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Letters to the editor

More reasons

Here are more reasons not to privatize Social Security.

Private accounts could dampen economic growth, further weakening Social Security finances in the future. We would need to borrow up to &

36;15 trillion over the next 40 years to finance the private accounts. We would run up &

36;15 trillion in new debt.

Privatization in other countries (Chile and England) has been disappointing. Odds are against investors investing well.

The costs and risks of running private accounts outweigh the value of the return they are likely to earn. Wall Street will reap windfall profit.

Private accounts will need new bureaucracy. Benefits cuts would apply to the disabled, orphans and widows. Young people, women and minorities would be vulnerable and could be losers.

The cost of the Social Security shortfall is &

36;3.7 trillion or .54 percent of GDP over the next 75 years. The cost of the Bush tax cuts will be &

36;12 trillion, and the drug bill Bush signed costs &

36;8 trillion over the next 75 years. Our trade deficit will be over &

36;600 billion for 2004.

— The Bush administration is looking for way to cut Medicaid. Congress increased our debt ceiling by &

36;800 billion. ' Art Gerds Jr., Yreka, Calif.

A supportive community

Public education is struggling with every breath for its very survival. Then comes a moment when educators know they're still in the right career and their efforts do not go unnoticed.

I am a teacher at Howard Elementary in Medford and Friday was an in-service day for teachers to input grades. Howard has a wonderfully supportive and appreciative community in which we thrive. It once again became ever-present on Friday morning when our secretary announced that a family had brought lunches for all our staff. As it turned out, it was not lunch, but dinner for all of our families and us.

The thoughtful gesture came from members of The Friends Church, a church right down the road that continually supports and acknowledges our efforts. They remind us that we make a difference to the children and families we serve. We feel appreciated and are so lucky to have a second home here at Howard among this community.

So, fellow educators, continue to hold your heads high and know we still have the most important job there is when it comes to educating our children, and our school communities recognize that. ' Cheryl Lashley, Talent

Please don't ask

I frequently read letters with the same tired message to Democrats, asking them to get over it and support our president. Well, many of us would surely like to, but he's not our president, and we think this administration's record of death, debt, destruction, division and deception are not cause for support but are cause for alarm and outrage.

There are also serious concerns about the questionable tactics used to win recent elections, including paid liars who viciously trashed a war hero, the deliberately discarded votes, voter harassment, and electronic votes that can easily be changed or deleted instantly without any trace.

Too many Americans fell prey to the GOP's tactics of fear and smear, and sadly, Bush prevailed, but that does not suddenly sanctify his failed and dangerous policies, nor does it prove his supporters correct. The majority can be and is, in this case, wrong.

Democrats want a free, strong and prosperous America and world. We just believe that this administration's direction is in absolute opposition to those ideals. So here's a message to the Grand Old Party ' while you're driving the American wagon over the cliff, please don't ask Democrats to help you whip the horses. ' Darryl Edington, Eagle Point