Senators pay more attention to donors than voters
Re: "Gun control doomed after vote in Senate," April 18
Shame on members of the U.S. Senate who voted against a sensible gun control measure. The next killing will be entirely their responsibility.
Once again, politicians chose to serve their sponsors rather than the people who elected them to office. This country is falling rather low, worse than developing countries, as Congress uses its money and power to thwart human values.
As a family of immigrants who are very disappointed in this country, we have learned that there is no respect for life here because power and money are king. We are no longer free to go to the movies, send our children to school, walk to the mall or simply be free to do what we want, because at any moment, we may end up dead.
Rights cannot be rescinded by popular opinion
Nearly all Americans agree that personal background checks should be done by law enforcement for all who aspire to possess firearms to prevent them from falling into the hands of criminals and crazies. But in our zeal to guarantee public safety, the Second Amendment should not have to be filtered through a politically correct litmus test.
American society is quick to brand as "extremist" -- implying "dangerous" -- all persons embracing religious or political beliefs that fall outside the realm of popular American mainstream tradition.
Indeed, most of America's early Founding Fathers would be labeled "extremists" by today's political standards. What Americans today have the temerity to publicly proclaim without compromise: "Give me liberty or give me death!"?
We should all be reminded that the enumerated civil liberties found in the U.S. Constitution are extended to individuals and are not rescinded by popular majority opinion.
Lawrence K. Marsh
A workable alternative to Social Security
The majority of Americans are not nearly aware or motivated enough to save nearly enough for a comfortable retirement.By the time they wake up to the need to save, it's too late.
Social Security is clearly not filling the bill, and we should get rid of it ASAP.
As an alternative, I propose that$10,000 be placed in a government-supervised account upon the birth of a child. The money would preferably come from family and friends, but from the government if necessary.It would be invested by selected companies to guarantee at least a 7 percent annual return, which would increase to a little more than $1 million when the child reaches the age of 70.
This would form the basis for a tax-free annuity with a payout of $100,000 per year from age 70-90 and $60,000 per year after that.At age 100, there would still bemore than $200,000 left in the account.Any unused amount would be considered part of the person's estate, not a free source of funds for the government to tap.
Under various assumptions of population growth and death rates, the"steady state" value of this fund would be between $130 and $150 trillion.It would act to stabilize the finances of the country while letting everyone directly benefit from capitalism.