AARP: Basic phone service lifeline for seniors
There will be no end to the slings and arrows aimed at the AARP when we stand up to special interest groups and their allies, as seen in a recent commentary ("AARP serves its bottom line, not Kentucky's seniors," Jan. 24).
In today's corrosive and partisan driven political arena, any principled organization fighting for its mission and members is going to take some hits.
For almost 55 years of staying true to its mission, AARP has remained committed to speaking out and being a leader on tough issues affecting everyone as we age.
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So, why does AARP take action on hot button issues like telephone deregulation?
It's simple: our mission and members demand that we take action, engage in the debate and help them make their voices heard — whether here in the statehouse or in our nation's capital.
Basic landline telephone service is no luxury; it's a lifeline for seniors and rural consumers.
AARP supports the use of advanced technologies; however, we will not ignore the risk of leaving rural, low-income and fixed-income Kentuckians without access to basic phone service, including 911-emergency service.
On behalf of our 460,000 Kentucky members, we will stay in the fight on telephone deregulation in our state.
AARP and its grass-roots citizen advocates are in this fight to win it for our members and all Kentuckians who want a choice in keeping their landline telephone service.
Politics may get nasty and personal, but AARP is drawing the line in Kentucky on protecting seniors' access to affordable and reliable telephone service.
James T. Kimbrough
President, AARP Kentucky
Getting away with it
In 2008, the worst international financial crisis occurred since the Great Depression. Trillions of dollars were suddenly needed to bail out financial institutions deemed too big to fail by our representatives.
Retirees and those nearing retirement saw their 401(k)s and life savings plummet or even disappear. Home values in many areas were reduced substantially and many foreclosed.
Unemployment soared as many lost jobs. Some are still not re-employed. To a substantial extent, our nation and others have, years later, still not recovered.
It struck me as odd that I cannot recall one person involved financially as being imprisoned over this almost unprecedented calamity. Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorganChase, said "We somehow missed ... that home prices don't go up forever," Really? The CEO of a giant international financial institution, who later claimed there is too much oversight of Wall Street, couldn't envision that possibility?
A guy once told me if you are in a poker game and you can't figure out who the mark (sucker) is, then the mark is probably you.
I think most of us were the marks in this almost unprecedented scale of fraud, corruption, fiscal deviancy and resultant massive bailouts. Some of the perpetrators are still cashing in financially, even representing us as they continue to slowly sweep up the mess.
When will a serious investigation of this crisis occur, and when will those who created and benefited from the crisis be held accountable?
Try what they're having
I saw the front page of the paper that revealed Kentucky schools are to lose $61 million a year.
Do you know the two states that have no funding issues? Who in five years will need no federal help? Colorado and Washington. They seem to be making money and fast.
Gee, I wonder where their surplus of tax dollars are coming from? The tax and funding issues are easy to solve. It's backwards thinking that is preventing Kentucky from being a cash-surplus state.
We should take a good look at these two states. Whatever they are up to, it's working. Stop the backwards baby-boomer way of thinking. We need tax money without tapping more hardworking folks' paychecks. We should get to decide where we would like to spend our money.
The Herald-Leader recently published a letter with the headline "Paul targets Medicare."
I am a senior on Social Security and Medicare and have no knowledge of what Sen. Rand Paul wants to do to the benefits that I am receiving. I would appreciate any information showing how Paul intends to reduce the benefits that we seniors presently receive.
There are a lot of voters and nonvoters, uninformed or otherwise, who do not know that most seniors have contributed substantial amounts to Social Security and Medicare throughout their working lives. Additionally, seniors pay monthly premiums for their Medicare health insurance and prescription drug coverage and substantial co-pays.
Medicaid recipients do not pay any premiums for health and prescription coverage, nor do they pay much co-pays on services provided or prescriptions received. Medicaid and welfare are large entitlement programs costing the taxpayers billions of dollars.
Perhaps the letter writer was referring to the Medicaid and welfare entitlement programs as opposed to Social Security and Medicare?
J. Robert Ford
McConnell is failing
Sen. Mitch McConnell is a failed leader, by his own measure. For years his stated purpose was to make Barack Obama a one-term president. Instead of laying out an alternative vision for America's future, he chose to play a game of obstruction.
McConnell and the Republican-led House failed. These past four years of brinksmanship have only succeeded in thoroughly destroying McConnell's credibility.
It is my opinion that his style of naysaying helped set the stage for this liberal resurgence he is decrying. This is a testament to his lack of vision.
Now, he is trying tooth and nail to whip up a mob frenzy in response to the current, and popular, gun-control movement by declaring the government is coming to take away people's guns. What nonsense.
Obviously, this is a fight for his political life, which is in a steady and certain decline. I will be the first to wish him a happy, healthy retirement come 2014.
Then, may the Commonwealth of Kentucky regain a respectful, productive place in American politics.
Sean B. McElroy
Not a matter of degree
I decided at the age of 38 to attend college and get a degree in the medical field. I really enjoy helping people and want my job to mean something and really enjoy what I do for a living, so I gave my all.
I attended a local college and took out student loans in order to fulfill this goal.
I graduated in 2011 but have not been able to obtain a job in the field for which I have a degree because of lack of experience.
Everyone who works at a clinic or a doctor's office had to start out somewhere, and they should remember that. I have applied for numerous positions as a medical assistant and cannot find that one good office that is willing to welcome a recent graduate.
Why do we attend college and go into debt?