Sarah and Gwen: the Two-Headed Monster

This blog is about everything involving Lexington, KY or anything else we feel like yapping about.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Open Letter to Congressman Ben Chandler

Today Sarah and I participated in a meeting on the Social Security issue with Congressman Chandler's aid at his Fayette County office. Since the congressman was unable to join us a presented the following letter to his staff to pass on to Chandler:
Dear Congressman Chandler,
Since I am not going to get to meet with you in person I am putting together a few comments and questions that I hope you will address. I would like to thank you for this meeting with our group. Even though you are busy in Washington, I know our concerns will be brought to your attention. I also want to thank you for your efforts to prevent President Bush from privatizing social security. Considering what the markets are doing he may find this plan an even harder sell than before.
Social Security, in my opinion, is the best program to come out of the New Deal. It is a prime example of how Democrats work to benefit all people, not just the wealthy. I am enclosing a copy of my blog entry on how the current administration is distorting FDR's ideas in their privatization scheme. The Republican plan is not at all what FDR had in mind, nor is it a plan Democrats can support. A solution to the problems with the annuity must be found, but the Bush plan would destroy rather than save Social Security.
I am interested in hearing what you are doing and any ideas you have for things we can do to help resolve the problems. However, I think congress must take more responsibility for the mess this program is in.
I am not sure how the other people here feel about this but I cannot accept the government's arguments about the Social Security problem. Yes, the program is in trouble, but it seems to me that it is in trouble because of government misuse of the trust fund. Interest on the Social Security Annuity has been systematically siphoned off for years. I feel as if he government has taken the money my mother worked ten hour shifts for in the sewing factory and used it to pay off the equivalent of credit card debt. I have included this chart to help demonstrate just how much has been removed from the funds.

Originally uploaded by hypatiax.
How can we trust congress to honestly work to save social security when they have spent years spending the money from our parents and grandparent's contributions to cover current programs? Along with the nearly 1.5 trillion that has been taken from the social security trust fund nearly 1.6 trillion is owed to other trust funds such as the Railroad Retirement Fund I paid into for many years. As nearly as I can tell, there are no plans to pay any of this money back. Can we expect you and other Congressional Democrats to work toward restoring the money past congresses have taken from the trust funds before any actions are taken to cut benefits or raise taxes?
I hope you will take time out of your busy schedule to address my questions. I am grateful for your efforts on behalf of Kentucky citizens. We have an aging population and an above average number of people on Social Security Disability. Though I do not always agree with you, this is an issue I think we can work together on. Thank you for having your aid meet with us today.
Gwen Mayo


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