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Letters to the editor

Briana Brace

I wanted to commend Eagle Valley High Principal Mark Strakbein on passing along a message about cheating that is too commonly overlooked by students today. I hope when students hear a cheater’s confession read aloud in the classroom, they will understand that even the little wrongs in life can create a big impact.I recently caught a clip of “Good Morning America,” where I learned about this real-life lesson being taught in Eagle Valley High School, and I gathered more information by looking up the news article on-line. This is such a unique opportunity to be able to share with students and an awesome message to pass along to America. I think it allows the message to extend past the classroom walls and into the every day lives of people. Cheating is wrong, and we all know that. But sometimes a reminder such as this is needed to make people think about the impact of their decisions.This is a powerful letter to express the effect that cheating has on one’s conscience even years later. I hope it is continually used in classrooms for high school students who think that it is OK to cheat because it is just high school.Briana BraceAlgona, IowaDrop politicsDear Ms. Overbeck: In your letter regarding Social Security, I believe that you have only presented those facts that substantiate your own personal opinion. Furthermore, by simplistically framing the Social Security issue along political party lines, you have done a disservice to thoughtful members of both parties. Indeed, there are many valid reasons for giving employees the option of investing a portion of their earnings in “personal accounts.” It should be noted, however, that this has a negative effect on the projected shortage of available Social Security funds beyond 2052. Diverting some dollars into private accounts means that less money will be going into the Social Security fund and that translates into an earlier demise of the current program or a further reduction of benefits. The truth is that while “personal accounts” may well be desirable, they have a distinctly negative effect on what Mr. Bush describes as a “Social Security crisis.” However, before doing anything it should be noted that there are a great many variables in the data that is used to project the demise of the program in 2052 ( only recently, 2042 was estimated to be the date ). I believe that there is a very reasonable option of doing nothing now – 2052 is a long time away. However, if we feel that corrective action is required now, then we should increase the Social Security tax, reduce or delay benefits or, preferably, treat Social Security benefits as an insurance policy rather than as an absolute entitlement. Politics be damned – we should bite the bullet.Now, on its own merits we can consider “personal savings accounts.” Will we have to increase the national debt by some trillions of dollars in order to fund the transition? What is likely to be the effect on the value of the dollar? What will be the effect on current and long-term interest rates? Are we really ready to pass on even more interest costs to coming generations? Which stocks and bonds will be available for investment? What impartial person or group will make that decision? What will be the effect on those particular stocks? What will be the effect on those that are not included? The questions are many, and they merit our best thinking.I’m sorry, Ms. Overbeck, but the issue is complicated and deserves to be considered with care and without political innuendos.David Le VineVail, Colorado


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