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Friday's Letters to the Editor

Money earned

EDITOR: I am sick and tired of the constant use of the word “entitlement” to describe Social Security and Medicare. Every day that I worked, money was taken from my earned income to pay for Social Security. A portion of Social Security income was taken for Medicare costs. We don't get it for free.

Social Security is enforced savings and, for the most part, it's the only money most retired people have to live on.

The people who are “entitled” are the members of Congress, with their large salaries for doing very little — show up, take attendance, debate some obscure bill, take a break, maybe vote, leave work early. And let's not forget their great health/retirement benefits; I suspect it's better than Medicare benefits.

It's not the 47 percent who are entitled; it's our elected representatives and the millionaires who are whining about having their 10-year tax breaks end and how they might now have to live on their investment income. Sigh. I lose a lot of sleep worrying about their predicament.

How would I describe Social Security? Money earned. How would I describe entitlement? Congress.

CONNIE KELLOGG

Sebastopol

Gorin's vacation

EDITOR: Jude Cameron's comment regarding Sonoma County Supervisor Susan Gorin's vacation seems a bit jaded (“Gorin's trip,” Letters, Feb. 23). Most normal, common people, regardless of whether they have worked in the private sector, plan their vacations well in advance and place deposits, etc. Unless, one is fortunate (or unfortunate depending on how you look at it) to be flying on Air Force One, vacations are not whimsical and are well deserved.

AUDREY CHAPMAN

Sonoma

No severance tax

EDITOR: This is regarding state Sen. Noreen Evans' proposed SB241 and the accompanying statement that “California is the only major oil-producing state without an oil severance tax. Oil taxes are major sources of revenue in Texas and Alaska” (“First look at local senators' bills,” Monday).

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