Letters to the editor for the week of 2/19/20
Guidelines for letters
All letters must contain an address and phone number. Only one letter per week per person will be published; only one letter per person per month regarding the same topic will be published. Feather Publishing does not print third-party, anonymous or open letters. Letters must not exceed 300 words. Writers responding to previously published letters may not mention the author by name. The deadline is Friday at noon; deadlines may change due to holidays. Letters may be submitted at any of Feather Publishing’s offices, sent via fax to 283-3952 or emailed to [email protected]
Slice of the pie
CBS News reported (Jan. 31, 2020) that total American household wealth is $98 trillion. They used the analogy of five plates (20 percent per plate) to represent the wealth classes, from the filthy rich to the dirt poor. Then they apportion slices of pumpkin pie to each plate to represent their individual wealth.
The top 20 percent class has nine slices or $88 trillion and of that class, four slices ($39 trillion) would go to the top 1 percent. The upper middleclass plate and the middleclass plate would share one piece of pie (5 percent each or so) representing $5 trillion each. The lower middleclass plate would get crumbs — about 0.3 percent and the dirt-poor class — they actually are $6,000 in debt. About 81 percent of Americans are in the middle to lower wealth classes (Pew research).
Since the corrupt Supreme Court declared corporations are people and money is speech, guess whom Republican and Democratic politicians listen to? They could care less what most Americans want.
This is why Trump and Republicans always give tax cuts to the wealthy. This is why the corporate media, all Republicans and corporate Democrats trash Medicare for All and the candidates who want to increase taxes on the rich and corporations.
This is why they send all our good paying jobs overseas. They make more profits and Americans are let fighting for the crumbs — the low paying service jobs. This is why they won’t increase the minimum wage to $15/hour. This is why the bought and paid for news media do everything in their power to propagandize Americans into going along with their scam. Media owners and news models are in the upper classes.
Trump says he will protect Social Security and Medicare, but then releases his budget that slashes Medicaid by $1.5 trillion, slashes Social Security by $25 billion and Medicare by $845 billion.
They are taking our democracy, our ability to survive, everything. We don’t want another billionaire of either party to be president. Senator Sanders will deliver for all Americans.
How do you define ‘cut’
How many times have we heard President Trump promise that he was “not touching Social Security”? Probably too many to count. But, just last Wednesday, his Secretary of the Treasury, Steve Mnuchin, was explaining to the Senate Finance Committee just how the Trump administration was planning to reduce the amount we receive each month from Social Security. As you know, the benefits we receive from Social Security usually increase by a percentage point or two each year. The amount is determined by the Consumer Price Index and is designed to keep our benefits equal to the rate of inflation.
The “Munchkin” told the Senators that Trump’s new budget calls for “a reduction in the rate of increase” and that this was “not a cut to the benefits of Social Security.” Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore) responded that “Slowing the rate of increase is ‘Washington-speak’ for cutting benefits.”
If recipients of Social Security do not get an increase in their benefit equal to the rate of inflation their purchasing power is decreased. Compounded over a few years this will be a substantial reduction. Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nevada) says this will amount to a cut to Social Security of tens of billions of dollars over the next decade.
So, I guess in “Trump-speak” a cut is not a cut. I wonder how many more of these little scams he is running on us.
Is it true that congress has raided the Social Security fund?
Does one have the option to not pay into Social Security?
If so, a Roth account would be the way to go. However that takes discipline to do so. Most people do not have that discipline or training from their family or school. It’s the I want it now mentality.
For at least 40 years, extremists within the Republican party have been intent upon turning America into a single party system. This should not be news to anyone, Democrat or Republican. In 2009, a group of equally extreme right wing multibillionaires met near Palm Springs. With Obama in office, they decided to ‘buy’ the country, and be free to promote their own racist views, economic privileges and representatives. Our Supreme Court had apparently sold out a decade earlier, as had the party’s conservative members. Through lies, deceit, bribery and extortion, the billionaires’ agenda has been accomplished, while the democratic party, held hostage for years by a multitude of special interest groups, continues to be distracted. Although full control of our nation might have been slower than the old Republican core would have liked, a new core of narrowly educated, fully indoctrinated, ultraconformists has filled the party’s ranks.
Personal responsibility for our democratic republic has never been fully accepted by the American people. The fact that our nation was initiated as a dumping ground for England’s unwanted and has remained as a dumping ground for the world’s discontented, has defined America as simply a place to be used. Image, rather than substance, has become our primary focus. Greed, insecurity, ignorance and indoctrination are poor substitutes for education, learning to think and acceptance of personal responsibility. Without these latter attributes, our republic will cease to exist. Our nation was also based on a unique belief in the value of each individual-as an individual. Whether there is enough knowledge, integrity, courage and understanding remaining within the American people to halt further conversion of our de facto plutocracy into its next form as an American dictatorship is still unknown.
Wallace B. Eshleman