The U.S. leads the pack in the percentage of older adults who have trouble paying their medical bills.
Disability insurance isn't suited to real-world woes
As someone who got Social Security Disability Insurance at age 39 and is 58 now, I can tell you that the program should be scrapped. I was always motivated to work and, with the proper supports, could have worked continuously. But society figured it had done its duty by putting me on the dole, and the help I really needed was not available.
From a sociological point of view, "disability" is defined by the fit between a person and his/her employment environment. It is not located in the person alone. The help impaired people need must be privatized, personalized and voluntary.
It's the only way we can have a truly good society.
Democrats have already pushed America off 'cliff'
The "fiscal cliff" is meaningless to President Obama and the Democrats, who extended the Bush tax cuts rather than making them permanent. They intend to raise taxes beyond merely letting the tax cuts expire in January 2013.
President Obama is following a long line of liberal-progressive presidents responsible for the rise in government growth, contrary to the dictates of the Constitution. In his first term with a Democratic Congress, he threw fiscal restraint to the wind via a wasted trillion-dollar stimulus and yearly deficits that sent the national debt soaring from $10 trillion to more than $16 trillion.
The spending was stemmed only by a spontaneous Tea Party voter revolt resulting in Republican control of the House of Representatives in 2010, but not before the Democrats rammed through Obamacare and the Dodd-Frank financial disaster laws -- as if their culpability in the housing crash wasn't enough.
Obama's monarchial edicts were elevated with more than 6,000 additional regulations and his war against affordable energy and energy independence. Coupled with the coming costs of Obamacare, this will decimate businesses, jobs and the middle class.
Alas, America has already been deceived, betrayed and pushed off the "fiscal cliff" -- and there's a hard landing dead ahead.
Daniel B. Jeffs
Apple Valley, Calif.
Elected officials should take one for the team
As a taxpayer, I would like to suggest that the Democrats and Republicans in Washington help balance the national budget and possibly endear themselves to the people of the United States by taking a 5 percent pay cut for the next five years, asking their staffs to take a pay cut too and reducing their discretionary spending.
This will mean one fewer trip to Hawaii or overseas, one less party, one less new chair. I am betting that if they really take the time to look, they can find even more ways to save. Perhaps in this way we can get people back to work, continue to care for our elderly and those who have protected out country, and avoid the "fiscal cliff" and falling back into recession.
The deficit is not the fault of the people. It is the fault of the government. We have had to pay for the government's mistakes for long enough. They have not. In fairness to the people who have been repeatedly asked to pay more taxes, and take pay cuts, job losses, cuts in Social Security and Medicare and less in military pay and retirement, this is the least they can do.
Rebecca J. Smith
Colorado Springs, Colo.