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Social Security and Medicare

It was interesting to note in Ernest Conine’s column (“Before Cuts, Pierce Myths on Social Security,” Op-Ed Page, Dec. 21) that “a whole parade” of political biggies are pressing President-elect George Bush to change his hands-off position in Social Security.

Among those urging him to put Social Security “on the table” to help reduce the federal budget deficit are former Presidents Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter, as well as Rep. Dan Rostenkowski (D-Ill.).

Conine should now report on how Ford and Carter feel about reducing their own extraordinarily generous pensions. Former President Nixon and the new retiree, Ronald Reagan, should be asked how much of a cut they’d deem reasonable. After all it was on the watches of this gang of four that our country ran up the biggest national debt in history.

Rostenkowski should be pleased to state his position on pension cuts, not only for himself but for all members of Congress. In fact, all those tens of thousands of retired federal employees should be ready and willing to bite the bullet along with the rest of us.

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If Conine asks the right questions he could also discover whether Rostenkowski is taking a leadership position in rejecting 50% pay raises now being talked up for all upper-level federal employees, including congressmen, senators, judges and the President.

JACK B. KENNETT

Laguna Hills


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