The debate on the need to redistribute wealth in America is now taking the form of applying needs-testing for those about to receive Social Security benefits. It’s worth remembering that our politicians made a solemn contract with Americans on Social Security.
Everybody pays in, and everybody gets paid — if you live long enough. That was the promise that drove acceptance of the program and pretty much the reason everybody has been willing to contribute 15 percent of wages their entire working lives without squawking too much.
If we take this income and then refuse people payments in retirement (because they have a high income and saved money), what we’ve really done goes well beyond simply breaking a promise. We will have turned Social Security into a very high not-so-hidden tax.
It would be one of the highest taxes applied to Americans in history. It would be a tax applied to people who never had a chance to consider it in its true form and to vote on it. And we should not assume that legislators at the time would have approved the program if the administration’s current plan was known.
This affects ground that Americans consider hallowed — the idea that you are not to be taxed without representation. What kind of representation do you have when a new program is falsely presented to lawmakers and the public for support and approval?
Do you suppose Americans would have supported Social Security at its onset if the promise was: Everybody’s going to pay in, and we may or may not pay out to you, depending on the quality of our government’s fiscal management?
I don’t question the motive of our current administration. One does need to look at promises made, and whether it is fair and just (after all, this is a fair and just nation) to subject a portion of the population to a high tax without their or their elected officials’ approval of same.
It’s not right, and we know it. There is a word in our vernacular for gross misrepresentation of matters of fact for the express purpose of parting individuals from their money for reasons very different from those presented. That word is fraud.
This administration needs to stop and think about some of these issues before subjecting a minority of Americans to a new tax they and their elected officials had no opportunity to see for what it really was.
David E. Kettlewell
Regarding the May 1 article “Lower age for Plan B approved”:
Parental guidance? This, combined with Roe v. Wade and the tragic deaths that make front-page news every day, exhibits the fact that every minute of the day, the world’s population is dwindling by leaps and bounds.
Humanity is suffering. Do we think so little of ourselves that we risk extinction?
Negatives of the tea party
I was dismayed to read a front page article that portrayed Tom Zawitowski as a good candidate for chairman of the Ohio Republican Party (Beacon Journal, April 25 “ ‘Judgment Day’ in state politics”).
The premise was that he represented a significant percentage of Ohio voters and would be a unifier. The following facts do not support those absurd contentions.
I have never heard or read a positive statement from him. The article reports that he became upset with government over Title IX (equality for females in amateur athletics) and the bailout of General Motors.
The first is an important equity law that needed better regulations and fewer lawyers in our litigious society. The second was a choice between the bondholders and countless American workers. It was the second time I lost money on bonds.
I’m pleased to hear that the Portage County Tea Party, with only 2,300, members is the second largest in Ohio. In the 2012 election, they mailed numerous postcards highlighting their carefully considered recommended candidates. Unfortunately, every one of their recommendations was a Republican.
All but one of the Portage Tea Party’s recommendations for local offices lost by huge margins. Some of the margins were so large that it appeared Republicans were even voting against the Tea Party’s recommendations. I had hoped this would humble Zawitowski and his devotees. I was wrong.
Zawitowski has written about the benefits of the sequester. When your quality of life is diminished by the associated reductions in public service, please remember him.
He has said recently he would consider creating a third party if he was not elected chairman of the Ohio Republican Party. His reasons were unhappiness with Republican officials over the proposed expansion of Medicaid and Sen. Portman asking for equal rights for his gay son.
Fortunately, the vote was 48 to 7 against Zawitowski. So much for the powerful group of 2,300.
All I have heard from Tom’s Tea Party is less government and less taxes. They have never seen a ballot issue they support. Apparently, the public school system, like Social Security and Medicare, was a bad idea. If they decide to leave, they will not have to create a third party. Most of his followers are Libertarians, and they already are a third party.
James L. Greener
As many of us wait along with Father Sam Ciccolini regarding his priestly duties, I would like Bishop Richard G. Lennon and his advisers to recall John 8:7: “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.”
Perks of office
The FBI is investigating Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam’s company, Pilot Flying J, as it should. I do wonder why Big Oil and gasoline wholesalers aren’t ever investigated.
If the cost of a barrel of oil goes up, gasoline prices rise quickly, but when oil prices fall drastically, gas prices jump up. Could this be because of all the “perks” the companies give our “honest” politicians? I believe the perks are going to politicians at all levels, from the president and Congress to our state representatives.