To the editor: Les Gapay describes the paucity of the 2018 Social Security raise, which will be quickly gobbled up by increases in Medicare premiums and the cost of living. (“The Social Security cost-of-living increase is a cruel fraud,” Opinion, Dec. 19)
It is high time we acknowledge that the experiment of most workers relying on the vicissitudes of the stock market via 401(k) plans is a failure. We must also find ways to expand defined-benefit plans (pensions, in other words) as well as strengthening and not weakening Social Security.
Now that large corporations will be able to keep trillions of dollars more over the years thanks to the Republican tax plan, perhaps it is time for them to contribute more to the Social Security trust fund. Rather than the current 6.2% of wages they put in, maybe they should pay 8.2%.
This would provide decades of additional benefits to retirees while still allowing corporations to keep the majority of the windfall they are set to receive.
James Clark, La Cañada Flintridge
To the editor: Who knows what Gapay was trying to accomplish? His ranting is confusing, and he offers no ideas for changing the status quo.
Gapay is right on some things. While Social Security checks increased 2%, Medicare costs went up too. Sorry, but that’s not “fraud.”
He complains that Medicare’s out-of-pocket costs, his rent and Campbell’s soup prices are all increasing, but the “denizens” in Washington are not raising a hue and cry because they have one foot in hell. My congressman, Rep. Alan Lowenthal (D-Long Beach), actually does the one reasonable thing Gapay asks: He consistently sticks up for people who need help. So I voted for him.
Gapay should talk with his member of Congress and vote that person out if he doesn’t listen, instead of howling at nameless denizens.
Edward Dignan, Long Beach
To the editor: I am close to collecting Social Security, and it always irks me to see another senior complaining that he is entitled to a larger benefit because he “paid in.” However, the fact continues to be that current retirees on average are going to get 30% more than what they paid in.
Why does my generation keep getting to increase the burden on future generations? And we say it is the millennials who are spoiled.
Paul Anderson, Newport Beach