Social Security cuts won’t help deficit
The president and some members of Congress have talked about reducing Social Security benefits via a “chained” consumer price index or other means as a way to reduce federal spending. The Social Security trust fund is separate from the federal Treasury and should be kept that way.
The fund has been collecting money from workers and employers since its inception, and the surplus has been invested in Treasury bonds. As it stands, it will be able to pay out full benefits until 2033, provided those Treasury bonds can be redeemed. As the fund’s surplus was “loaned” to the Treasury, members of Congress saw that extra money and promptly found ways to spend it. Now they have to borrow from someone else to restore enough money to the fund.
Decreasing benefits now would delay the depletion date of the fund, but it would not help with the federal deficit. The fund does need to be modified in some way to keep it solvent for future generations, but that is a separate thing from balancing the federal budget.
I came across an ad in The Eagle this week promoting Summit Church, an evangelical Christian community. In the ad, readers are invited to attend senior pastor Terry Fox’s lecture on “Evolution: The Big Lie.” Among the “often asked” questions relating to evolution that Fox will answer in this series: “Can the teaching of evolution lead to racism?” “Is the white race superior to other races?” “Can you believe in evolution and still go to heaven?”
I’ll raise a couple questions to Fox myself: Who exactly is asking you these questions at all, much less “often”? What do these questions have to do with scientific fact?
Need music variety
With two new arenas and many other local venues, the Wichita area has a highly disappointing variety in its concerts. If the band isn’t extremely popular or country, good luck trying to find it. I realize you have to please the majority, but a greater variety in popularity and genre would be nice.
I don’t know who is in charge of booking all these concerts, but in order to reach out to the younger crowd, we need variety in genre and popularity. For example, let’s bring back the Dave Matthews Band.
Seriously, Wichita, wouldn’t you like to see some variety?
OK with violence?
A religious conservative group, Parents Television Council, recently was in a snit over some movie about lesbians, fretting that minor children might see sex scenes. Why do conservatives rail against sex but remain rather sanguine when it comes to violence? Perhaps this is because sex is centered within the realm of women, and violence is considered a masculine occupation. Violence is the tool of choice of the god of the Old Testament. Men conduct wars and mete out punishment. For centuries duels were sanctioned. Through violence, empires are overthrown and new ones created. Sex just replaces the human cannon fodder, which falls along the wayside in the aftermath of carnage.
The Iron Age has long ended. In light of all the homicides and mass killings occurring in this country, isn’t it time we re-examined our sense of priorities?
We interact with other people every day – on the phone, in person and via e-mail. We can have either a positive or negative experience, sometimes having a lifelong effect. For example, if a priest argues and has constant conflict with parishioners, those negative experiences will be remembered for a lifetime.
A kind word, an encouraging hug and a willingness to listen can go a long way in turning a possible negative experience into a positive one – something that will be remembered in a good way for years to come. You can get a lot more from a spoon of honey than one swipe with a razor-sharp tongue.
Each of us should take a deep breath and think about what we say before our mouth opens and it’s too late.
STEVE A. BAUER
We would like to thank employees of Gander Mountain and one of its customers. These “sporting brothers” gave of their time and kindness on Oct. 25 to come to my aid when I had a medical emergency inside the store. They not only helped out my wife but stayed with her until the Fire Department and emergency medical staff arrived. The customer even came back by to check on me and gave my wife a box of his allotted ammo (the reason we had gone to the store).
We can’t pay for this one, but believe me, it will be paid forward.