Hypocrisy and doublespeak are alive and well in Washington. How else can one interpret lips that say "Now is not the time to mess around with Social Security" and hands that deplete the Social Security and other trust funds of their assets and use them as general tax revenues? Boiled down to the essentials, this fact is clear - the Social Security tax revenues, contributed to by employee and employer alike, are being used, contrary to their purpose, for general expenses as a replacement for revenues lost by the unconscionable tax reduction for the very wealthy from 70 percent to 50 percent in 1981 and from 50 percent to 28 percent in 1986. The middle class is, in fact, subsidizing the tax reduction for the wealthy.
In matters of this sort, the letter writers and protesters are usually the elderly, which may account for the apathy surrounding Sen. Moynihan's proposal. Their benefits are secure; it is the recipients of the future who are at risk. What is surprising is the docile, bovine, lethargic attitude of persons in their 30s, 40s and 50s whose trust fund's assets are being stolen and squandered.
I fear that when my children and grandchildren apply for Social Security benefits they will cry (with apologies to Wordsworth) - "But it is gone, and AH! the difference to me."
Let's get the Social Security trust fund off budget and establish its integrity! Now!
David Lefrak, New Port Richey
I cannot understand why everyone, particularly the baby boomers, isn't writing to his/her senator and representative to protest the rape of Social Security. This is your money which you and your employers have paid in. The government is stealing it from you to make the deficit look better, so why are you standing still for it?
If you are young or in your middle years, perhaps you don't realize what old age can be - eye glasses, hearing aids, heart attacks, strokes, Alzheimer's, or just plain the cost of living going up.
Unless you have a very good job and can save massively (and are doing so!), you're going to need Social Security. If the government continues to "borrow" from what is supposed to be a trust fund, there won't be any Social Security left when you get old.
If you are already elderly and getting Social Security, have you given any thought to the fact that it might be eaten up before you die? And if you have children and grandchildren, how about taking thought for them?
Medicare is also being mishandled. What will happen to you when you get a $4,000+ bill for three days' hospitalization and there's no Medicare to pay for it? (Why should the bills be so high anyway? But that's another subject.) Please, get out pen and paper and write to your Congress people with a strong message that you want this stopped. It's obvious that we need tax increases for the wealthy and tax breaks for those who are now carrying the heavier burden - the middle class.
It would be nice if our so-called representatives cared more about the country than about their re-election, and perhaps if enough of us complain they'll get the message that their re-election isn't a foregone conclusion.
Nan J. Nichols, St. Petersburg
Sen. Dole is perplexed that some of his colleagues are concerning
themselves with the misappropriation of Social Security Trust funds. He obviously finds humor in their pursuit because there has been as yet little public clamor over this scandal. Unless the senator's phone rings sufficiently to arouse him he is content to witness thievery, embezzlement and gross misconduct with no alarm. Perhaps the "good senator" has forgotten his oath of office, his obligation to represent his constituents, and his duty to protect the nation's assets.
Dole's prescription, carried to the ultimate, would permit police to ignore robbery, extortion and corruption until a majority of citizens dialed 911 to express their anguish and concern.
It is well to remember that this man recently sought the office of
president and to know now that he would have been no better than the bird shooter who now occupies that chair.
Robert M. Traugott, Homosassa
Re: The misuse of Social Security money.
That fund should not be used for any other purpose. We have all contributed and are depending on ours - while our children are pouring into it with no protection.
At election time, we should remember these atrocities.
Elizabeth A. Kravic, St. Petersburg USA-style democracy
Re: Soviets plan a U.S.-style presidency, Feb. 9.
Now if they will have an ever-increasing number of homeless and
malnourished they will have the essential of a USA-style democracy (excuse me, demockracy).
Lloyd Jones, Largo Goodbye to creativity
An able supervisor hires the right people, tells them what to do, and then refrains from interfering in their tendency to do it. Above all, he respects individual differences. By contrast, an inept supervisor demands conformity; he wants his subordinates to be as bland and as mindless as he is.
There was a time in America when the foregoing did not need saying.
It was understood that: 1.Creativity was the key to productivity; and 2.Individual initiative was the key to creativity. Then we got rich.
We became conservative. Gradually, creativity, which knows nothing about maintaining the status quo, was replaced by conformity. Today, you can shout creativity and individual responsibility from the rooftops, and hierarchies still won't hear you.
In philosophical terms, America is trying to be without becoming.
In the language of the street, it ain't gonna happen.
Ronald Cole, St. Petersburg Marriage penalty
Having just completed my joint tax return, I was distressed to find I owed in excess of $1,000 in additional tax. Filing separately only increased that liability by another $6. I then figured what we would owe as single taxpayers. Nothing! In fact being unmarried would have saved us $1,400.
