Letters: Column spouts hyperbole
January 7, 2013 7:08PM
Updated: February 9, 2013 6:06AM
I feel compelled to respond to Art HenShen’s disjointed diatribe in Wednesday’s Viewpoint column (Dec. 19).
Dr. HenShen states the election of Obama is “the greatest tragedy” of his lifetime. I am happy Obama was reelected, but I cannot believe that he, or any other president is likely to “herald the end of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” I suspect that people said the same of both Lincoln and Roosevelt.
He seems to imply that Obama is somehow responsible for the looting following Hurricane Sandy. If Dr. HenShen intends to lay the looting at Obama’s doorstep, then I wonder how he feels about Bush’s handling of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
He cites the ads of the “Keep America Beautiful” campaign, that featured actor, Iron Eyes Cody (who was actually Italian), crying over litter strewn along America’s highways. He may still be crying over pollution — more of it caused by businesses than individuals —but the world’s largest economy is hardly barren and unable to yield anything of value.
Dr. HenShen rants about “takers” then talks about how Romney would have stood by Netanyahu and Israel. Speaking of takers, Israel has received more U.S. foreign aid since World War II than any other nation ($105 billion). If peace will ever occur between Israel and Palestine, it is unlikely to happen while Netanyahu continues to support Israeli settlements in Palestine territory.
Finally, Dr. HenShen names himself a “senior citizen”, so I have to ask which side of the 47 percent he will be on. Does he plan to take Social Security and Medicare, or is he so wealthy that he will forgo them?
The people most likely to be offended by his column are those who prefer facts over hyperbole.
Fix Social Security
The Congress and the president do not want to fix Social Security. If they really wanted it fixed they would take the tax cap off Social Security, known as OASDI, (Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance) program. Doing this would put money into the fund and would only affect people making over the cap right now.
Middle- and lower-income people should not be affected. The only scenario would be when they get a raise and it would put their income over the Social Security tax cap. I know doing this would cause some self-employed people problems; maybe a cap would be put on their income.
This limit changes each year with changes in the National Average Wage Index. The government calls this annual limit the contribution and benefit base. For earnings in 2013, this base is going to be $113,700 (per ss.gov). A statute of 6.2 percent sets the OASDI tax rate for employees and employers, but this rate was lowered to 4.2 percent when the tax rates were lowered. Is it any wonder why Social Security is going broke?