Printed letters, May 1, 2012
I’m responding to Kathleen Duhamel’s April 20 letter titled “Democrats are responsible for many positive actions.”
She stated that without Democrats, we would not have Social Security, Medicare, the G.I. Bill and a host of other successful social and education programs that have strengthened this country. To clarify, the G.I. Bill was written by Republicans and passed in a Republican-controlled House and Senate.
Democratic President Lyndon Johnson, with support of a Democratic Congress, and under the grandiose title of “The Great Society,” did enact the most extensive social and educational programs ever. For the first time, a person who was not elderly or disabled could receive a modest living from the American taxpayer. War was declared on poverty.
The Elementary and Secondary Act of 1965 created new agencies and huge amounts of federal taxpayer dollars went to promote federal regulation of education. President Johnson said in 1965, “a quality education is essential to revitalizing our economy.” Secretary of Education Arne Duncan in 2012 announced that a high-quality education is absolutely critical to rebuilding our economy. After spending more than $1 trillion of federal taxpayer dollars from 1965 to 2012, the quality of a public school education has declined.
Social Security and Medicare and Medicaid now consume about 50 percent of our tax dollars. Both were sold by Democrats to taxpayers as self-supporting programs. Are we better off now? Compared to 1965 (with one small exception), today poverty levels are about the same or higher.
Do we really believe that these false security programs will be there for our kids and grandkids? Do we really believe by supporting a welfare state that is $16 trillion in debt, or about $446,000 per school-age child in America, has strengthened us and is something we should thank the Democrats for? I’m sure my kids and grandkids will not.
Social Security crashing faster than anticipated
For the past two years, both Republicans and Democrats reduced payroll taxes to put more money into our pockets. Recently, we learned Social Security is going insolvent even faster than anticipated. Well, what a surprise.
If you put less money into Social Security, it goes insolvent faster. Who would have figured that out? Our masterminds in Washington convinced Americans to reduce (FICA) payroll taxes by 2 percent at the expense of Social Security. Americans had been paying this tax for over 20 years. So for this short-term gain, they now explain the real consequence of their political decision. Social Security goes insolvent three years faster.
What wasn’t explained is that Washington has borrowed the entire $2.7 trillion in the Social Security trust fund, now part of the $15.5 trillion U.S. debt. It is listed as government debt in the president’s budget released this February. To correlate, this is like a person using his retirement savings to purchase a car and replacing his savings with a bank loan. And we actually pay these Washington intellects to do this.
HAL E. MASON
Credit Union CEO acted professionally
I want to respond to The Daily Sentinel story about the Rio Grand Federal Credit Union in the April 25 edition. I was on the supervisory committee for approximately the last eight months.
I retired from a large construction company with branches here on the Western Slope. I managed five ready-mix locations and approximately 75 employees. I had a long business background after college and know what is required for sound management of a corporation.
First, I am unable to speak about Mr. Lefebre’s discharge. That is protected by law. However, I can speak about the management of the Credit Union in the story.
When I was first appointed to the supervisory committee, I was very impressed with the professionalism displayed by the CEO Jim Burkey, the V.P. Valerie Neumier and the board of directors, as well as the supervisory committee. Coming from a corporate culture, the first thing I noticed was the strict adherence to ethics, honesty and compassion for the members of the Credit Union.
I learned that the credit union, approximately six years prior, was in serious financial trouble when it hired Burkey. He began to implement a professional program to lead the company into a sound and profitable entity. With the help of the vice president, the board of directors and the supervisory committee they have brought the company from one of the lowest-rated credit unions in the state to one of the top-rated, according the NCUA’s criteria.
The members now have a credit union with a top rating, able to make loans in complete safety and their funds are invested with sound judgment meant to enhance their value.
The auditors hired by the supervisory committee can attest to the strength and integrity of the company and all it’s leaders. The 4,600 members can be proud of their Credit Union and the management of such.
As always, there seems to be a few who can be disenchanted by rumors and false accusations. These folks should speak with the management personally and get their facts straight.