The Truth About Social Security

To the editors:

A surplus exists when FICA [Federal Insurance Contrubitions Act] dollars collected via payroll deduction during the year exceed the Social Security dollars paid out in benefits. Any surplus goes into the Social Security trust fund, which does not hold cash. Instead, the cash is used to buy U.S. Treasury Securities, the cash reverts to the U.S. Treasury, and Congress may spend these funds as it sees fit. The securities that the trust fund holds, result in an increase in the national debt and helps to ensure the viability of the program.

A shortfall exists when Social Security dollars paid out in benefits during the year exceed FICA dollars collected via payroll deduction. To cover the shortfall and to continue to pay full benefits, the trust fund redeems securities that it holds from the U.S. Treasury. Servicing this debt reduces the national debt, depletes the value of the trust fund, erodes the viability of the program, and causes Congress to use non-FICA tax dollars to cover the costs of the trust fund redeeming their Treasury securities.

The easiest and fairest solution for continuing to pay full benefits from the Social Security program is to annually adjust the cap for the payroll deductions for this program such that the deductions produce neither a surplus nor a shortfall. This will ensure the long-term viability of this program and will relieve Congress of the burden to have to use non-program tax dollars to cover program costs. This method will not affect more than 94 percent of workers, since the cap is already higher than their earnings.

Paul Cully

Dover, N.H.


Thanks for writing. You seem to have presented a simple and straightforward solution to a vexingly persistent problem. Based on the facts you have provided, we see no reason why it should not be endorsed by every right-minded Member of Congress. What do you suppose are the odds of that?

Perhaps sometime you would explain to us why there is a cap in the first place. The current arrangement seems like an unwarranted gift to those who need it least.

The Editor


Let’s Bury This Cult with Votes

Dear Editor:

Yesterday on Meet the Press, Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) refused six times to say that he would accept the results of the presidential election if Trump lost. That exchange led me to think of the power of cults and their leaders.

A cult is defined as a system or group or people who practice excessive devotion to a figure, object or belief system, typically following a charismatic leader. Some of the most notorious cult leaders include Jim Jones of the Peoples Temple, David Koresh of Branch Davidians, Charles Manson, and Adolf Hitler, the most sinister of all cult leaders. The common element shared by all these cults and their leaders is that they all ended in disaster for the cult leader, their followers and, in Hitler’s case, even the entire nation.

As exemplified by Tim Scott, The United States is currently witnessing the effects of a cult that took hold around 2016. The Donald Trump political movement quickly evolved into a cult that demands total devotion and allegiance to Mr. Trump. Despite his losing the 2020 election after a failed presidency, his incitement of an insurrection, multiple felony criminal and civil charges, and declining physical and cognitive health, his cult members remain more loyal and devoted than ever. How else can you explain people with little extra money to spend sending Trump donations, buying his gold plated sneakers, and most ridiculous of all, buying Bibles from him? Trump selling Bibles is as hypocritical as Putin selling copies of the NATO Charter.

The MAGA cult is a clear and present threat to the Constitution and the future of our Republic. The MAGA cult has been able to take total control of the Republican Party and will nominate Trump for President once again this year. Since the legal system, influenced by politically compromised judges, refuses to hold Trump accountable to the rule of law, our last recourse is the American people who will hopefully finally bury this cult in November with a huge election defeat and send Mr. Trump and his cult to the trash bin of history before they can take the nation down with them.

Rich DiPentima

Portsmouth, N.H.


Imagine what the history books will say about the cohort of 2024 voters if they give Dolt #45 a second chance at wrecking the republic.

That may not be a problem, though. If he does gets elected, there may not be any new history books.

And if there are, the Cult will dictate them.

The Editor


More Fanciful History from D. Ewing

To the Editor:

The Democrat Party rioters on behalf of the Islamic terrorist group Hamas, demand “Death to America”, “Death to Israel”, and the obliteration of Israel. Does Hamas have a legitimate claim on Israel’s land? No.

Jews are Israel’s native people; Jews occupied the land of Israel for about 4000 years. Jewish kingdoms existed there almost 2000 years before Mohammed and the creation of Islam.

Islamic fighters conquered the land, but they subsequently lost it to conquest; so this establishes no legitimate claim.

During WW I the Ottoman (Muslim) Empire controlled much of the Middle East, sided with Germany, and lost. During WW II, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem sided with and raised forces for Hitler.

