The Post and Courier's editorial department put in their two cents on February 3, regarding the Progressive Change Campaign Committee ad that I starred in. I felt a burning need to respond, and so sent a letter to the editor, the text of which follows:
As the ad by the Progressive Change Campaign Committee was about me, I would like to respond to the editorial "Hard Entitlement Reality" in the February 3 Post and Courier.
I was a bit surprised at the defensiveness of the writer; he calls the ad an "attack" on "our senior senator".
Excuse me, but it seems to me that as one of Lindsey Graham's constituents, it is my right to speak to the Senator regarding the issues on which he is voting. I was surprised that this editorial implied that Graham is allowed to express his opinion nationally, but it is "an attack" on Graham if someone debates those opinions.
Don't take it personally, because Senator Graham probably is taking it in stride. It is his job.
Now to the issues.
I heard a lot of talk last fall about how essentional it was to not leave the huge budget deficit to our children. And then Congress voted to continue the outrageous tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans. And then I heard our President brag on how he was putting more money in middle class pockets by the deal he brokered with Mitch McConnell et al.
That money that the President and Congress put in our pockets did indeed take money from our children, because it came from the payroll tax through which we contribute to social security and medicare. Trying to "destroy" social security? Whether that was the goal or not, those tax cuts certainly added a nail to the coffin.
I have heard far more about the likelihood of increasing the retirement age to 70 than I have heard about raising the cap on income subject to payroll tax. And yet there is no reason that one who earns more (and will receive more upon retirement) should not pay more into the account. Yet we keep coming back to the retirement age.
My ad talks about people who over the course of 40 years or so earning a living very often have body trauma as a result of the daily job requirements. Those of us who are in the service sector, on our feet, loading shelves, will no doubt have a few more of those aches and pains than the esteemed writer of the editorial.
The statement that Senator Graham is not proposing the elimination of Social Security Disability was just an insult and a total lack of understanding of the problem. First of all, most of us do not want to collect disability. Secondly, people far more disabled than I have been rejected, often more than once, before being approved, and many don't bother. I had the option, one year ago, to continue to work full time until I was far more disabled, and then stop working and attempt to collect disability. I chose to work part-time instead, with the dramatic cut in an already low salary, in order to try to retain my health.
The solutions to the social security crisis that Senator Graham proposes, and that your editorial writer defends, demean the hard-working, aging workforce. And, because the Senate would not attempt to make the change immediate, it will not affect me, but it will affect the generation coming up, and it will affect my children. Remember, it's the children we don't want to punish for our spending?
And, in fact, by forcing people who are ready to retire to continue to work, we end up with a work force that will cost more in sick leave and injury, while holding positions that could be given to the younger citizens, those who are now collecting unemployment.
Bad business all around.
Yes, it is.