It’s insurance policy, not an entitlement

I am tired of hearing that Social Security is an entitlement.

Social Security and Medicare are insurance policies. The insurance company, the Federal Government Insurance Company, collects premiums, sets premiums and has no legal obligation to pay any benefits. It determines benefits. The policy holder must pay the premiums and can’t negotiate the premiums or choose another company.

Consider that every job in the private sector that pays $5,000 per month has a current Medicare premium of 2.9 percent and Social Security premium of 12.4 percent of the $5,000. I say “current,” because our FGIC can change these premiums at will. As wages have gone up over the decades, the amount taken in by the FGIC has gone up with them. This is the death spiral many talk about.

Anyway, for each employee earning $5,000 per month, $760 is paid in Medicare and Social Security insurance premiums. To make this illustration simple to understand there are no assumptions regarding inflators. Proceeding, $760 per month is $9,120 per year. Assume that most folks start paying at age 20 and continue for 46 years to age 66, the age current retirees begin receiving full benefits. The FGIC takes in $419,520 in premiums over the life of the this example. The life expectancy for a male in the US is 75.6. To be generous, and the amount is actually less, I will use a payout of $2,000 per month. So, for less than nine years, my example will be paid $216,000. FGIC will profit by $419,520 less $216,000 or $203,520. And this is an example of a successful nonprofit government program? For whom?

Medicare is even worse. Social Security payouts are at least, to some extent, based on contributions.

There is reason to believe there would be no Social Security funding problem for at least the next 25 years, if the government had not raided the trust fund. So the obvious solution is for the government to make arrangements to repay the $2.5 trillion it owes to the trust fund. Wonder where this money will come from?

I have an insurance policy and not and entitlement. Does anyone understand the difference?

What say you?

Ken Kinared, Oro Valley

Are Democrats interested in civic discourse?

Michael McNulty and his ilk might want to try reading the letters from any Democrat or comments reported by any Democrat politician.

Any Democrat can say or write anything, irrespective of how over-the-top rude, hateful, vitriolic, deceitful, obnoxious, slanderous, or utterly devoid of any facts, logic, or connection to reality, and it is simply thoughtful political discourse. Anyone who dares to disagree with any Democrat is promptly attacked using the most pejorative terms possible. Anyone who responds in kind is similarly attacked.

Democrats seem to have zero interest in political discourse, and appear to want only to throw verbal bombs and avoid thoughtful political discourse.

When Democrats are getting their way in the political arena, they seem to simmer down just a bit. But when they’re not, their level of stridency reaches new heights. Perhaps dialing it down a notch might encourage more thoughtfulness and true discourse. However, the evidence is overwhelming that to Democrats, only complete agreement with them and acquiescence to their agenda is the only acceptable discourse.

Rick Cunnington, Oro Valley

How does paper rate qualifications of a candidate?

Is it appropriate for a general circulation newspaper to print an edited portion of a writer’s (a frequent letter writer to The Explorer) vicious and scurrilous attack on a candidate for public office?

One can only guess at what was in the edited portion of the letter.

I understand the freedom of speech espousal in the constitution but, if a letter needs to be edited for content and/or length, can’t it, and shouldn’t it, also be rejected for print?

The writer’s candidate (the Tea Party candidate) was given a bye by The Explorer, when it’s opined that he has potential as a political candidate in the future. If we consider the debates that were held and the ads that his campaign produced, we are presented with an immature and sarcastic individual. His service in the military is to be commended, but without experience in governing and very little, if any, higher education, is this the standard by which The Explorer rates a potential candidate for public office?

Herb Tinow, Marana

CDO has more than one team that is excellent

The Canyon Del Oro High School football team is poised for another state championship. Another CDO team made itself heard on Monday night in their Winter Concert.

The program opened with a determined line-up of string players taking on Tchaikovsky’s “Nutcracker” and its March and Trepak movements.

Undaunted, they went without a conductor (quarterback) as Toru Tagawa took his violin on a romp thru Monti’s “Czardas.” While his bow provided some signals, the young string players provided a spirited pizzicato accompaniment.

Jazz Band musicians joined the orchestra and played Anderson’s “Plink, Plank, Plunk” and “Viva La Vida” with great execution, only to be topped by “Christmas Eve/Sarajevo 12/24.” This music weaves plaintive carols with the full orchestra, firepower like thunder.

When all members of this wonderful musical team joined in Soon Hee Newbold’s “Warrior Legacy,” the Little Theater (bursting with players and audience as the main auditorium goes under renovation) was filled with enthusiastic playing by the winds, the brass and percussion as they joined the strings; all racing to a goal line where Conductor Tagawa built a volume that would compete with a Friday night football cheer.

But, unique to the challenge given these young musicians, the sweeping baton of their music teacher and conductor stopped the sound mid-air, without a fumble.

The applause and cheers of the audience recognized CDO’s other winning team!

Bob Weede, Oro Valley

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