Editor, The Commercial:
I have worked all of my life and paid into Social Security and Medicare. Social Security is the majority of the income I receive. I depend on Medicare and Medicaid for my health coverage.
Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid work for Jefferson County. According to government records more than 20% of the people living in Jefferson County receive Social Security benefits worth $185,000,000 each year. Social Security provides income to retirees, disabled workers, widows and children. All of this income is spent right here in the local economy.
About 18 percent of the people living in Jefferson County receive Medicare. Medicaid covers 37 percent of the population in Jefferson County and provides health coverage to children, seniors and people with disabilities. Both of these programs create jobs.
Cuts to any of these programs will hurt many people who live in Pine Bluff and have a disastrous effect on our struggling economy.
Instead of cuts, we need Congress to let the Bush tax cuts expire for the wealthiest people in our country. Revenue from the expiring tax cuts can help protect Medicare, Medicaid and other programs important to our city.
We do not need to reduce the cost of living adjustment for Social Security and raise the eligibility age for Medicare.