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Post Independent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

In her March 16 letter, Juanita Williams apparently misunderstood my March 10 letter. I can’t entirely blame her because the headline badly misrepresented its content.

I probably agree with Ms. Williams in more ways than she realizes. I’m old and I count on monthly Medicare and monthly Social Security checks.

But Ms. Williams misstated facts that are worth clarifying. She was never lied to by being told her Social Security payments were being saved for her old age. Social Security has always been a pay-as-we-go program.



By design, current payments support current retirees. Then, when today’s workers get older, the next generation supports them. Unfortunately, this model is becoming increasingly unmanageable.

Social Security became law in 1935, payroll tax withholding began in 1937 and some lump sum payments began the same year. (The first was to Ernest Ackerman, who retired one day after Social Security began. Five cents had been withheld. His total payout was 17 cents.)



Monthly pension checks began arriving in 1940, leaving three years to establish a modest reserve fund but hardly enough time for retirees to have saved adequately for their old age; especially so since combined worker/employer withholding was only 2 percent until 1950.

We are living ever longer and having fewer children, yielding increasingly fewer current workers to support ever more retirees. In response, worker/employer Social Security and Medicare withholding has risen to 15.3 percent. This tax burden is resented by many current workers, making continued funding increasingly problematic for politicians.

Whether these facts matter to Ms. Williams or not, I hope that those interested in addressing issues constructively will not be misled by emotionally based misinformation. Whether or not we call Social Security “welfare” and whether or not we consider welfare a pejorative term, the program has its financial woes. We should address these rationally, civilly (“government pukes”?) and in the broadest financial and social contexts we can manage. We can’t do that by ignoring facts in favor of emotional outbursts.

Ron Kokish

Carbondale

I am withdrawing as a candidate for Carbondale town trustee and throwing my support to Allyn Harvey, Pam Zentmyer and John Hoffmann.

It is too late for me to withdraw my name from the ballot, and I apologize to those who have voted for me and have already cast their ballots.

I appeal to those Carbondale voters who have not yet voted to vote for Allyn Harvey, Pam Zentmyer and John Hoffmann. I believe these three are best suited to the task of preventing Carbondale, like Aspen before it, from falling into the clutches of the super-rich who, without fail, always try to use their money to buy from others what they have been unable to create for themselves.

Carbondale can continue to grow, but sensibly. There is no hurry. We are fine as we are and we’ll get better carefully.

Jim Breasted

Carbondale

With a heading like the one on Hal Sundin’s March 15 column, “A little socialism can be good for capitalism,” I just can’t let that go unanswered.

Let’s examine Mr. Sundin’s argument.

1. Social Security and Medicare are the two best examples of why socialism doesn’t work. The U.S. shells out far more in payments than it ever took in. It’s a ginormous Ponzi scheme that is breaking the bank.

A capitalist solution? At your child’s birth, you or the grandparents invest $10,000 in a safe, dividend-paying solid fund yielding 10 percent per year, and let it sit there. After 65 years, your child would have $8.7 million and some change. That’s about $292,000 a year for the next 35 “golden” years, not including ongoing interest income. That ought to cover living expenses and health costs pretty easily.

Eliminate the death tax, and there may be quite a little pile to pass on to future generations. And that’s not taking anything out of your payroll, ever. Of course that means there’d be no “tax holiday” for Congress to butter us up with.

Can’t come up with $10k? Just investing $2,000 at first and $20 a month will net around $3.7 million. Let the kids take over payments when they go to work.

Can’t afford that? Maybe you should put off having kids until you can afford it.

2. I agree the system is broken, but more government is not the answer. How about eliminating insurance company non-competition laws across states to let capitalism truly work? Immediate lower insurance rates would be the result. Tort reform would provide an added bonus.

A 350-word limit does not allow adequate space to address the education problems and solutions, but honestly, now we’re looking to China for solutions? Force students to major in what the government decides is best? Why not impose re-education camps and forced abortions as well? And aren’t they the ones who decided a little capitalism might be good for communism, since they learned from the USSR that communism doesn’t work?

Dan McQueen

New Castle

Indeed, the Glenwood Springs Center for the Arts is in the midst of preparing for “Dancers Dancing 2012,” on April 20 and 21 at the Jeannie Miller Theatre at Glenwood Springs High School. Our theme this year is “Connecting the Dots … A Celebration of Dance, Music and Art.”

This is one of the most creative and fun times of the year at the center, when students, teachers, musicians, guest artists, technical crew, parents and administrators bring their collective artistry together for a lively community tradition now in its 20th year. Truly a labor of love, “Dancers Dancing” has provided the opportunity for countless students, families, and audience members to share in the love of performance and the joy of dance.

As Suzanne Horwich mentioned in her March 17 letter, we have had a delightful Pre-Ballet class that her daughter has taken throughout the year.

It is difficult to set pricing for events, especially now. Although our production costs are high, we at the Center for the Arts made a decision to lower our prices for “Dancers Dancing 2012.” Ms. Horwich had not received that information when she wrote her letter. Please look for our new pricing.

“Dancers Dancing 2012” will connect the dots, featuring all our dance and voice students, ages 3 years to adult. It will highlight our dedicated dance companies and the choreography of our eight talented dance instructors, and will feature guest dancers and musicians.

The work of our art and pottery students will be exhibited in the lobby before the show and at intermission. This year’s “Dancers Dancing” promises to be one of the best. With about 130 participants, it will be a true community event.

We hope to see you there for a joyful evening of dance, music, and art.

Maurine Taufer, Director for Dance

Glenwood Springs Center for the Arts

Glenwood Springs

After reading the opinions of Erica Griffith and Candy Norvell in the March 17 edition regarding the comments of Bill Maher, as well as those of Rush Limbaugh, I felt compelled to respond.

I have several questions for these ladies. First, how does Bill Maher’s use of profanity in describing Sarah Palin not fall into the realm of complete bigotry?

Second, how does Rush Limbaugh’s opinion that the taxpayer shouldn’t foot the bill for a woman’s contraception fall into the category of cultist behavior?

Now, it turns out, that Sandra Fluke was paid by the Democratic Party to make her statements to Congress in order to remove focus from the issue of the Obama administration’s constitutional violation of a church’s right to deny services that go against its beliefs. After all, a woman can get contraception from places like Planned Parenthood, if she so chooses. Why else, then, did Sandra Fluke recant her earliest statements?

Furthermore, Ms. Fluke testified before Congress saying, “I’m having so much sex that I can’t afford my birth control.” Does that put Rush Limbaugh very far off base?

Jim Klein

New Castle


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