The Spokesman-Review

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Congress wasn’t the culprit

A letter from Lewis Johnson on Sept. 12 indicates that the Senate canceled cost-of-living raises (2010 and 2011) for beneficiaries of federal pensions. There was no vote on that issue in the Senate.

For many years, upward adjustments have been tied to a formula that determines whether there has been an increase in the cost of living. Under that formula, it was determined that there had been no increase in the consumer price index and 2010 pensions should not be raised. The present Congress could have tried to enact a bill allowing some money, but that would not have been an adjustment under the COLA legislation passed many years ago.

Mr. Lewis errs in saying that Congress did not cancel raises for its members. The 2010 raise was cancelled in March 2009 and the 2011 raise was cancelled in a bill signed by the president last May.

Dean F. Ratzman


Jonathan Brunt’s article (“GOP platform proves vexing,” Sept. 19) reveals that the Republican Party, just like the Democratic Party, is concerned with one thing: Convincing citizens they know what’s better for this country than the true leaders of this nation – We the People. Loyalty to the Constitution is a must, but loyalty to a party easily leads to contempt for the people.

The first three words of our Constitution state who established this government – We the People! For too long We the People have let two parties determine who will represent the people. Democrats are taking this country down the drain at a breathtaking pace. Republicans are leading us down the same drain, just with smaller steps. America’s citizenry is beginning to tell the parties what qualities and values We the People expect in our representatives.

As more of us stand up and speak our mind, both Republicans and Democrats see their control of the political system slowly slipping away, and clearly they are not happy to hear our voice! If We the People continue to tell the parties what we want to elect, eventually the parties will have to comply – or go the way of the dinosaur.

Doug Belcher


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