Deficit reduction draconian? Really?
Unbelievable! The U.S. government's February deficit is $223 billion. Harry Reid and his cohorts are calling a $61 billion reduction in the total deficit as draconian?
Politicians should shoulder Social Security burden
We hear so many versions of why the Social Security system is in trouble. It is my understanding that there are sufficient dollars in the fund in conjunction with continuing contributions to ensure it meets its obligations until the year 2036 without any intervention whatsoever - that is, if you count all of the money that every administration took from the fund, substituting IOU vouchers for the money, almost from its inception.
To my knowledge, none of this money has ever been repaid - Republican and Democrat administrations alike raided the fund instead of seeking other revenue sources.
The honorable thing to do is to replace all the funds taken from Social Security. At this point, the only way to fix this without reducing benefits or changing eligibility requirements would be to raise taxes. Republicans don't want to do that.
Instead, they want to reduce benefits and entrance age eligibility to bring the system into balance. So after years of irresponsible political cowardliness, our leaders - Republicans with the support of many Democrats - want us to accept less than what was promised or defer our retirement to a later date. They want retirees to shoulder the burden for the remedies to compensate for years of irresponsible raiding of our Social Security retirement fund.
Where is the accountability for the politicians who created this problem? Why aren't these self-serving cowards being held accountable?
Melanie L. Nigro
Help save our wild horses
A quote: "Remove the cattle, and let our wild horses remain on the land they were born on."
Discussion of uniforms is another diversionary tactic
Secretary of Education Arnie Duncan released a statement March 10 that estimates 82 percent of American schools are not reaching the goals set forth by No Child Left Behind. Does a uniform enhance performance? No.
My argument against uniforms is twofold. I taught in three schools where uniforms were required. By Wednesday or Thursday of every week the classroom and the students all smelled like sweat. It was awful. There was only one day a month that was free dress day designed to have the uniforms washed or cleaned. By mid-October, students would dress freely and claim they thought it was a free dress day. The uniform then became another duty for me, the teacher.
Part two of my position stems from my childhood; I have a twin, and usually we were dressed alike. Teachers often could not remember which one of us was Ann and which was Jean. We do not look at all alike yet we were regarded as one unit. Uniforms inhibit the right to be an individual.
Now that Carson Middle School has been in a uniform shirt, have test scores increased? Have students done better in math and reading? What benefit to the education of the student, which used to be the purpose of school, has been enhanced by this new program?
Why, in a state suffering with budget shortfalls, introduce yet another new program? Why does anyone want more grants from the federal government?
Athletics should be on table when seeking cutbacks
With all the talk of budget cuts in education funding, there has been one part of the educational experience that hasn't been mentioned. No one has talked about cutting athletic programs back or even eliminating them to get past this crisis.
Are our colleges for educating the future leaders of our society or turning out prospects for the NFL, MLB and NBA? I am not talking about the minor sports programs such as field hockey, soccer, wrestling and others that are not part of the big three: football, baseball and basketball.
Everyone is wringing their hands because teachers and administrators will have to take a cut in pay and benefits, and satellite campuses be cut back or eliminated, but the sacred cows of college escape unscathed.
When I was in college and tried out for the baseball team, our coach told us that if we were there just to use the school as a stepping stone to the big leagues, we should think again. He said that only 1 percent of all athletes in colleges in the U.S. make it. Instead, we should concentrate our efforts into getting a degree that would allow us to improve ourselves and the country.
Athletic competition is a very minor part of the big picture in these times of economic stress, and should not be off the table for cutbacks. What are our priorities?