Of course, I'm glad to be able to contribute to such worthy causes as $5.5-billion for stealth bombers, and President Bush's new kitchen.
It's time all your married readers start letting their elected
representatives know that this marriage penalty must be removed or we will vote to remove them.
John Rice, Gulfport Economic investigation needed
Congratulations for your courageous Feb. 6 editorial, Did the CIA loot S&Ls? It is about time we have some honest investigation of what has been happening economically in the United States. Ronald Reagan achieved in his eight years what the communists could never achieve in 70 years. He carried this nation from the world's biggest creditor to the world's largest debtor nation. Let's investigate and find out how this happened. The S&Ls are a superb place to begin.
Robert Kendall, Dunedin Partisan appointments
Re: Editorial, Jan. 30, A glimmer of hope for legal services. During the years 1984-1987, my wife and I lived in Massachusetts, and nearly every week, we watched a Sunday morning public affairs TV show which pitted two conservatives against two liberals. Much to my surprise, the most vocal defender of the conservative ideology was the former Democratic mayor of Boston, John F. Collins. He blindly supported every one of Reagan's wildest thoughts or deeds, and, as most conservative ideologues are wont to do, he blindly attacked and ridiculed every liberal thought expressed by his opposite numbers.
Also, I have just read that the Independent mayor of Miami, Xavier L. Suarez, is thinking of running for governor in the Republican primary. It seems that President Bush's appointments to the Legal Services board are not as non-partisan as he would like you to believe.
Robert Shaughnessy, Pine Ridge
If Miami Mayor Xavier Suarez follows through on challenging Gov. Martinez for the Republican nomination for governor I suggest all registered Democrats switch to the Republican Party.
Then when the primary is held we can vote out Negative Bob. Anyone, but Martinez, is better for the citizens of this state.
Walter M. Keehn, Tampa Setting an example
Re: Reagan lauds Orlando home for runaways, receives award, Feb. 5.
Mr. Reagan gets $60,000 for a one-hour speech. I was pleased to see that he had been able (attended, of course, by plenty of publicity) to give one minute's worth ($1,000) to charity. We should all be so generous.
Karen N. Stevens, St. Petersburg Head injury support
Re: Geared toward recovery/Injured cyclist survives coma, regains mobility, Jan. 28, by Elijah Gosier.
I would like to thank Elijah Gosier for his wonderful article regarding brain injury and how it affected Greg Conway. This article has brought to light the tremendous impact of a brain injury and a vast number of people who are affected by this condition.
The statistics in the article are frightening when you realize that in Florida alone, over 13,000 head injuries occur each year, and that head injuries kill more Americans under the age of 35 than all other diseases combined.
Head injury can be very subtle in its findings and many times can be missed in the diagnosis of a person who suffered multitrauma. Most people who suffer severe head injury require rehabilitation programs, but almost always are left with residual deficits, as Mr. Gosier pointed out in his article.
For further information concerning head injury, the following information may be helpful: 1.Local Head Injury Support Group at the Bayfront Medical Center -
2.The Head Injury Support Group in Dunedin - 725-4973.
3.The State National Head Injury Hotline is 1-(800)-992-3442.
4.The National Head Injury Foundation Hotline is 1-(800)-444-6443.
David H. Baras, M.D., Medical Director Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Center Bayfront Medical Center, St. Petersburg No sense of responsibility
Re: $500,000 kitchen remodeling among budget odds and ends, Feb. 5.
Don't those people in Washington have any sense of responsibility? $500,000 for remodeling the White House kitchens. Congress appropriating $94.5-million to send out "franked" mail, (an increase of 40 percent over the last year). Ten-million dollars is a down payment on a new printing and mailing facility for the House of Representatives. $800,000 to pay for new windows in the White House which were put in last year but not included in that budget. Vice
President Quayle is getting $378,000 to run his house (mansion) for a year. Wow! And he also received 200,000 bucks to remodel the place to "better" accommodate his three teen-agers. And on and on. Where is this country headed when we have senators, representatives and executive-branch bureaucrats who don't even think about lowering the deficit? It beats us.
J. A. Bullock & Marian H. Bullock, Belleair Bluffs
Re: $500,000 kitchen remodeling among budget odds and ends.
I read that they want to spend $500,000 to remodel the kitchen in the White House. Somebody must be out of his mind. Do we have to do the same thing they did in Romania?
John Argyros, Seminole
Re: Pentagon surplus: shirts, not money, Feb. 6.
Was Woodrow Wilson referring to the Reagan's and "macho man" George Bush's administrations when he said: "The government of the United States of America, at present, is a foster child of the special interests"?
No further comments are needed on the $35-billion (13,557 years) worth of "inapplicable inventory" at the Pentagon.
Neil Lastra, Tampa