After WW II, the United Nations divided the land into a Jewish State, and a Muslim State. The Jews accepted the division. The Muslims didn’t and have been fighting ever since to conquer the Jewish native lands.

Many lies are told about Israel. More than 26 percent of Israel today is not Jewish, more than 20 percent are Arabs, mostly Muslim. Today Muslims in Israel prosper and live as equal citizens with rights to work, vote, sit in the Knesset, serve as Judges, in the military, etc.

The people of Gaza elected Hamas governance which they continue to support; the majority even supports Hamas’s barbaric October 7th attack on Israel. Gaza has a border with Egypt, Israel does not hold them captive.

“The enemy of my enemy is my friend.” Democrat leadership has chosen to protect Hamas terrorists despite Hamas’s promises to repeat their barbaric October 7th rapes, tortures, slaughter, and kidnappings. Despite their opposite beliefs, Democrat leadership (secular atheists) has joined with Hamas terrorists (theocrats) because they have shared goals, the overthrow of the democratic governments of Israel and the U.S.

Don Ewing

Meredith, N.H.


Where did you find this convenient slice of pseudo-history? Ah, here it is…. Your argument tracks perfectly with a web page of the Jewish Federation of Sarasota – Manatee.

That page apparently takes the Pentateuch, aka the Torah—Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy—as settled history. Call us heathens, if you will, but we do not consider it as such.

Your 20th century history is no more credible: a few flatly-stated, yet dubious assertions. You seem to be trying to claim that Israel was a country—which would imply both borders and a government—long before the United Nations decided to plunk such an entity down in the area formerly known as Manadatory Palestine. It’s just too absurd.

Typically—as with your usual subjects, Righteous Republicans and Demonic Democrats—you seem to see Israelis as marvels of virtue, while Palestinians are purely evil. Our understanding, such as it is, of the history of that area, during the first few years after 1945, paint no such black and white picture.

The Editor


Sánchez Tries To Adulterate The Catalan Elections

To the Editor:

On 12 May next, elections will be held to choose the government of Catalonia. Four years ago, Catalan pro-independence parties won with 52 percent of the votes and 55 percent of the seats. A Catalan pro-independence government of ERC and JUNTS was formed with the support of the CUP. But different strategies in the face of constant Spanish judicial repression meant that ERC was left alone in the government.

In these Catalan elections, the situation is totally different, because the result of the last Spanish elections has forced the PSOE to make a pact with JUNTS so that its seven votes would contribute to the investiture of President Pedro Sánchez. This has forced him to accept an amnesty law with which, soon, all those persecuted by the “lawfare” (judicial warfare using fraudulently the law) of the Spanish justice system will be free of any accusation. Among them, the Catalan president Carles Puigdemont, who in 2017 organised the referendum on self-determination, was illegally deposed by the Spanish government and had to go into exile in Belgium to avoid being unjustly imprisoned.

At the beginning of this election campaign, the PSC (the Catalan PSOE) was leading the polls because the majority of the non-independence vote is concentrated in this party. A little further behind were the two big pro-independence parties, ERC and JUNTS. But then Puigdemont announced that he was standing as a candidate and that he would return triumphantly to Spain for the investiture with the protection of the amnesty he has managed to wrest from Spain. Then voting intentions began to shift towards JUNTS and closer and closer to the PSC.

The thing is that Puigdemont is the number one enemy of Spanish nationalism and arouses great fear in Spain, because he represents insubordination to the state and has not been able to be subdued. This is why, at the start of the election campaign, Pedro Sánchez surprised everyone with a reckless and disturbing juggling act. Without warning, he published a letter on social media announcing that he was very upset with the extreme right because his wife was accused of corruption. And he announced that he was giving himself five days to reflect on whether he should leave the presidency. Sánchez had always denied the claims of the pro-independence movement that they had been victims of “lawfare”, with the mantra that Spain is a state governed by the rule of law. But now he has acknowledged that, in Spain, judicial dirty war is being practised.

The country was left on the edge of the precipice, waiting for the president’s decision. After five days he affirmed that he would continue and, taking advantage of the state of shock, tried to call on his followers to vote in the Catalan elections with the justification of demonstrating to the extreme right that Pedro Sánchez has the support of the people. With this manipulative strategy, Sánchez managed to increase the PSC’s voting intentions and stay ahead of Puigdemont.

