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Monday's Letters to the Editor

Entitlement costs

EDITOR: As a liberal and low-income senior, I'm disappointed with the left wing of our Democratic Party's no-changes-no-matter-what approach to Social Security and Medicare reform ("Promise not to cut is nothing like tax pledge," Close to Home, Wednesday).

We need to be more understanding of economic and political realities. The increasing number of seniors and our living much longer because of costly medical technology advances over the past two decades means that seniors are taking an exponentially increasing share of the federal budget.

Why should the benefits formula, designed in the more affluent 1980s, become this sacred cow that can't be adjusted?

I'm disappointed that many seniors, while acknowledging that the huge federal budget deficits must surely be reduced, seem to want all the cutbacks and pain to be absorbed by everyone else.

It's important to keep low-income seniors (as with everyone else) from falling through the cracks, but it feels wrong for better-off seniors to not be a part of the sacrifice everyone else is making.

Politically, President Barack Obama's only hope of getting Republicans to allow any tax hikes on the 1 percent to help fund social programs and infrastructure investment (a more noble goal, in my opinion) just won't happen without some minor tweaks in Social Security and Medicare benefits.

Allowing this would be a real gift to the country by us seniors.

RICK CHILDS

Mendocino


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