Letter to the Editor

Letters to the Editor, June 26

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Don't fall for GOP fixing Medicare, Social Security

To the Editor:

I have studied the Ryan (Republican) 2012 Budget Resolution and of course the centerpiece is the assault on Medicare and Social Security -- two programs some have always hated and have sought their demise from the beginning.

As a retiree who has paid into the system for over 40 years, I do not consider myself a charity case now that I am receiving these benefits. What I think caught the congressional Republicans off guard was their assumption that if current recipients were not affected, they would not put up a fight for those coming after them -- they found out otherwise when they returned to their congressional districts and tried to explain their vote for the Ryan bill.

The details of the plan are very vague but the best I could determine those under 55 would receive a voucher at 65 and would receive the "same kind of health care options enjoyed by congress." I called both Sen. Alexander and Sen. Corker's office to inquire what kind of health care options the senators were enjoying -- in both cases the staff didn't know but would find out and call me back -- you guessed it -- still waiting for the call.

This plan doesn't fix Medicare; it abolishes it, unless you [count] getting a voucher at 65 and being told to go for it.

I have no doubt Medicare can be reformed. For starters, the Medicare Part D drug plan written for and by big Pharma prohibits price negotiations such as the VA has and was shamelessly passed into law by the congressional campaign donor recipients and signed by President Bush.

Of course the Republican 2012 Budget Resolution would not be complete without further tax cuts for the wealthiest -- this will create jobs -- worked so well during the Bush/Cheney tenure, why not give it another go?

Social Security and Medicare have provided a safety net for seniors that they need and deserve. Let us be diligent in our efforts to prevent the politicians from destroying these programs under the guise of "fixing them."

Vivian Ervin


Thanks from Tullahoma to local firefighters

EDITOR'S NOTE: Shelbyville Fire Department and Bedford County Fire Department were among the departments providing standby assistance to Tullahoma during a June 15 fire at the former Genesco plant -- which was scheduled to be torn down the next day.

To our Emergency Responder brethren,

I would like to take this opportunity to extend a heartfelt "thank you" from the City of Tullahoma, The Tullahoma Fire Department and myself, for the exemplary assistance that you provided our City on the night of June 15th 2011. There is no way to quantify the peace of mind afforded in the knowledge that there is always motivated, qualified, professional assistance no more than a simple phone call away. Without your help I shudder to think at the plethora of possible outcomes for this event. It is to your continuing credit that the loss of life and property was minimized if not negated. We are in your debt.

As emergency responders we are all aware that our job is to mitigate situations that we did not create; selflessly propelling our energy, resources and lives into a situation whose outcome is largely unknown. This job requires a unique set of traits that, when utilized, earn the title that the general public has long bestowed on our forefathers as "a hero". You are a shining tangible example of what this seemingly abstract label truly means. You should be confident and proud that your selfless service, ability and passion did not go unnoticed or underappreciated.

The Tullahoma Fire Department stands ready to answer your call in the future as a friend, as a Firefighter, as family. I insist that you never hesitate to call on us when you are in need of any assistance we can deliver. You have our endless heartfelt gratitude and I can only hope that in the future you allow us to repay this debt.

Warmest Regards,

Chief Richard Shasteen

Tullahoma Fire Department

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