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Tuesday letters: Social Security needs immediate reform

The dishonest war on Social Security | Aug. 18, Paul Krugman column

Social Security needs reform now

In this column Paul Krugman dazzles us with his Nobel Prize-winning brilliance as he makes an impassioned, albeit convoluted argument against Social Security reform.

The government historically collects more in payroll taxes than it spends on Social Security benefits. This is the "quarter-century surplus" Krugman claims that Social Security is, "banking in a special account, the so-called trust fund."

By law, every dime of revenue that Social Security collects that is not paid out as benefits must be used to purchase Treasury bonds. The money the government receives from the sale of bonds to Social Security goes directly into the general fund and is spent as Congress sees fit. In simple, non-Nobel Prize-winning layman terms, Congress has been raiding Social Security and replacing the money with Treasury bonds for 75 years. Happy anniversary!

As baby boomers retire and fewer workers enter the work force, the "so-called" surplus will evaporate and the payroll taxes funding the system will have to be supplemented by some other means in order to pay benefits at existing levels. Not to worry; Krugman's paper Social Security Trust Fund will come to the rescue with a huge stack of unredeemed treasury bonds, or more accurately an enormous, unfunded federal liability creating an avalanche of more crushing debt for our children and grandchildren.

Kicking that can down the road with progressive happy talk and tired class warfare rhetoric is irresponsible and not the answer. Painful though it may be, Congress should act on meaningful Social Security reform. Now.

Timothy S. "Mac" McDonnell, St. Petersburg

Social Security

On a dangerous path

It is obvious that the Washington political elite is completely out of touch with the American people. To cite only one example, President Barack Obama's recent comments on the financial stability of the Social Security Trust Fund indicate that he and his administration have no understanding of the depth of the hole those in Washington have dug by refusing to address the unfunded liability in Social Security.

While President Obama stated the Trust Fund just "has to be tweaked," we are headed for the inevitable default in promises that have been made to generations approaching retirement. Any level-headed person knows that we cannot continue on the current path and it is quite obvious that the age at which benefits begin will have to be adjusted.

It is time for the St. Petersburg Times, as well as other media, to hold the feet of our political "leaders" to the fire until they act in the best interest of the American people.

Lloyd P. Weaver, Holiday

For the dishonorable, "honor" is just the ticket | Aug. 20, Daniel Ruth column

Beck offers timely warning

Daniel Ruth's scathing column regarding Glenn Beck and the upcoming Restoring Honor Rally reflects his ignorance of the rapidly growing ranks of Americans who are genuinely afraid for our country's future.

My husband and I plan to attend this event and we are hardly "right-wing elitists." We are members of the working middle class and will be taking vacation time to stand shoulder to shoulder with concerned Americans from around the country. We don't know if there will be 20 people or 200,000 people. We just want to be there to support Glenn Beck's efforts to alert the country to what is in store for our entitlement-minded society. Glenn Beck has disallowed any signs and has said that there might even be (gasp) prayer at this event.

I would challenge critics of Glenn Beck to record and watch his show for one week. You might be surprised at his heartfelt presentation of history and the excellent research of his crackerjack staff. Glenn Beck is a patriot of the highest order. Much like Paul Revere he is warning us of what is to come.

If Ruth wants to pigeonhole Beck's supporters he might try the label of "weary American taxpayers."

Laura Harris, Brandon

For the dishonorable, "honor" is just the ticket | Aug. 20, Daniel Ruth column

Trying to save America

As a "snookered Glenn Beck follower," and "dishonorable" person who will be attending the Restoring Honor Rally on Aug. 28 in Washington, D.C., I am comforted to know that your clever wordsmith, Daniel Ruth, has finally decided that Beck and his audience are people to be taken seriously.

By attempting to discredit a man whose message has resonated so well with so many people, Ruth's vilification shows that the far left, which he so ably represents, has resorted to tactic 101, which is to kill the message by attempting to destroy the messenger. Not once in his clever diatribe did he refer to why millions of Americans might be concerned about the state of honor in America or to any of the content of Beck's message to those millions.

Beck has appealed to the innate decency of the American people and is attempting to educate and inspire them to fight for a restoration of America to the moral and ethical standards of our forefathers.

Like most critics, Daniel Ruth apparently has not read or listened to Glenn Beck at any length. I was one of those critics until I opened my mind to his message and really listened. Americans must listen, learn and act to serve the interests of our great Republic. Saving America, as we know it, just might depend on it.

Robert Newcomb, Gulfport

For the dishonorable, "honor" is just the ticket | Aug. 20, Daniel Ruth column

Insightful assessment

I'm sure the letters to the editors in-box will be packed with howling protests about Daniel Ruth's column about Glenn Beck. While Beck is a charlatan, he is a most popular and well loved charlatan.

I, however, offer my kudos to Ruth for his insight into the questionable "honor" of "Restoring Honor."

George Chase, St. Pete Beach

Tuesday letters: Social Security needs immediate reform

08/23/10 [Last modified: Monday, August 23, 2010 5:47pm]
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