Sunday, February 11, 2018 1:00 am
Letters to the editor
Tritch true Banks alternative
As best I can make out from his official website, northeast Indiana's Rep. Jim Banks cares a lot more about protecting a tax cut for medical device makers than about making health care more affordable and accessible for Hoosiers. I found four news releases about the medical devices tax and only one with a brief statement about his ideas for improving health care policy. Meanwhile, he repeatedly called for destruction of the Affordable Care Act, on which millions of Americans rely to pay for medical care.
There is an alternative – a very good one. I urge everyone to visit www.tritchforcongress.com. Right at the top you will see Courtney Tritch's positions on health care and other important national issues. She also has years of experience working with business leaders across northeast Indiana to strengthen the economy of our whole region.
People in this region who are tired of zealotry in politics have been frustrated by the lack of viable alternatives to Banks and his predecessor, Marlin Stutzman. Now we have one in Tritch. Please look at her site and, if you like what you see, give her your support. Be part of the change that is building all around us this year. This is an election that can be won.
Accounting needed of perks
Here we are in 2018. The 435 members of the House, elected to a term of two years, and the 100 members of the Senate, elected to a term of six years, are back to work. This is after about only 10 days of work from Thanksgiving through the beginning of January.
Remember, they will also be off for the “long” holidays of Easter, Memorial Day, Fourth of July and the four weeks of August until after Labor Day in September. They have scheduled about 124 days in session in 2018 out of 365 days in the year.
During that time in session, they will probably start discussing immigration, taxes, unemployment, budgets, infrastructure, sequestration, benefits and entitlements of Social Security, Medicare and military pensions, to name just a few.
Congress wants to change the Consumer Price Index to something called the Chained Consumer Price Index. The Chained CPI will lower the percentage of increases for all taxpayers. Those of us collecting Social Security, Medicare and military pensions will all be affected. It will also affect all the working taxpayers because the Chained CPI is the benchmark for all wage increases and most benefits and entitlements.
Why does someone spend millions of dollars to get elected to a job that pays $174,000 a year? Are the perks of extra committee pay, retirement pay, medical coverage for themselves and their families, workout gym, cafeteria, sick days, vacation, disability pay, etc. that great? What about the travel back and forth to their district all the time and the travel to foreign locations? Who gets to use the frequent flier miles they rack up at taxpayers' expense?
I have lived in Fort Wayne for 63 years. In those years, I cannot recall ever having seen a complete listing of the benefits, entitlements and perks of Congress. I believe it is high time (and has been for decades) for taxpayers to understand this issue of how their perks differ so much from ours.
Joseph T. Weigel
CHEERS to the people who picked up our bill Jan. 21 at the New Haven Hall's.
Your generosity will be passed on.
God bless you always.
DON and LINDA STEBING