Letters to the editor – Wednesday (7-23-08)

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 22, 2008

We must preserve Social Security funds
You should be, as am I, outraged at the mishandling of Social Security. The problem mounts as good legislation gets ignored. Only decisive action from Congress can protect Social Security now and in the future. Since good legislation is being ignored, this letter petitions you to aggressively support these measures.
A Social Security “lockbox law” is needed immediately. Congress has spent more than $2.3 trillion from the trust fund on new government programs and other non-Social Security items. The IOUs in the trust fund represent a “political promise” but not any real assets that can be used to pay benefits.
This year, Congress has spent another $209 billion from the fund.
Here are just a few examples of spending projects done in the past as “favors” to those who will help members of Congress get re-elected, election after election:
$50 million to build an indoor “rain forest” in Iowa.
$223 million for a “bridge to nowhere” for Alaska’s Gravine Island, population 50.
$800,000 for an “outhouse” in a national park ó for whom?
The Social Security Preservation Act (HR299) would require that 100 percent of the money we have spent the majority of our lives paying into the trust fund be used for that purpose. It would mean there would be enough money to pay all our Social Security benefits for many decades to come, without cutting benefits or having to raise taxes.
In my humble opinion, failing to protect Social Security constitutes a violation of public trust.
For your own good as well as your descendants, please contact your representatives in Washington. I am sure that Sens. Elizabeth Dole and Richard Burr and Rep. Mel Watt would be pleased to know how their constituents feel concerning this matter.
ó C.M. Mathews
Chase raises questionsRegarding the July 22 article “Police chase ends in crash”:
In reading the story about China Grove Officer J.S. Washam, I had questions about his statement of not exceeding 70 mph. If you measure the distance from the intersection of Stirewalt Road and Patterson Street to the 6200 block of Sapp Road, the distance is 15 miles. In eight minutes his average speed would have been 112.5 mph. If he never drove faster than 70 mph, how did he keep them in sight with their speeds posting in excess of 120 mph?
ó Eric Upton
China Grove