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LETTER: Say no to plan to make SS, Medicare private

To the Editor:

I was upset to learn that the first presidential debate was not going to include any questions about the two most important programs in this country -- Social Security and Medicare. It's scary what will happen to this country if the safety net for the elderly is discontinued. Not asking questions about Social Security and Medicare is biased and irresponsible.

Most of the Republican candidates, including Kristi Noem and Mitt Romney, want to privatize Social Security and Medicare. They say it won't affect those currently receiving benefits, but what about future generations? Social Security and Medicare are the most important programs that this country has.

Privitizing Social Security and Medicare is just the first step in making them go away. Mitt Romney is talking about giving vouchers to the elderly instead of Medicare. How huge are these vouchers going to be to cover health insurance for an 80-year-old with pre-existing conditions? If they are large enough (which they won't be) what is that going to do to our federal budget? And what company is going to be willing to insure an 80-year-old with pre-existing conditions at any cost?

Instead of eliminating the entitlement programs (so called because we are entitled to them because we have paid into them), the candidates should address the subsidies (handouts) like the over $3,000,000 that Kristi Noem's family farm (aka huge corporation) got from the federal government. She has an advertisement on saying that every man, woman and child owes $51,000 in taxes. I did the math, and if she would pay back the over $3 million that she got, that would eliminate the debt of 59 people.

Balance the budget by eliminating the tax breaks to billionaires and the million dollar subsidies to the Kristi Noems of this country. You can correct these abuses by voting. And when you go to the polls, don't forget that the Republicans were willing to let America go broke rather than discontinue the tax breaks for their billionaire friends.