Washington, D.C., is playing a dangerous game of chicken. Those inside the Beltway must be honest about our future.
For more than a year, we have enjoyed a 2 percent rollback on our payroll taxes, which should have gone to the Social Security “fund.”
The last time I checked, there is no financial institution in Washington that has custody of the Social Security “fund.” The “fund” is nothing more than a promise to pay at a future date.
To say that Social Security “cuts” are not on the table, one must first define a cut. If by a cut, the president means that we should not extend the age of eligibility for Social Security to 70, that is irresponsible.
Today, 65-year-olds have a life expectancy of 85. When Social Security began, eligibility was at age 65; however, the life expectancy was only 62.
Eligibility for Social Security should be indexed to life expectancy. Any change should be phased in, as it was when the current eligibility was raised to 67.
Furthermore, by the year 2030, the number of Medicare beneficiaries will double from 40 million participants in 2000 to 80 million. This impending problem needs to be addressed immediately.
Taxes should be increased on the super rich (those making at least $1 million). However, increased taxes alone will not solve the fiscal cliff.
The federal government needs to spend less money, and spend it more efficiently. The waste, fraud and abuse in this country, which amounts to more than $50 billion by some estimates, must be controlled.
If the federal government doesn’t change its ways, Greece will look like the Promised Land, and the United States of America will be nothing more than a Third World nation.
Stitzlein personified leadership by example
Rainy Stitzlein was ahead of her time. She never let a diagnosis of cancer as a child, a glass ceiling that stymied women’s business careers or any other challenge stand in the way of achievement and service to countless organizations and individuals in need. As students at the University of Akron, Mrs. Stitzlein and her husband, Harry, were wonderful role models.
When they became alumni, they continued to reach out to students like ourselves. We first met the Stitzleins at homecoming events that brought alumni and students together. They embraced the university through leadership roles and encouraged students to learn about the university’s proud heritage and traditions.
They also applauded our involvement and provided energy for each of us to be excited about our community’s future.
When we returned to Akron after living out of state for 10 years, the Stitzleins were right there to reach out to us once again and assist our transition back into our hometown.
Mrs. Stitzlein was never shy in suggesting projects and opportunities for us to get involved in and promote our town.
We’ll always admire her tireless determination, honest assessments and her love for her family, friends and community. She will be missed, yet her legacy lives through numerous individuals whose lives were touched by her magic.
The two of us have had our lives enriched through her friendship, and will continue to honor her memory by emulating the wonderful example she and Harry set.
Bill and Becky Considine
Reason for the season
I really don’t care which gods you worship. Or if you don’t have any. Or why President Obama will drive this country into the ground. Or the conspiracy theories about Benghazi. Or how your unique tax idea will solve everything. ’Tis the season to be jolly. The year is done, so let’s hit up First Night and all be friends. At least for a bit.
Nurses guard privacy of their patients
From the moment Kate Middleton’s personal medical information was broadcast around the world, the nursing community likely cringed.
Perhaps the British royal family decided to take a lighter view of the issue due to the weight of public scrutiny they routinely endure. No competent nurse would feel the same.
The general public may not know how seriously nurses guard the intimate information of the patients in their charge. From the beginning of his or her education, to the end of a career, the nurse is on the front lines in the battle to protect the patient’s right to privacy.
Not having all of the information involved in the cruel joke played on the royals and the hospital medical staff leads to many questions.
One sad fact is evident, however, regarding the death of the nurse involved in this incident. It would seem that she was so wounded by the breach in her patient’s privacy and the resulting humiliation that tragedy was the result.
Nurses everywhere must feel empathy for one of their own. I can only hope that her legacy will be a more tolerant view of nurses, and all medical personnel, as they strive to protect their patients’ right to privacy.
Cynthia Gibson, R.N.
I would like to thank Army Staff Sgt. Aaron Hale for his service to his country and the sacrifices he made.
While reading the article about his “hero’s welcome” Dec. 9 (“Blinded war veteran is happy to be alive”), I was struck by his positive attitude and his gratitude for being alive.
He did not feel sorry for himself. He did not complain, was not angry and did not expect anything from anyone in return for losing his sight.
Too many people today spend their time complaining about how unfair life is and how hard they have it. They whine about what they feel they are owed by society, when in reality they have nothing to complain about. Sgt. Hale sacrificed his sight so we can all sleep safely at night. At this Christmas time, it is my wish that all people would reflect on the one who sacrificed it all.
Be thankful for all the things that we have been given, honor our men and women in uniform and be a blessing to those who are less fortunate than yourself.
The obituary on Rainy Stitzlein (“Stitzlein, who led UA trustees during state probe, dies at 84”) quotes an old editorial that said Mrs. Stitzlein was “ill-equipped to lead this group of trustees through the restructuring and healing process now needed at the university.”
But Mrs. Stitzlein remained on the job until the end of her term, the obituary said, as if she should not have remained because the editorial staff said so, so many years ago.
Opinions and resentments are hard to shed, even in the obituary of one who gave so much to the community for so many years.
Here’s a clue: When writing an obituary, it’s OK to quote someone else. Otherwise, keep your opinions to yourself.
American Dream or nightmare?
Over the past 50 years, people’s beliefs, and what they try to accomplish, have become more of a nightmare than a dream. Unless you were born with a silver spoon in your mouth, have rich relatives or won the lottery, you are probably in the 98 percent, working to survive or to become wealthy.
In your busy life, you may have forgotten that God helps those who help themselves, if they believe in his words, his simple commandments.
Ironically, it seems that most, if not all, modern politicians, successful investors and business leaders have been educated to follow a new ideology and set of principles.
Why risk your own position and capital when you can beg, borrow or literally steal (or use) other people’s knowledge, influence and wealth?
How has character, morals and work improved with this mindset?
Ask multibillionaire George Soros, among the wealthiest men in the world, how he got his wealth. Currency trading has to be top on his list. You might wonder how many jobs his billions have created.
Our government’s $16 trillion debt has taken full advantage of the taxpayer’s wealth, billions of dollars foolishly spent daily, much of it just to remain in office. Hundreds of members of Congress and Cabinet members have become millionaires virtually overnight.
Ignoring conscience, why would any government or union worker want to change the goose that lays golden eggs? If you are not in government, or in a union, or on welfare, you must be working in the taxpaying private sector. You have to follow rules.
The big difference between now and 50 years ago is that our reaction time has run out. Huge taxes to pay for waste and corruption and for the stuff we need for survival will increase, starting in 2013.
This unlucky year of more trillion-dollar deficits, world threats, genocide and wars will cost billions in taxes, causing ordinary people to go over the cliff.