Pharos-Tribune

July 22, 2012

Public forum


Goverment should stand up for savers

Given the opportunity to stand up for responsible American savers and retirees, our federal government has lately almost always done the opposite. President Obama recently signed into law The Surface Transportation Bill. The bill’s intent, written in typical incomprehensible language, is to fund transportation infrastructure programs and keep the student loan interest rates low.

What the law accomplishes is the further weakening of private pension plans across the nation. Employers are authorized to contribute less money into their pension plans. Our cash depleted government loves this because, since pension plan contributions are tax deductible, more tax revenues will head their direction. Businesses like the change because they can retain more of their earnings instead of tying them up in pension funds.

Consider this frightening fact: As of 2009, four out of five private pension funds were considered underfunded by the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation. Even worse, the PGBC, our government’s “safety net” for retirees, has been underfunded every year since 2002. Those who have had their private pensions sent over to the PBGC can let us know how well that is working out for them.

In the end, we now have yet another law that assaults the individual liberties of hard-working, responsible American citizens by making it more and more difficult for us to plan and maintain our own financial futures. How long are we willing to allow this inevitable train wreck to gather speed? Isn’t it about time to wake up to the reality that we are taxed and regulated enough already?

Charles A. Layne, Bunker Hill

 

State should repay retirement fund

I have read several articles concerning the surplus state revenue. If the plan goes as projected, each taxpayer will receive $100-$200 per couple. It has also been stated that according to the state constitution, the state cannot go into debt. This was a result of some very poor financial decisions during the “canal days.” 

My question is: How can the state of Indiana maintain that it is following the constitution by not going into debt and planning to return money to taxpayers when the state owes the Indiana State Teachers’ Retirement Fund more than $10 billion that has been borrowed during the past 50-plus years?

I began teaching in 1952. Since that time the state has continually borrowed from this fund. When I have confronted state legislators throughout the years, the person to whom I have posed the question always turns it around and says, “But do you know any teacher who is not receiving a pension?”

Yes, we are all receiving our checks but had the money been returned to the teachers’ retirement fund, the interest from those billions would have provided money for cost of living increases and enhanced the minimal retirement of many elderly retirees. A number of years ago, the legislature actually passed legislation in which a plan was set up to repay the fund. That lasted one or two years!

Please use this surplus to start repaying the state debt to the teachers’ retirement fund. This surplus won’t pay off the entire debt, but it will be a start and will show that the state of Indiana has made a commitment to those dedicated educators who have provided education to the people who are making decisions today.

Eileen C. Copeland, Logansport

 

Firing appropriate for police officer

Everyone who took part in the tasing of the 64-year-old Alzheimer’s patient should be fired. The officer who did it, the staff who made it happen and the police chief who took two weeks to find out it did happen.

Let’s think about this. If the officer did nothing wrong and was within the department guidelines, why does he need an attorney?

Let’s hope Mayor Walker and the rest of the board use some common sense in their decision. The family should sue them all.

This isn’t a matter of who’s next but when? Excessive force? I guess he could be shot. God forbid I end up at Miller’s Merry Manor in Peru.

Michael Cassello, Winamac

 

Let’s hope Daniels doesn’t change time

Regarding Purdue University’s appointment of Gov. Mitch Daniels as its next president.

I hope the governor does not put the entire campus on Pacific Coast time to save money and daylight!

I don’t want my school to be known as the “University of the Midnight Sun!”

Don Snyder, Logansport

 

Winning writers to be recognized

The Logansport-Cass County Public Library is pleased to announce the winners of the 2012 McTaggart Creative Writing Competition: Bryton Albright, Mary Faith Arnett, Sarah Cahalan, Tim Caron, Debby Grosvenor, Danielle Howard, Kassie Neumann, Stephanie Thomas, Duane Watts and Katie Workman.

The exact placements of the winners will be announced at a public presentation at the library at 7 p.m. on July 31. First place in each category (poetry and prose) and each division (adults and students) will receive $300, second place $200 and third place $100. The four first place winners are then eligible for the grand prize, which is an additional award of $500.

All awards will be presented at this meeting, including the grand prize, and are presented by the library each year in memory of Bill McTaggart, whom we all recall most fondly.

In addition to the awards, we will also present readings by various local authors for your edification and amusement. Refreshments will be served. Please attend.

Jon M. Myers, vice president, board of trustees, Logansport Cass-County Public Library

 

What happened to saying thanks?

Just a note of curiosity. Recently, and in the past years, I have given either monetary or otherwise appropriate gifts for showers, weddings and, most recently, graduations. Is it too old-fashioned for the receiver to reciprocate with a short hand-written note of thanks or has technology done away with that also? I believe it was called being polite!

I did receive notes from Lafayette, California and South Bend, though, so I know some still feel the need. Perhaps with Twitter, Tweet or whatever, plus wanting to do away with cursive writing, they have taken the upper hand. Stamps are high in cost, but courtesy is cheap. Just curious.

Janet Young, Logansport