Plan to privatize Medicare an unfair way to cut debt
An increased number of Congress members are considering proposals that would cut promised benefits to seniors, including Rep. Paul Ryan's proposal to privatize Medicare.
This would mean that younger and healthier retirees would be enrolled into a "premium support" plan, providing them with vouchers to pay for private insurance.
The vouchers are based on a formula that can't possibly keep pace with rising health care costs, which would mean paying a higher share of the premium every year.
This privatization plan would give an opportunity for insurers to choose the healthiest seniors, which would mean traditional Medicare would be left with the sickest and costliest beneficiaries, resulting in loss of funds and shifting a growing share of costs to seniors.
Cutting seniors' benefits is unfair when the debt crisis could be resolved by eliminating the tax breaks for the wealthy and corporate America. This is not a new proposal as it was in place a few years back.
The federal debt can be responsibly and fairly reduced without jeopardizing benefits that have been promised to all workers in their retirement.
As citizens and voters, we should make an effort to protect these benefits for current and future retirees.
The leaders of the 112th Congress should be reminded that one of their top priorities should be to protect these benefits.
And they should be urged to provide leadership, resulting in a debt-reduction plan that does not threaten current and future health benefits of Democrats and Republicans.
Billie J. Cawood
I found it amusing that Sen. Rand Paul thinks sending people to prison will expose them to "radicalized Islamists," who will, in turn, convert them into fellow radical Islamists.
Following this same logic, sending people to Congress would expose them to radicalized lobbyists, turning Congress members into radicalized corporate shills.
Hey, maybe he has something here.
It happens in our General Assembly. Sen. Paul Hornback, R-Shelbyville, would have allowed telephone companies to drop land-line service in rural areas.
The senator even defended the fact that AT&T had written Senate Bill 12 because AT&T understood it better than he did.
He withdrew the legislation, but I do not know if his constituents will feel the same about him in the next election.
This radicalization appears to extend to whole departments and cabinets. The most recent escapade was the land deal in Adair County, where the Transportation Cabinet was bamboozled into paying almost twice what some condemned property was worth.
As a side note, I see Sen. Mitch McConnell has finally taken up the fight for Kentucky jobs after the possible loss of jobs at a factory in Campbellsville, where a competitor, Federal Prison Industries, was bidding against them on a federal contract.
The argument was that prisoners are paid wages much lower than minimum, an unfair advantage.
The question is, where was McConnell back when all those Kentucky jobs were going to Mexico and China because of this same type of wage differential?
What Kentucky needs are "radicalized" voters at the polls.
In response to the March 15 letter "Keep God out of it," I suggest the writer read up on a little more military history before commenting on a soldier sporting "In God We Trust."
The Marine Corps (which I gladly enlisted in during the 1990s) has a motto, Semper Fidelis, which stands for always faithful.
Always faithful to your God, your country and to the Corps. In boot camp on Sunday mornings, we had a choice: Protestant church or Catholic church, period.
President George Washington himself said, "You cannot have national morality apart from religious principle."
If someone wishes to remove God from America I suggest he speed up the process by first removing any American currency in his household that may be imprinted with "In God We Trust."
Andrew Jackson Miner
"Keep God out of it" suggests the creation of a state religion.
The First Amendment in part says that Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.
States cannot interfere with the practice of a religion. It appears unlikely that a state will establish a religion.
Rex J. Phillips
Give ex-felons a chance
I find it quite unnerving that so many people are out of work due to their criminal backgrounds.
Just because someone may have a felony conviction doesn't mean they can't work.
We all have made bad choices. I believe some of these companies should at least give felons a second chance on life. We paid our debt to society by being in jail, but is that enough for them?
No. They want us to be homeless or drug dealers.
Not such a villain
It will be interesting to see how many Kentucky tornado victims who have opposed President Barack Obama's bailouts and stimulus programs will accept federal disaster aid.
Could it be that Washington is not always the enemy some think?
Regarding the story about Senate President David Williams rearranging his meeting schedule to go to the SEC tournament: He said he was taking his work with him, like that made a difference.
To complaints from state workers, he said they didn't understand how many late nights lawmakers put in and that they should be more concerned about their pensions.
I doubt Williams has to worry about his pension. He needs to see how real people in a not-so-privileged world work, mainly the ones who vote.
On a TV program, snide-mouthed Sen. Mitch McConnell vilified the president and the presidency of the United States, speaking to a national Jewish organization and before a national televised audience.
He belittled President Barack Obama for his own grandeur and narcissistic self. He does not realize he is a disgrace to himself, the state of Kentucky and the United States. He should be recalled.
E.L. Ruggles Sr.
A prediction: The University of Kentucky football team will be the surprise of the 2012 season, the Cats will play in a Florida bowl and Joker Phillips will be the Southeastern Conference coach of the year.