Letters to the Editor

Not about privatizing

Paul Volker's letter, "A lousy investment," March 2, states incorrectly that S. 355, a bill co-sponsored by Republican Sen. Pete Dominici of New Mexico and Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, is "to privatize Social Security."

S. 355 makes no mention of privatizing Social Security. It's stated purpose is to permanently establish an independent and bipartisan commission to conduct comprehensive reviews of the Social Security and Medicare programs to identify problems that may threaten long term solvency, to analyze potential solutions, and to provide recommendations and proposed legislative language. It was unfair of Mr. Volker to misrepresent S. 355 and it was unfair of The Bee to print a letter that was obviously misleading.

Mr. Volker says he has been retired for almost 10 years and has not gotten back all of the "investment" he and his employers have made in Social Security. Does he actually know how much tax was paid on his earnings and does he realize he will receive benefits for as long as he lives (and so will his spouse)? At the end of fiscal 2005, the average retirement benefit was just under $960 per month and the average spouse benefit was $465 per month.

Jim Hogan

Fresno

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