Readers concerned about retirees

Concerns about Social Security

The system devised many years ago to help all working people establish some source of retirement fund is being threatened by our current members of Congress. Social Security was established to allow hard-working individuals to put back a little cushion for themselves when they reached the age of retirement. This was to help those who would not be wealthy enough to live after they were no longer working. The government realized that a large part of the working population would not save for retirement. Under this plan worker and employer shared equally in the contributions to the employee’s account. When the individual retired, at a specified age, they would receive a monthly check based on how much was in their account.

This worked fine until such time when the balance in the Social Security Trust Fund got large enough that it attracted the attention of those in Congress and the White House. This was around the time we were escalating our efforts in Vietnam. So the decision was made to “borrow” from the Trust Fund to get the needed funds to do so. Well, once opened this practice was used for many different funding issues. To help hide the use of Trust Fund monies, the Social Security Trust Fund is listed under discretionary spending section of the budget. By doing this, the balanced budget of the 90s was achieved. Now the present Congress is indicating that they must cut our Social Security “entitlement” payments to pay for the rest of the budget. Sorry, but the only entitlement here is the citizens being entitled to their contributions paid in to Social Security.

Also, to add insult to injury, this same Congress passed legislation authorizing pension funds covering multiple employers to reduce pension payments to their existing retirees. … Thanks, Congress. You really show how much you care about the middle class. — JOHN SHADY, MORAINE

Reader troubled about reduced benefits

As a person with close ties to Wittenberg University (both my husband and his brother received their bachelor degrees from the facility), I am appalled and saddened by the decision of the college to lower the benefits of its retired faculty. This is especially troubling after reading a week before of their new million dollar sports facility. Wittenberg has a very high rating for its scholastic excellence — a rating that stems from the excellence of its teaching staff, former and present — not from its athletic prowess.

The message that it sends to its students is that athletics is more important to the university than is the quality of their professors — present and past. — JEAN G. PIVAL, SPRINGFIELD

Speak up

Unemployment is down and wages are up for everyone except Social Security recipients. This is unconscionable to treat seniors this way.

The way to lower the cost of college tuition isn’t marching to demand a free education, but to lower the cost of administration, salaries and sports. They are all way too high.

Despite all the evidence that tax cuts do not pay for themselves or really significantly contribute to improving the economy, Republicans continue to campaign for them because their base is made up mostly by the wealthy that benefit from tax cuts and contribute to Republican candidates.

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