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Reforms deserve informed commentary

To the editor:

Matt Pommer missed the mark with his partisan-hit piece on Congressman Paul Ryan, “Bipartisanship looks out of reach,” in the Feb. 23 issue.

It is unclear whether Pommer believes the explosion of entitlement spending and implosion of our critical social insurance programs (Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid) is even a problem worth addressing. If he does, what has he put forth besides empty rhetoric and attacks on proposed solutions? If he doesn’t think reform is needed, heaven help him.

His claim that Ryan offers no specifics on entitlement reform is evidence Pommer is either lazy or dishonest. Ryan’s proposal, A Roadmap for America’s Future, is actual legislation with specific numbers to back it up. Hundreds of pages of specific details can be found at www.americanroadmap.org.

If he actually read the legislation, Pommer would realize Ryan doesn’t propose to privatize Social Security, but rather prevent its imminent collapse. Ryan does so with a number of innovative reforms, including giving younger workers the option of staying with the traditional government-run system or entering a system of personal accounts managed and overseen by a public Social Security personal savings account board, not a stockbroker or private investment firm.

This voluntary option would allow workers to choose from a handful of government-regulated investment options similar to the retirement plans offered to members of Congress and federal employees.

It is unclear if Pommer desires true bipartisanship, or for Republicans simply to surrender their beliefs and agree to policies they disagree with. An honest observer of Washington would have a hard time laying blame for the lack of bipartisanship solely at the feet of the minority party.

Republicans have alternatives. Republicans continue to offer solutions. The Democrats who control Washington consistently shut out the minority, ram through their liberal spending wish list and then blast Republicans for not playing along.

Pommer’s piece fails to pass the laugh test.

Tom De Fazio

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