collar workers would be healthier thus more productive

  5. all humans would have necessary healthcare 24/7

  6. in general OUR cost of living would decrease across the board

  7. New industry,small business and jobs would develop

Now a new type of medical insurance for all becomes a strong economic driver for all communities in the USA.

Thus our tax dollars would be invested in our local communities providing a jump start to economic growth that has been squandered as one result of corp welfare.


Richard Heckler 2 years, 8 months ago

The opponents of Social Security will stop at nothing in their long crusade to destroy the most efficient retirement system in the world. Opponents have taken two tracks to attack Social Security.

The first is to claim the system as it is will fail, and the second is to claim that privatization is a better way to provide for retirement security. The first claim was the favorite from 1935 to about 2001.Then the privatization claim became the vogue. Now the first is back on the table.

With corporations routinely defaulting on their pension promises, more and more workers must rely on their individual wealth to make up the difference. The stock market collapse at the turn of the millennium wiped out much of the financial wealth of middle class Americans, and the collapse of the housing bubble has wiped out much of their remaining wealth.

Making any cuts to Social Security now, either by raising the retirement age or cutting benefits, would have a huge impact on their remaining retirement income and are not necessary to “save the system.” In fact, to make the most of the modifications currently being proposed by Obama's commission would be the height of folly.

The president understands that Social Security hasn't contributed a dime to the deficit. It has a $2.6 trillion surplus. It can pay every benefit owed to every eligible American for the next 25 years.

More info not rhetoric:


nouseforaname 2 years, 8 months ago

No, we need to end the Bush-era tax cuts and cut military spending. Only after that has been done should we focus on other policies. Plug the leak that is sinking the ship before you start patching cracks.


BornAgainAmerican 2 years, 8 months ago

Interesting to note that this LTE is from a representative of the AARP. The AARP has a decidedly left agenda. The fact remains that Social programs like Medicare and SS are unsustainable in their present form. The fact remains that if these programs are not amended, they will soon fail on their own. This will create hardships for those who are not adequately prepared for their non-working years. The responsible thing to do is to amend these programs now to avoid an abrupt end to benefits for those in need at some point in time that is really not all that far off. Not only is this the responsible thing to do, it is the most humane thing to do.


just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 8 months ago

Why the American People are Angry-- Senator Barry Sanders on senate floor--


just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 8 months ago

The rich say we're broke, so retirees must pay.


Mark Pickerel 2 years, 8 months ago

You have to be kidding.

Trying to balance this budget without touching entitlements in some way would be like rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. We need to slow their growth somehow, otherwise they will take up over half of the Federal budget a few years down the road, taking funds away from infrastructure and Pell grants. And hiking taxes won't solve the problem either.

I'm not in favor of cutting existing benefits for seniors that need them, but some means testing is needed to see if higher-income seniors really need it.....and the COLA needs a hard look.

Social Security is not a retirement plan, and was never meant to be from the beginning. It is a social safety net for low-income seniors, and we should stop thinking otherwise, start saving, and take control of our own retirement.


ksriver2010 2 years, 8 months ago

True, Repubs ran the economy into the ground. But Obama has made it worse by accumulating > $1T in debt. Reality about the debt crisis - Social Security checks will still be mailed. It would take 6 months of reprogramming to stop the automatic payments. It is true, however, that Congress is working on cutting entitlements as part of the deal. But the "cut" is really mostly a curtialment on yearly growth and is a budget trick. Most of the cuts in these deals are budget tricks that are out many years. "not cut the Medicare and Social Security benefits seniors worked for their entire lives." Quit perpetuating the lie. Social Security is a tax, plain and simple. There is no money being saved that seniors have worked for. Why seniors let politicians raid the Social Security lockbox in the first place is beyond me.


cato_the_elder 2 years, 8 months ago

"Pres Obama I've come to the conclusion that so damn many voters are simply nuts."

I assume you're referring to those voters who voted for Obama.


Richard Heckler 2 years, 8 months ago

Pres Obama I've come to the conclusion that so damn many voters are simply nuts. Pres Obama YOU run for president and win without knowing that GW Bush and Dick Cheney have this swindle going on. A swindle quite similar to the Reagan/Bush home loan swindle.

Both cost taxpayers trillions of tax dollars and millions of jobs. I would call this a pattern of the greatest magnitude that began in 1980.

The Reagan/Bush Savings and Loan Heist(Cost taxpayers $1.4 trillion)

Wall Street Bank Fraud on Consumers under Bush/Cheney

The next thing we know the same people that created the financial chaos are blaming the new administration for their corrupt management of OUR economy. And the voters hear it so damn many times they begin to believe it! WAKE UP!

Then comes Koch and Wal-Mart money plus a few other sources such as Karl Rove spending millions upon millions as we speak on a mammoth campaign blaming the other side of the aisle for the neocons practice of running economies into the ground. VOTERS allow themselves to be swindled into believing these lies. WAKE UP!

In spite of the facts:

In the end big debt and super duper bailouts were the results which does not seem to bother Republicans, as long as they are in power.

In fact, by the time the second Bush left office, the national debt had grown to $12.1 trillion:

  • Over half of that amount had been created by Bush’s tax cuts for the very wealthy.

  • Another 30% of the national debt had been created by the tax cuts for the wealthy under Presidents Reagan and George H.W. Bush.

• Fully 81% of the national debt was created by just these three Republican Presidents.

Lack of hard evidence = another juicy tidbit that has raised a lot of eyebrows. There were only 3 major financial institutions in big trouble while the public and congress was being told many many were = duped again:


GardenMomma 2 years, 8 months ago

Here is a link to an article about the suspension of the mailing of those letters. In the article is a link to an estimator tool.

It looks like the SSA is trying to save some $70 million in mailing costs and hopes to have an online version of the letters by the Fall.


Gandalf 2 years, 8 months ago

I went on the SSA website yesterday to see when my yearly benefit statement would be mailed.

Those letters have been discontinued. Looks like the shaft is being prepared already.


luzouzts 2 years, 8 months ago

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