Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

June 1st, 2011 in Opinion Letters

GOP actions threaten funds

Republicans would like nothing better than for Social Security and Medicare to fail and try to scare us by warning that both soon will go belly up.

When George W. proposed to "save" Social Security by privatizing it, he conveniently ignored two separate studies by the Social Security Administration Trust Fund Board of Trustees and the Congressional Budget Office projecting the fund as then constituted would remain solvent until at least 2042. It wouldn't "go busted," as Bush was fond of saying, even then, but would begin paying out more than it would be taking in. Due to Republican malfeasance, today it might go negative a liitle sooner.

Private retirement accounts have actually been available since 1974 in the form of tax-deferred savings accounts. But like other private investments, these are subject to the risks and uncertainties of the securities markets. Where would we be today if our retirement money had been privately invested in 2008?

When Bush got his Medicare prescription drug bill passed, he failed to fund one penny of the costs, thereby assuring an eventual Medicare shortfall. But with a little sacrifice and political will both programs can be made viable for the foreseeable future.

GEORGE B. REED JR., Rossville

Skillern remark a sad commentary

I'm no baby boomer. I was born in Montgomery, Alabama's old South. I know the racists of that era - George Wallace, governor; Mack Butler, sheriff; Bull Conner, police chief, Birmingham; Ross Barnett, Mississippi governor; Mississippi Sen. Theador Bilbo; South Carolina's Strom Thurmond; Gov. Orval Faubus, Arkansas, and Lester Maddox, Georgia.

I witnessed inhumanity upon "Negroes." Not only the "colored" and "white" fountains and restrooms but fare being paid at the front door, then required to enter the back door to sit.

As a young boy, I witnessed a Montgomery policeman hold a gun to the head of a horrified, subdued "Negro." Later in life, I saw two Birmingham policemen unmercifully beat a "Negro" in the rear seat of a squad car. I became sick. I understand racist and racism, and it's not funny, Fred!

As a witness to and an active participation in the civil rights struggle, I feel compelled to react to Fred Skillern's racist remarks.

In explaining why he didn't invite the black commission member to his home to discuss county business, he laughingly said he couldn't "cook barbecue like them n------."

With this comment, Fred mooned Hamilton County; and to think, he's the racist boss of the Republicans on the commission and school board. Sad!

WELDON R. MARKHAM, Member, Tennessee Democratic Party Finance Council