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Letter to the Editor: Proposals imperil Social Security

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

To the editor:

The measure of a civilized society is how well it takes care of its weaker and less privileged members. This measures the general morality of that society. One program that civilized societies provide is a safety net and financial security for workers and their families during their senior years and in the event of sickness, incapacity or some other unpredictable catastrophe. Having served generations of seniors and their families, Social Security is a successful program. Contrary to what President Bush and the Republicans are claiming, there is in no immediate crisis. Although is probably a good time to consider long-term potential problems, privatization that causes a greater deficit than the program now has, is clearly not the solution.

Instead of proposing minor adjustments, the Bush administration and the right-wing regressive politicians of the Republican Party are committed to the outright destruction of the program. Their ideology demands that the only legitimate purpose of government is to funnel tax breaks to, and provide government programs that serve, wealthy Americans, Wall Street, corporate profits and corporate executives. According to this ideology, social programs and those protecting human and environmental health are not legitimate government functions and should be dismantled.

In the United Kingdom, the equivalent to our chamber of commerce lobbied against the failed privatization scheme, arguing the current U.S.-style program is more efficient. Meanwhile, Nebraska, West Virginia, Montana, Michigan, Ohio and Florida have tried shifting their public employees into private retirement accounts, but the efforts failed.

JENNIFER L. St.CLAIR, Cape Girardeau