But as the elections approach, it seems that this trend of PSC growth has stalled and, on the other hand, the pro-independence electorate is concentrating its vote on Puigdemont. We shall see who ends up winning… . In any case, even if Puigdemont does not come out on top, it is possible that he will be the only one to obtain a majority to be invested as president of Catalonia. In this case: how will Spain react to a person it has persecuted so viscerally? Will it respect the will expressed at the ballot box or will it give free rein to its repressive nationalism?

Jordi Oriola Folch

Barcelona, Catalonia


Anti-Israel College Protests

To the Editor:

The great college protest of today is against the only democracy in the Middle East. Israel is also the only non-apartheid country in the Middle East. Don’t believe me? As a Christian or a Jew, try living in one of the Muslim countries as an equal citizen. When Israel was founded in 1948, it had 700,000 Arab citizens, but due to the awful genocide, there are now approximately 2,200,000 Arab Israelis. They are full citizens.

Students are yelling slogans, displaying signs to stop the Israeli genocide in Gaza. And yet, it is Israel that has phoned ahead, dropped leaflets, warned whole neighborhoods that they were targeted—because Hamas was using them to launch attacks (a war crime). In the early days, Hamas tried to block citizens from evacuating!

When asked about civilian casualties in Gaza, Hamas leadership said, “the more the better.” Is 10,000 too many? The answer, “100,000 would be better”! Why hasn’t Hamas used its billions to build bomb shelters for civilians? “That’s the UN’s job.”

Hamas wants to produce as many civilian casualties as possible! Good PR. Hamas fighters, rockets, guns, ammunition, tunnel entrances are purposely located in mosques, schools, hospitals and residential buildings (war crimes).

Today, May 6th, Hamas rocketed the Kerem Shalom border crossing where Israel was sending aid to Gaza. Four Israelis were killed. Israel had to close the crossing.

The current conflict started with Hamas’ Oct 7 massacre. Their object was to kill as many Israeli civilians as possible (a war crime) and take prisoners, mainly civilians (a war crime). And, Hamas has promised it would mount such attacks again and again!

The Gaza war is nowhere as simple and one-sided as anti-Israeli slogans insist.

Michael Frandzel

Portsmouth, N.H.


We agree with your final sentence, but believe it is incomplete. We’ll just leave it at that.

The Editor


Police in Tactical Gear on UNH Campus?!

To the Editor:

I cannot believe that I am seeing images of police, SWAT & what appear to be uniformed military in camouflage tactical gear & helmets in front of Thompson Hall at UNH scattering or arresting students protesting the violence in the occupied territories of Palestine. As many have observed & commented on, youth & students were not wrong protesting U.S. military action in Vietnam & they are not wrong now. An armed militia, the majority of whom if not all, were post college adults, was allowed to assemble en masse for hours on public federal property at the president’s beckoning & then ransacked the U.S. Capitol threatening legislators, uniformed security & staff & no reinforcements were sent for hours. We allow violent protest of our own government in our own country resulting in the deaths of innocent people & millions of dollars in damages, but do not allow peaceful protest of a foreign government in our own country!?….

What is happening in Gaza is an injustice, plain & simple. It is disproportionate & extreme. Israeli policy & U.S. support of it is wrong. You cannot exterminate a people & hope to create goodwill & a lasting peace where the two people can live & work side by side. It is not antisemitic to condemn the action of Israel, the U.S. & any others supporting the carpet bombing & oppression of innocent Palestinians. Hate speech against Jews specifically is not what is happening here & to conflate, confuse & politicize that fact is not in the best interests of Jews generally, Israel or finding a good solution to this crisis.

This is like the Red Scare & McCarthyism all over again the way colleges, students & administrators are being attacked, persecuted, hauled into court or before Congress & directed to suppress expressions of protest. We do have the right to express our own values & opinions in the United States of America.

Israel is no longer a fledgling nation surrounded by hostiles, reeling from the devastation of World War II and trying to create a modern state for Jews in the desert of Palestine. Israel has had its own U.S. sponsored Marshall Plan since 1948. They are an advanced country with a powerful cultural, military & economic infrastructure. Their alliance with the U.S. & other powers ensures that is unlikely they will ever be on the losing end of a confrontation & most of their adversaries at this point are trade partners & prepared to sign new treaties. No country no matter how advanced, sophisticated, militarized or autocratic is immune from terrorist actions or war making. It happens here in the U.S. You can make war & kill without using bombs & guns. Exploitation & dispossession do not make for friendly & cooperative relations between anybody. After 76 years it is time to stand up a functioning sovereign Palestinian state that can be a partner for an enduring peace & prosperity in the region.

