Letters

Letters Daschle's message

To the editor:

Former Sen. Tom Daschle opened his first speech since the election with thanks to South Dakotans, his supporters, and his staff. However, I believe that South Dakotans, Daschle supporters, and Daschle staff owe a thank you to former Sen. Daschle for what he has done for South Dakota.

Slagle Auditorium at The University of South Dakota filled with eager listeners on Tuesday, April 5 to hear Daschle's discussion of freedom. Touching on issues of current federal legislation, party differences, and South Dakota politics, Daschle conveyed one overriding message: freedom does not guarantee equality.

The system of the United States requires citizens to contribute to the community, not to embrace cold individualism. For when every individual works only for himself, the common good suffers.

Former Sen. Daschle challenged citizens to give back to America what America has given to its citizens. He lived by this challenge. Thank you, Mr. Daschle for giving back to South Dakota.

Sincerely,

Jacqueline Wilber

Vermillion

Don't touch social security

To the editor:

Social Insecurity! Our president seems bent on pushing it. Perhaps we need to know how much it costs to jaunt around in Air Force One to push a plan and still not give details the media and press would love to print free.

At the University of Chicago School of Business in 1930, no instruction was given on the Stock Market, as the crash of 1929 convinced economists stock picking was no more reliable than a dart board. There were long lines of desperate unemployed; the brightest students were selling apples on the corner or working as elevator operators. The time was ripe for the concept of Social Security as a necessary condition for all citizens. No new idea has ever been born without any congenital weaknesses, but this one would merit endless fine tuning and improvement.

After 10 long years of grinding depression it took WWII to get the wheels all turning again. Social Security covered many programs and was subject to big and little changes, but after 70 some years the country had no debt and baby boomers would soon be claiming their retirements rights. Along came the Iraq War and suddenly our surplus is gone and Social Security is under attack.

Stock Market supervision has been questionable. Many investors recently lost large sums. Business heads rolled. Stock brokers were subpoenaed. And Martha Stewart went to prison as an example for careless investors. Something must be done! Along comes the president insisting the way to go was to let young investors invest their own money taken out of Social Security!

Of course youth are always pleased to be considered able to make their own decisions. It might just help the stock brokers and financial institutions who gave so generously to the 2004 campaign.

Discussion should not pit youth against age. Young people used to accept that retiring parents would have to live with them. As people live longer that might be 20 or more years. There was a time when every county had an old folks home and an orphanage. Social Security has closed these institutions. However, Social Security was never meant to provide every need of every citizen. It has been a cushion.

Anyone who believed they needed no other resources obviously was not crunching the numbers. In a lifetime, most thoughtful people did their own augmenting whether in savings or investments in fields they knew. Recently, many saw their stock investments lost and they can hardly believe Social Security would be improved by stock investments made by individuals taking their money out of Social Security.

Rather than go flying around talking confidently but vaguely about changing Social Security, the president should appoint a task force of the most brilliant mathematicians we have and an equal numbers of Democrats and Republicans and use our wonderful computers to fine tune the system to really be a system of Social Security now and forever, Hands off by politicians and special interests!

Kathleen Block

Vermillion

Editor's note: The Plain Talk erroneously published this letter with an incorrect signature. We regret the error.

Wrong road

To the editor:

Thanks to Bill for his legacy of Tom Daschle. He was right on, and then some. I urge everyone who has not read it to do so, in particular the dump Daschle crowd from the election. They get their wish, but it won't take South Dakotans long to realize this was a big (HUGE) mistake, considering all that Tom has done over the past and could have accomplished over the next six years.

I have followed Tom Daschle's career for almost as long as he has served the public. He has done more for South Dakota than anyone ever has or ever will do. Labeling him an obstructionist show that so many of you don't know the difference between obstruction and accountability. There are already numerous potentially disastrous moves looming on the horizon (Ellsworth, Social Security, housing, health, education, cutting life saving programs for the poor, unheard of deficit).

This country is heading down the wrong road right now. We had all better hope that there are enough left in Congress to hold "them" accountable, or our children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren will pay an enormous price. I hope mine remember that I at least tried to make a positive difference.

Dick Barta,

Vermillion

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