Social Security would be insecure in stock market
Those urging us to put our Social Security money into the stock market are plain and simple con artists.
When the stock market crashed in 1929, it had reached 381. It took 25 years to get back up to 381.
It took the Dow another 12 years to climb a paltry 619 points, or 51 points per year, from 1954 to 1966. Thereafter, it took the stock market 26 years, from 1966 to March 1992, to rise 2,250 points, or a meager 86 points per year.
Then, the Dow went crazy. From March 1992 to March 2000 it went up an uncharacteristic 8,250 points, to 11,500. Then, over a period of time, it dropped to 7,000, went up to 14,000 and ended recently at 11,000, plus or minus, just about where it was 10 years earlier in March 2000.
The point: If an individual planned to retire just before the market crashed for 25 years in 1929, or just before it dipped for 12 years in 1954, or just before it dozed off for 26 years in 1966, or went up and down for 10 years between 2000 and today, the intended retiree's nest egg would have taken a tremendous shellacking.
So, do not believe your Social Security funds should be "invested" in Wall Street, which is a thoroughfare that begins in a graveyard and ends in a river. It is not for you or for me or Little Joe from Kokomo.
As a transplanted Kentuckian, I want to say how proud I am of Fayette County voters for being progressive enough to elect an openly gay mayor. Seems like Fayette and Jefferson counties are islands in a sea of people voting against their own best interest.
Tax the greed
The wealthiest Americans have gobbled up wealth like a mighty river in flood. Greed is a necessary evil in capitalism but needs to be better harnessed to the greater good. The wealthy own more of the country than any time since 1929.
Since 1980, the average Joe and Josephine have increased their education and productivity to unprecedented levels, yet middle-class income has stagnated. The profits went to the wealthy few. Since 1980, the national debt increased from $1 trillion to $12 trillion, with two-thirds added under Republican presidents due to the pandering of excessive tax cuts.
The flexibility of the national debt is meant to be available during grave national emergencies like World War II. As no emergency existed, only the wealthy benefited from these excessive expenditures. The average Joe and Josephine need a new social contract that recognizes that the wealthy should be obligated to paying down the national debt to a sustainable level.
The only remedy for reducing the debt is to enact a 10 percent dedicated surcharge tax on the income of the patriotic 10 percent of wealthiest taxpayers until the national debt is paid down to $2 trillion. This would cause the wealthy to instruct their lobbyists to demand that the federal budget be balanced immediately. We would be left with only as much government as we can afford and still save Social Security.
That the lying Republicans are trying to repackage the rotten fish of tax cuts is appalling.
Allen T. Kelley
Faith in humanity
We had just attended a funeral mass for a mutual friend when a friend of many years, also in attendance, asked if perhaps she could follow me for a portion of her way home. I obliged. As she followed me, I noticed she was driving with only her parking lights. At the nearest large intersection, I jumped from my car to hers to advise her about her driving lights.
Upon leaving my car for hers, at least three total strangers who were beside me at that intersection immediately surmised something was askew. "Ma'am, can I help you?" "Do you need some help, Ma'am?" "Are you OK?" The lights were adjusted, and my friend made her continued journey home safely.
Knowing we have wonderful caring and empathetic folks as these I encountered makes me feel grateful to mankind. My sincere appreciation to all of you loving folks. May your kindnesses be rewarded.
Stop the bullying
I have seen a growing number of children surrendering to suicide due to bullying. The latest was a 13-year-old boy, small for his age, who had a lisp and had told his parents he was gay. He never had a chance.
Other kids jump on all that is different and put this kid through hell. They called him names, tripped him, making him fall down some stairs, kicked his books down the hall. He went home on Sept. 23, got his stepfather's gun, went in the closet, and ended his sweet, young life.
I cannot believe kids can be so cruel. My son is 25 years old and was raised to have compassion for people. He would never treat someone the way this young man was treated. My son would be the one to take up for him.
How have we raised and taught our children to be so cruel and have no regard for another human life? What does this say about that person who is the bully? I hope the kids who are bullies are proud of themselves. Do they feel good knowing that they helped kill someone?
We are supposed to love one another, no matter what. That's what God wanted. I know he weeps when these things happen. Shame on you, bullies. Grow up. Take responsibility for your actions. Stop bullying.
Count military votes
Now that the curtain has come down on the 2010 elections, I challenge our elected lawmakers to turn their attention to passing a law which will ensure every vote cast by our men and women in uniform will be counted. Unfortunately, Kentucky's election laws are outdated and have the potential to disenfranchise military voters with a requirement that absentee ballots must be received at the county clerk's office by the close of the polls on Election Day.
It seems absurd that the absentee vote of a member of the military living in Kentucky is counted only if the ballot is received by the close of the polls on Election Day, yet the absentee vote of a member of the military living in another state is counted as long as the ballot is postmarked by Election Day. What possible excuse could there be for failing to provide equal protection for Kentucky service members to ensure that their votes are not only cast, but counted?
Rest assured members of the military and their families will hold Kentucky lawmakers accountable if they are unwilling to amend Kentucky's election laws in the next session to ensure the votes of our military are counted.
Mark A. Wohlander
Compassion for sick
Perhaps the religious right could offer some insight on this health care question: Did Jesus reject people with pre-existing conditions? I'm pretty sure the lepers, the lame, the deaf and the blind did not have jobs. Most of them probably begged. So, it is unlikely employment status was a consideration when Jesus healed people.
Also, if somebody was dead and Jesus brought him back to life, did he have a pre-existing condition?