To McCarthy, Capps
Here is the text of a letter I sent to Rep. Lois Capps and Rep. Kevin McCarthy:
“I have an idea. Our economy is more fragile then it has been since the 1930s, and public confidence in Congress is at an all-time low. The behavior of Congress in the month leading up to the debt ceiling vote was deplorable and shattered the confidence of the voters (and the credit rating agencies).
“So, here is my idea. Both of you are home on recess so why don’t the two of you appear together in a town meeting format somewhere in San Luis Obispo County before you head back to Washington, D.C.? It would give us a chance to ask questions and give you both our feedback.
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“The problems we face are extraordinarily serious and urgent. No more gridlock. We need action now.”
What I didn’t say in my letter was, why are our congressional representatives so eager to have town meetings when they are running for office and not so eager to have them when they are not?
Lee Van Leeuwen
San Luis Obispo
The police and fire unions are arguing that they want fair negotiations, fair pay and fair pension. Police and fire get 3 percent at 50, meaning they get 3 percent of their most recent annual earnings, multiplied by the number of service years, at age 50. By age 50 they could be receiving 90 percent of their salary annually, for the rest of their lives (3 percent x 30 years = 90).
My latest Social Security statement informs me that if I work until my full retirement (67 years old) I will receive $30,312 annually. The only reason I will get this is because I pay 6.2 percent of my earnings into Social Security. By age 67, I will have been working for 47 years.
If I want 90 percent of my salary at retirement, I will need to contribute an additional 18 percent to my 401(k) to supplement my Social Security benefits. That means 24.2 percent of my earnings goes to retirement. But it may not last the rest of my life.
Fair? No, it isn’t fair.
San Luis Obispo
Schools not ready
Regarding Cynthia Lambert’s Aug. 15 article “Lucia Mar ready for a new year,” there seems to be an omission.
While it is true that vital credentialed employees were brought back after receiving layoff notices, the classified employees, such as library technicians, classroom instructional assistants and computer lab technicians, were not given their hours and/or jobs back after having been cut this year.
As a former student in the district and a daughter of an elementary school librarian in the district, I have seen and heard how classified employees interact with students on a daily basis. With her hours cut, my mother will not be able to keep the library doors open before and after school — as she has previously done — and the library will be completely closed on Fridays.
The district has yet to resolve its budgeting issues and, with reduced access to libraries and computer labs, I do not believe they are “ready for the new year.”