Become a digitalPLUS subscriber. 99¢ for 4 weeks.
News Opinion Readers Respond

Ruppersberger urged to boost Social Security benefits [Letter]

Representative C. A. Dutch Ruppersberger's decision not to run for governor might not have been much of a surprise for Maryland's politicians, but his older constituents, who comprise about 12 percent of his district's voters, may well have been surprised to hear that he wants to remain in Washington to continue working on tax and entitlement reform ("Ruppersberger decides against a run for governor," Jan. 22).

On Capitol Hill, "entitlement reform" is the "kinder, gentler" phrase that members of both political parties now use to describe plans to cut benefits for middle-class Americans. Fortunately, Congressman Ruppersberger hasn't been one of them, which is why he has earned a 100 percent positive rating from the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare.

Most seniors would like to see the "entitlement reform" debate, and the benefit cuts associated with it, disappear altogether. They understand that middle-class families and seniors, half of whom receive an average monthly Social Security benefit of $1,269 or less, should not be targeted for cuts under any circumstances.

Instead of "entitlement reform," we suggest Mr. Ruppersberger talk about boosting "earned benefits" that improve the lives of older Marylanders and strengthen the economic outlook for Maryland's 2nd District — including the 118,000 Social Security beneficiaries who receive $1.7 billion in Social Security benefits. That's not just retirees but also people with disabilities, surviving spouses and children, all of whom who are pumping billions of dollars into local businesses and the state's economy.

America is facing a retirement crisis. Traditional pensions are almost extinct, and workers have less income to save for retirement, leaving Social Security the only remaining leg in America's three-legged retirement stool.

It's time for a bipartisan commitment from Congress to tackle this retirement crisis, which impacts the lives of almost every American family. Fifty-eight million Americans of all ages depend on the anti-poverty protection offered by Social Security. Social Security will be even more important to future generations, including the Recession Generation that is facing income loss, diminished net worth and high unemployment during their vital earning years. All these factors ultimately impact their retirement security.

Mr. Ruppersberger has a long and successful record of serving his constituents well. Hundreds of thousands of 2nd District seniors will be counting on him to continue that record. He knows that Social Security did not cause the current budget deficit and should not be used to correct it.

We need a people's champion like Mr. Ruppersberger to usher in a new fairness agenda that focuses on providing economic security to all Americans, young and old alike, beginning with boosting Social Security benefits.

Max Richtman, Washington, D.C.

The writer is president and CEO of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare.

-
To respond to this letter, send an email to talkback@baltimoresun.com. Please include your name and contact information.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
Related Content
  • Franchot in the catbird seat
    Franchot in the catbird seat

    The most telling thing about the joint appearances Maryland's Republican Gov.-elect, Larry Hogan, and its Democratic Comptroller, Peter Franchot, had in Easton this week was that it was a case of Mr. Hogan tagging along with Mr. Franchot, not the other way around. Mr. Hogan is about to...

  • Leopold: New governors should be sworn in before the General Assembly session
    Leopold: New governors should be sworn in before the General Assembly session

    Sixteen years ago, I sponsored legislation that called for a constitutional amendment that would have allowed incoming governors to take office prior to the commencement of the General Assembly ("Hogan names ex-Senator Neall to transition team," Nov. 12). The bill, which would have allowed...

  • Race played no role in Hogan win
    Race played no role in Hogan win

    I read Thomas Schaller's column ("Race had a role in Hogan's win," Nov. 11) regarding Larry Hogan's win over Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown in the 2014 Maryland gubernatorial election. He basically states that the areas Mr. Hogan won had more white people then black.

  • Purple Maryland
    Purple Maryland

    It's safe to say the election is over, and we are all anxious to see what "color" our state will be. Are we now red with a base of blue or still blue with a splash of red ("Republican sees spending as key for governor-elect," Nov. 14)?

  • Polls are not in public interest
    Polls are not in public interest

    Mileah Kromer discusses the reasons that the results of pre-election polls concerning the race for governor were largely incorrect, particularly the timing of the polls on which media and the campaigns relied ("Hogan and Brown: tortoise and hare?" Nov. 12). I do not doubt that she is largely...

  • Tax and spending cuts can have adverse impacts
    Tax and spending cuts can have adverse impacts

    A prevalent theme in The Baltimore Sun news and commentary recently, especially since the election of Larry Hogan as Maryland's next governor, has been cuts in taxes and fees for government supported services as well as state and local budget cuts ("After Hogan victory, local governments look...

  • Statistics don't tell the whole story of Hogan's win
    Statistics don't tell the whole story of Hogan's win

    I must disagree with commentator Thomas F. Schaller's column on Maryland's gubernatorial election ("Race had a role in Hogan's win," Nov. 11).

  • Is Hogan inevitable in 2018?
    Is Hogan inevitable in 2018?

    I couldn't decide whether I was more amused or bemused by Richard J. Cross III's op-ed about the possible Democratic candidates for governor four years from now ("Who will challenge Hogan in 2018?" Nov. 15).

Comments
Loading