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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

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Past opinions provide perspective

Looking Back reviews opinions published in The Spokesman-Review during this week in history.

Churchill visits U.S., Dec. 28, 1941

An S-R editorial weighed in on Winston Churchill’s address to the U.S. Congress.

“Winston Churchill’s speech in the Senate chamber Friday was a masterpiece of candor, logic and inspiring exhortation. The forthright, fundamental honesty of his words was a tonic for Americans. He spoke as a man of fearless resolution to men of equal courage and firmness; as a man with supreme confidence in his cause because he had implicit confidence in those whom he addressed.

It continued: “We needed very much to hear what Churchill told us and we are better prepared today to meet with fortitude the hard, long test of character and endurance before us because he scorned deceptive assurances and did not pretend there was any quick, easy or magic formula for victory.

“It took candor and courage of the highest order to tell us that we would be in a better position in the Pacific today if we had not given so much of our fighting weapons to aid Britain, and we liked him the better for that straightforward honesty.

“His speech was as refreshing and invigorating as a cool breeze in a parched land and because of it, we feel greater confidence in our association with a Britain which is fighting under such leadership.”

Social Security, Dec. 26, 1980

An S-R editorial weighed in on the half-measures the federal government continually took to keep Social Security afloat.

“As surely as Americans are growing older, the cost of Social Security is going up. The Social Security tax rate jumps again Jan. 1, from 6.13 to 6.65 percent. In addition, workers will be forced to pay Social Security taxes on their first $29,000 of income. This year’s cut-off point was $25,900.

“And, as if that weren’t enough bad news, the 1981 increase and others planned throughout the 1980s will not solve Social Security’s problems. The system is going broke and annual tax hikes are merely stopgap measures. The ratio of workers paying in compared to beneficiaries taking out is narrowing.

“Advisers to President Carter, President-elect Reagan and others in and out of government have suggested alternatives for keeping the system sound. None, however, is particularly attractive. All require sacrifice, which most of us are happy to accept, provided someone else does the sacrificing. The possibilities include: raising the retirement age, changing the benefit formula, changing the method used to calculate cost-of-living increases and expanding the program to include federal employees.”

It concluded: “As we see it, Social Security and our nation need two things. Very brave politicians and a change in attitude by the public. The type of politicians we need are in short supply now – the kind who are not afraid of tough decisions and who put the long-term public good ahead of their own political ambitions. Secondly, we need a less selfish and better informed public.”