Doug Greene

Kittery, Me.


Fire That Cannon!

Dear Editor,

Judge Aileen Cannon’s decision to indefinitely postpone Trump’s trial for stealing and mis-handling government secrets is an attack on Justice. Not bringing the former president to account for his dangerous behavior also attacks our national security. With boxes of top secret documents stacked in his bathroom and elsewhere, there is no accounting for who may have seen sensitive military secrets. Indeed, we don’t know whether the former president tried to trade some of those secrets for his personal benefit, as befits his character and previous schemes.

Prosecutor Jack Smith ought to call for a replacement judge. The judge’s bias favoring Trump has been exposed by several of her decisions that were subsequently reversed by the higher Appellate Court. American voters need to know before the election whether this candidate engaged in traitorous disregard for our national security. Top secrets about nuclear weapons and foreign agents must be kept secret.

Bruce Joffe

Piedmont, Calif.


If it were up to us, Cannon would be thrown off the bench and disbarred, to boot.

The Editor


Follow the Money

To the Editor:

I think that there is little doubt that Hamas did some very bad things when it attacked Israel on the 7th of October, but to say that their attack was unprovoked ignores the several decades of Israeli oppression of Gaza and its occupants.

The Israeli response has been out of proportion to the injuries to her citizens on the 7th of October. As our history has shown in Great Britain in 1940 or Viet Nam in the 1960’s, bombing of civilian targets does not make the people bombed less committed to fight, but tends to harden their resolve.

The IDF (and many “chicken-hawk” apologists in the U.S.) claims that these are so-called precision weapons, but anyone who has been in the vicinity of a bomb attack knows that the burst radius of these bombs is several meters and can easily destroy a building where it strikes. They also use 2000 pound bombs to penetrate into the Hamas tunnel complexes. The U.S. experience in Viet Nam clearly shows that tunnels can survive even large bomb attacks.

The IDF may not have paid attention to the experience of history, but the IDF people I have known are not stupid, which leads to another idea—do they know that these weapons are causing massive civilian casualties and that is the idea? Certainly some of their civilian leaders have expressed the intention of completely eliminating Hamas and that everyone in Gaza is an ally of Hamas. That would seem to me to be the definition of genocide. The isolation of Gaza from even the most elementary humanitarian aid adds credence to this interpretation.

If either of these possibilities—the IDF is stupid or the Israeli government is intent on genocide of the Palestinians—is correct, then why are we supporting them? The Israelis say they are going to do this on their own, but it certainly seems that the majority of these “advanced weapons” come from the United States. U.S. law specifically prohibits providing weapons to countries that attempt genocide or violations of human rights. The White House and DOD claims that they don’t find any indication of genocidal intentions or violations of human rights ring very hollow. It is time for the current Administration to stop the charade of defending Israel against Hamas and stop providing wepons to Israel until they make a realistic attempt to end this war. Could it be AIPAC money and the U.S. weapon manufacturers lobbying are swaying our politicians?

Dannen Mannschreck, MD

Colonel, U.S. Army (ret.)

Barrington N.H.


Your question could easily be turned around: is there any reason to think that AIPAC money and lobbying by U.S. weapons manufacturers is not swaying our politicians?

Now let’s take it one more step: If that money is having no effect, why is it being spent?

The Editor


Kristi Noem’s Motive Uncovered?

To the Editor:

Donald Trump has a long history of controversial remarks about women. Our previous knowledge of his view of women has been confirmed and expanded by the sordid trial happening in New York. Obviously, he disdains, disrespects and dismisses at least one half of the human race (and many more if you consider his racist comments about people of color.)

His narcissistic lack of empathy and concern for people who are different from him disqualifies him for the presidency of the United States. And besides that, he doesn’t like dogs!

Women, the men who love and respect them, and dog lovers must unite in November to keep this man out of office. He is a despicable and selfish human being who craves power and doesn’t give a whit about this country or other people.

Cynthia Muse

Rye, N.H.


Your letter gave us a perfect opportunity to indulge in our favorite exercise: jumping to conclusions.

Through the use of that method we have divined that the reason Kristi Noem publicized her killing of her dog Cricket was to increase the odds Trump would make her his Vice President!

The Editor

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