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Letters to the Editor

Dear Editor,

How should we view the proposal that workers be allowed to fund part of their own retirement by using some of their Social Security taxes to establish personal retirement accounts?

First, we must acknowledge that personal accounts cannot cure today’s demographic burdens faced by Social Security. Tax increases and/or benefit reductions are inevitable. Starting in 2018, the government will have to use income tax revenues to meet Social Security obligations.

Social Security’s fatal flaw is its dependence on favorable demographics. Fixing Social Security means eliminating this dependence. We should be funding our own retirement, not making law that requires our grandchildren to do it for us.

Personal accounts, with their higher financial returns, will provide more funds for retirement than will Social Security. Most importantly, those funds will be dedicated to the account holder’s retirement.

Today, total Social Security taxes are 12.4 percent of a worker’s income. Financial experts say that a worker who invests 10 percent of income annually will be able to maintain his standard of living in retirement. Social Security benefits today don’t come close to doing this. Perhaps this entire 10 percent should be owned and invested personally. The balance can benefit the less fortunate. This is a valid, long-term solution, independent of any future demographic scenarios.

The real challenge of Social Security is how to make the transition from cumbersome, unpredictable cross-generational financing to contemporary, personal financing. Some form of regulated personal accounts is a good start.

Michael Larime

Glenwood Springs

Dear Editor,

I recently heard a rumor that City Council was considering a ban on smoking in public businesses here in town. This would include taverns and restaurants.

My source indicated there were negative concerns from some of our best sales tax sources in town. Well, upon personal contact with the opposition, I find that not one bar or restaurant truly opposes such a move, given everyone would comply. I was amazed by some owners who will not go into their own places because of the smoke. Without disclosing these opponents, an “anti-smoking-in-public-places movement” is so popular here it questions what our representatives in council are waiting for.

If Ireland, Cuba and NYC can see through the smoke, what is Glenwood waiting for? There are many more nonsmokers here who won’t go into smoking places. Only an idiot would hang onto the old standard.

Please, councilmembers, call your business in your districts, get the facts, represent those who gave you the job.

Tom Boas

Glenwood Springs

Editor’s note: At this point in time, the city council has no plans of considering a smoking ban.


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