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Letters to the editor – Sunday (12-28-08)

What on Earth could they be thinking?
A week ago, I got an early Christmas present from the Social Security Administration. They notified me that I was getting a 5.8 percent increase in my retirement check, starting in January 2009.
Was I happy? No, actually I was very mad! How can a government that is flat broke provide a 5.8 percent increase in benefits? Oh, I will keep the increase, but I feel that it would have been much wiser for the government to have provided a smaller raise, if any at all, given the dire financial straits in which our country finds itself today.
When I recently ran for U.S. Congress, one of the strongest planks in my platform was for fiscal responsibility on the part of the “do nothing” Congress, and that was months before the collapse of our economy. I would have pushed for a 10 percent decrease in all federal departments’ budgets, except for defense and law enforcement, whose budgets would have been frozen at the previous year’s level, for without security all other problems pale.
The Charlotte Observer called my approach “impractical,” which just shows the Observer is not much of an observer. I worked federal budgets for 15 years, and that is exactly how the process works. It also worked for Lee Iacocca at Chrysler 20 years ago.
A wiser Congress might have produced a graduated increase for Social Security benefits ó e.g., 5.8 percent to those receiving less than $1,000 per month; 3.8 percent for those receiving $1,001 to $1,500; 1.8 percent for $1,501 to $2,000, and no increase for those receiving more than $2,000. (It’s time for all of us to sacrifice for our country.)
Hello, Washington … this is Earth calling!
ó Ty Cobb Jr.
Rockwell
If only it were reality
I couldn’t believe what was happening, maybe because it was the Christmas season.
A videotape was sent to the White House. It contained a sincere apology from someone for all he has done and asked what he could do to fix things. He also told his followers to lay down their arms and embrace everybody.
They checked out the video. It was authentic. Osama bin Laden was begging for our forgiveness.
Russia’s Putin called on his neighbors, asking if he could help them in any way.
All the shooting stopped in Iraq, and there was peace.
The president of Iran made a television appearance, saying he has scrapped all nuclear projects. He also called on Israel to accept his apology and said he wants to live in peace with all of his neighbors.
On the Israel-Palestine border, there was gift exchanging and a lot of embracing.
Letters were pouring out of the prisons as convicts asked their victims for forgiveness.
There was a letter from O.J. Simpson to the Brown family, asking them to forgive him for Nicole and Ron Goldman.
The leaders of churches, temples and mosques all called one another, wishing one another the best.
Drunk driving came to a halt. So did road rage. I never saw so much hugging and hand-shaking and people singing.
Even the Salvation Army filled its kettles.
India and Pakistan resolved their problems.
In his farewell address, President Bush said he had made a big mistake going into Iraq.
Then the alarm clock rang, and I got up, rubbed my eyes and realized it was just a wonderful dream.
ó C.P. Newmeyer
China Grove

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