Speak Out 2/28/05

Monday, February 28, 2005

Proud to be Greek

NEVER HAVE I been so proud to be a member of a Greek organization. It is not often that we hear good things about the Greek community. I want to thank the Southeast Missourian for showing what it truly means to be in a Greek organization: being there for one another. Way to go, Tri Sigmas, and good luck, Kristyn.

Obscene cuts

THE ARTICLE on Gov. Matt Blunt's proposed Medicaid cuts was informative and interesting. I hope many people will contact our governor and state legislators in pointing out one serious proposal: Federal poverty level is defined as $9,570 for individuals. Yet Blunt proposes cutting old age and permanently/totally disabled assistance to individuals with income over $6,948. This is obscene. People at the federal poverty level should all have access to health care. It's hardly the fault of the disabled that they cannot work. In fact, perhaps some are disabled because they lacked proper medical care before they became disabled. Let's propose cutting programs that benefit the few, such as the travel budgets of politicians and fluff programs to beautify parks.

Spending fairness

ACCORDING TO the federal budget, older Americans get about 40 percent of federal spending each year through Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and other programs. That's disproportionately large compared with the elderly's share of population. Less than 13 percent of the population is age 65 or older. And spending on seniors will gobble up a larger share as baby boomers start to retire. By 2010, spending on seniors will consume 45 percent of the federal budget. In contrast, spending on children 17 and younger is under 8.5 percent and edging lower, though they're a fourth of the population. So the next time my fellow seniors start complaining that they're paying taxes for schools and other public institutions that we no longer use ourselves, we should stop and think. Let's be fair. The government spends way more on us than we give to the younger generations nowadays.

Serious students

WHAT WILL it take for Cape Girardeau residents to recognize that not all students are party animals? Don't judge all of us based on the actions of a few of our peers. Many of us are in rigorous academic programs and spend most of our time studying. The only late-night parties that some of us go to are pre-exam study groups.

Thankful for students

LIVING IN a college town means living with some late-night parties. Although most students don't party all the time, Cape Girardeau residents should be thankful for students and the money that we spend here. Much of the area economy depends on students coming from St. Louis and surrounding areas and paying rent and expenses.

Where's that recipe?

THE DAY of reckoning will come to Speak Out callers who continually carp about how they need no societal support through the government and say that those who need assistance through no fault of their own are sycophants who unjustly feed off the rest of us. These callers likely already have and surely some day will seek government assistance of some kind and should at that point be reminded of their comments and have to eat some crow.

Paid not to work

THE FARMER who is trying to convince himself that he is not on welfare takes money from the government not to farm. Someone on traditional welfare takes money from the government in lieu of working. What's the difference? U.S. Rep. Jo Ann Emerson and the conservative newspaper adamantly support the former while condemning the latter. Hypocrisy in Southeast Missouri knows no bounds.

Ready for spring

Where's the sun? I'm ready.

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