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Updated: February 28, 2013 6:11AM
Time to find a permanent solution for Social Security
What is it about the word “temporary” that people don’t understand?
The dictionary definition is, “lasting only for a period of time, not permanent.”
In 2010, President Barack Obama instituted a “temporary” 2 percent cut in the Social Security payroll tax, from 6.2 percent to 4.2 percent, in an attempt to spur the economy. At the time, many believed it to be unwise, as the Social Security system had a serious long-term shortage that certainly would not be resolved by reducing the amount taken in.
Now that the tax will go back up to its original 6.2 percent, many politicians from both parties are using it as a political football, claiming it is some sort of unfair tax increase.
How will Social Security ever get on sound footing with this type of “fuzzy” math? Politicians should stop making temporary changes and come up with a plan that will put Social Security on solid footing for decades to come.
Social Security actuaries know what it would take to accomplish this without affecting benefits for current recipients and those nearing retirement. Changes would not have to be drastic, but gradual for younger workers. Unfortunately, each time these gradual, painless changes are mentioned, political demagogues and special-interest groups scare the public with lies about “cuts to Social Security.”
We truly need term limits for congressmen so they will have the courage to do what is “right,” and not what is temporarily expedient.
Angelo T. Stath
Gary will lose out privatizing Emergency Medical Services
This letter is in response to the recent restructuring of the Gary Fire Department and EMS.
As a 21-year veteran of the EMS, I feel that, as a group, we were thrown under the bus by the mayor, fire chief and EMS director. I thank councilmen Roy Pratt and Ron Brewer for their support.
As always happens when the city wants to find money or shift money, it happens. This is done regardless of whether or not it benefits citizens.
You had medics who not only did their jobs, but often went above and beyond. When the older medics started, it sure wasn’t for the money. We ran many a call well above any service in Northwest Indiana. Our service used to be the one that set the standard.
You had a group of dedicated medics. Many patients we treated were repeat patients. If you were to speak to them, they would tell you they always glad were we were the medics they saw.
One of our biggest complaints is when you brought a private service in the city. You said it would be no more cost to the citizens. They’re probably not aware its service is twice what our service charges.
I had hoped the City Council would take a little more time to get more facts and that this matter could have been avoided.