Letters to the Editor, Feb. 2
We are rich
According to the latest report of the Social Security Administration, the Social Security Trust Fund grew by $35 billion during 2016, and now stands at $2.85 trillion — the money that you and I have paid into the fund from our payroll taxes. It is there to support us when we retire or are disabled.
It is projected to last until 2034, and with minor tweaks well into the distant future. The Social Security Administration (SSA) uses a small amount of this money to administer the fund. But Congress sets the amount that the administration can use.
It has been grossly underfunded over the past decade and there is a proposal to cut it even more. This leads to poor oversight and long delays for potential recipients and, consequently, inability to operate and monitor the program efficiently.
Waiting times for those requiring service can stretch to years. This undermines the public’s confidence in the program.
We must insist that Congress and the president fully fund the SSA to protect and expand a program that is so important to citizens, now and in the future.
Tax dollars misused
Earlier this month it was reliably reported, and acknowledged by Rep. Greg Walden, that he had settled a discrimination complaint by a disabled veteran for the sum of $7,000, and forced the veteran, a disabled veteran of our debacle in Iraq, to sign a non-disclosure agreement.
In Walden's response when questioned at a Hood River town hall, on camera, he was careful to lie most artfully about the claim, stating that "I have never discriminated against anyone." Then he moved on, deflecting any further questions, which is his typical MO.
I'm willing to stipulate that he personally has never discriminated against his staff, but the question which should have been asked was, "Who in your office discriminated against this veteran, and why did you not fire somebody, instead of using taxpayer funds to settle the complaint? And I would further ask the alleged representative of District 2 if he is going to repay the taxpayer funds, which were unethically, if legally, used to settle this complaint.
As a participant in the Medford Woman’s March on Jan. 20, I was greatly heartened to see so many men in the crowd.
Women’s rights, domestic violence, sexual harassment and gender equality are men’s issues too. The problems created by such issues can only be solved and prevented when both men and women are working for change.
Thank you to all the men who walked shoulder to shoulder with us. Your presence made a special impact on the event.
Stay the course!
Sage of the age
I see we’ve gotten the “benefit” and “honor” of the presence of yet another religion-besotted wannabe Napoleon from a slave state, namely Mike Huckaboob, er, I mean Huckabee, polluting the air with his anti-woman vitriol.
Stay away from this one, ladies; he’s pure poison.
William J. Mac Bean