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Letters to the editor, January 6

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Updated: February 7, 2013 6:09AM



Government looted the funds for Medicare, Social security

We are debating the future of Social Security, Social Security Disability, Medicare, and other social programs in America in view of the “fiscal cliff.”

Look at either your pay stub or W-2 and you will see a box called “FICA” deduction. That deduction is your payment under the Federal Insurance Collection Act. For more than 80 years, Americans have and still do pay for those programs.

Where did all the money go that we have paid into the trust funds established under those programs? Rather than raise taxes, our leaders looted those trust funds with the promise to replace what they took.

Now, we need the funds, and our leaders will not raise the money to meet the obligation. Instead, they claim we cannot afford the obligation and, therefore, we are going to forget it. I wish we could take someone’s savings, give them an IOU, then tell them the IOU is worthless.

Roger A. Weitgenant

Valparaiso

President needs to focus
on urban blight, as in Gary

I am a native of Valparaiso, and I have lived in Northwest Indiana for many decades.

I have a longstanding interest in the city and environs of Gary; some years ago, I even did some substitute teaching in the public schools there.

I am writing to our nation’s newly elected president because I believe Gary has been in trouble for too long, and that reconciliation and rejuvenation of this urban community, if this is to be accomplished, needs to become a national priority.

I believe that at the root of urban blight, civic dysfunction and much individual alienation is the separation of the races. I believe that opportunity separates the races. The absence of opportunity results in individual and collective hopelessness and disappointment in life.

From years of observation, I feel like internal, rather than external, cultural and political events have exacerbated social conditions in Gary. I think too many people have a bad attitude toward the mayor and politicians in general.

What with many bombed-out-looking neighborhoods or neighborhoods otherwise looking like heck, people feel ripped off, and this bad attitude is reflected in people’s attitude toward voting and other civic duties.

What is needed for hope and change in Northwest Indiana (and other similar urban centers) is a new federal strategy that will require an investment of resources probably comparable to the resources invested in foreign aid and the National Security Council.

Specifically, and most importantly, I am suggesting that efforts at reconciliation and rejuvenation be focused on persons.

Let our maxim be equity acts in personam.

Whether we are using grants, social services, HUD or some version of a National Security Council, let the goal be to help persons achieve their maximum abilities.

Let’s give opportunities to people.

August R. Stokes

Valparaiso



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