Future retirees threatened by federal deficitsPeople under...

the Forum

December 06, 1993

Future retirees threatened by federal deficits

People under 55 who will be retiring after 2020 will find that the economy and the next generation of taxpayers will not be prepared to support them beyond a meager level.

They will also find they have not adequately provided for themselves during these years.

This is because their inadequate individual savings and the federal deficit will have reduced the investment necessary to grow the economy fast enough.

There will be fewer workers supporting a larger retirement population, requiring payroll taxes of around 40 percent, compared to 17 percent today for Social Security and Medicare.

It is doubtful the next generation will be willing or able to make such payments.

Eliminating the deficit by the year 2000 through phased spending reductions and increased taxes would provide the capital to build an economy that can support all generations.

Ending the increase in federal debt and paying it down would reduce future income taxes and reduce the risk of inflation and rising interest rates.

Werner Gruhl


Women memorial

A Nov. 23 letter by Bob Crooks of Dundalk asks: "Why is there no memorial for the women who served in World War II?"

The women who have served our country in any war since the Revolution will be honored in a memorial which has been designed and approved to be built at the entrance to the Arlington National Cemetery.

We are working to bring in the necessary funds to start the building of the memorial.

If you want to help, you may donate to Women in Military Service for America Memorial Foundation, Dept. 560, Washington, D.C. 20042-0560.

Evelyn Byrd Herold


Twice wronged

As one who travels between Baltimore and the New York area on a regular basis, I was intrigued by the reasons Barry Rascover cited in his column (Nov. 28) for the political demise of New Jersey Governor Jim Florio and New York Mayor David Dinkins. How can anybody write a column this good and miss so many important points?

Even without the supposed Ed Rollins factor, Mr. Florio, dubbed Flim-Flam by his detractors, lost because he violated his main campaign promise of lowering taxes. Even before he arrived in Trenton, he introduced the biggest tax-increase package in the state's history. As a result, New Jersey voters fired most of their Democrat-dominated General Assembly in 1991 and Florio on Nov. 2.

What Rollins did, if in fact he did it and if it helped to defeat Florio, was the same thing the liquor-by-the-drink forces did in North Carolina in the mid-1970s.

That referendum had lost five times in 20 years because every Protestant preacher in the state had sermonized against the evils of drink the Sunday before the election. Once a few new "roofs were donated to a few churches," the clergy found more important subjects for their sermons and the proposition passed overwhelmingly.

While Mr. Dinkins' handling of the Crown Heights-Hasidic Jew affair was a factor in the New York City result, even Mr. Dinkins' biggest boosters admitted he was soft on crime in a city that was being eaten up by lawlessness and utterly incapable of dealing with the city's other pressing problems, such as housing, street repairs, a fleeing business community, and corruption among his appointees and carry-overs from the Koch administration.

Even WABC radio talk show host Lynne Samuel, who thinks Dinkins is the best thing that ever happened to Gotham and hates Ralph Giuliani, was hard pressed to stem the overwhelming tide of anti-Dinkins calls.

Die-hard New Yorkers wanted change; Giuliani was it.

Chuck Frainie


Harassed by hunters

Thanksgiving, coming as it does after the nonsense of Halloween and before the commercialism of Christmas, is a holiday most Americans look forward to unless they live in northern Baltimore County.

Those of us in the populated areas on the edge of the woods live in what we call a "free fire zone." For two weeks after Thanksgiving we wake up to the sound of loud booms echoing through the woods emanating from groups of rowdy, armed men dressed in camouflage and bright orange ` usually with liquor already on their breath.

During this period we learn to hide our pets and stay as far away from the edge of the woods as possible. We can't help but think about those people in Bosnia who have to dodge sniper fire to get water and food.

We come home from work in fear and trepidation. After checking our animals, we examine our patio doors for bullet holes. If we're lucky, we'll be spared the sight of inebriated men dragging their kills over our front lawns.

It's like living in a drug zone in the inner city. The only difference is that drug dealers come out at night, while hunters come with the dawn.

ames R. Conrad


Insurance for all

There is much debate about President Clinton's national health care plan. Some argue that it will dilute their own benefit package; others argue that it will cause health care costs to increase. People who are elderly argue they may lose some benefits.

However, for people without health care coverage, for people with pre-existing conditions and for people with disabilities, the president's plan is a god-send.

President Clinton's national health care plan will affect me directly. Because I operate a small business that employs people with disabilities, I cannot obtain group health insurance.

The president's plan will allow my employees to receive health care coverage. I believe the costs to the business would be well worth the investment.

I applaud the president for his vision to make health care available to all Americans. I also applaud Gov. William Donald Schaefer for Maryland's health care reform.

Through these efforts, all people can live better lives with adequate and affordable health care.

Frank Pinter


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