Northwest Voices | Letters to the Editor
Social Security and Medicare sliding closer toward insolvency
Kathleen Parker sends up the two presidential campaigns for having contesting stories about dogs. [“When a nation goes to the dogs,” Opinion, April 23.]
Point taken, but near the end of her piece, she tries to let the rest of us off the hook by writing: “And let’s face it, we’re weary of the big problems.” More correctly put, Parker might have written, “We are weary of dodging our responsibilities as citizens of this great republic.”
Look for example at the doom and gloom we keep hearing about Social Security and Medicare. Both of these popular and successful programs could be placed on sound footing by lifting the limit on earnings subject the Social Security tax (currently about $110,000), and by making some investment income (for example, private equity-fund managers’ compensation) subject to the Medicare Tax. Both changes would also decrease the regressive nature of these taxes.
Today such proposals are out of the question because a plurality of us believes that any tax, any time, anywhere is an evil that must always be opposed.
Why? Why is it anathema to so many of us to guarantee support for the aged and infirm among us? Political campaigns will look for an edge wherever they can find it, they always have. As for Americans generally, our faults lie not in our politicians, but in ourselves.
— Matthew Sproul, Portland
Here we go again. More articles on the pending disasters in Social Security and Medicare. [“Grim news for future retirees,” page one, April 24.]
Somehow the pieces that are focused on fear of program failure are seldom combined with other writings on solutions to those problems. Removing the income cap on Social Security contributions has been discussed several times as a one-time fix for the program.
Allowing Medicare to negotiate drug and equipment prices with manufacturers is a demonstrated way to significantly reduce the costs of that program. Both of these changes are logical approaches to solving the problems of the troubled programs but are seldom mentioned in conjunction with the fear-generating articles that suggest reduction in senior support.
— Mike Anderson, Burien