Opinion

Letters to the Editor - Sen. Charles Grassley, Social Security, redistricting, abortion

Readers support term limits for politicians; disagree with Scott Burns about Social Security’s status; don’t agree with an election recount in Texas; don’t like the changes proposed for Senate District 16; comment on an op-ed about abortion; and praise The Watchdog columnist and an op-ed writer.

Time for term limits

We have 88-year-old Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, announcing he is running for reelection. “We have work to do,” he said.

This is why we need term limits and new thinking. Forty years in office. This is how power is concentrated, voices go unheard and our republic suffers.

When Republicans held the Senate, Grassley was chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, a position that gave him significant influence in pushing through the nominations of dozens of judges during the Trump presidency as well as three Supreme Court justices. The power continues, and the world looks on.

Tom Polston, McKinney

Not broke, not borrowing

Re: “Social Security has a cash in, cash out issue,” by Scott Burns, Sunday Business column.

I was sorry to see Burns joining the other arsonists fanning the blaze of panic over Social Security. He says that Social Security is “borrowing” money from the Treasury, as if it were broke. It isn’t broke and it isn’t “borrowing” when it cashes in Treasury bills that the trust fund owns. As Burns mentions in passing, Social Security owns $2.8 trillion in T-bills. T-bills are the safest investment in the world. Cashing a bond is the opposite of “borrowing.”

Burns also mentions in passing that Social Security rules have been adjusted in the past. There is plenty of time to make any adjustments that may become necessary. The obvious adjustment, which Burns never seems to mention, is to allow wealthy earners to pay Social Security taxes all year the way the rest of us do.

Gene Lantz, Dallas

Map gets thumbs down

Why is part of North Dallas being removed from Dallas County and merged with two mostly rural counties in the proposed 2021 Texas redistricting process for voting purposes? Texas Senate District 16 is urban and diverse. Both Wise and western Denton counties are predominately rural and mostly white.

I believe the proposed map is gerrymandering. Period! Regardless of political affiliation, the proposed map for Senate District 16 is a travesty for all who live in this Senate district.

District 16 now looks more like today’s Texas. The proposed redistricting map for District 16 looks like Texas of 100-plus years ago. I live in Dallas County, and I pay taxes in Dallas County. My state senator should also live where I live, an urban section of a large urban city, not in a distant rural town. (Cities in Wise County are about 60 miles from North Dallas.) The irony of this proposed map is that people in North Dallas cannot even get to Wise County without going through either Tarrant or Denton counties!

Please comment on this proposed redistricting here: https://senate.texas.gov/redistrictingcomment.

Kay Maxwell, North Dallas

No evidence of fraud

I am aggravated that the Texas Legislature is providing funds for an election recount, including in Collin County where I live. Why? President Joe Biden already won this election and the former president carried the state of Texas and Collin County. There has been no evidence anywhere of widespread fraud that could have turned the election results.

This recount is about nothing more than the attempt to soothe the wounded ego of a vengeful former president This money should be spent on more pressing matters, such as ensuring our power grid can withstand another large winter storm.

Grady Muldrow, McKinney

Drawing a line on abortion

Re: “Can we please be honest when discussing abortion? Abbott’s comments are evidence of a lack of concern for the facts of pregnancy,” by Julieta Chiquillo, Sunday Opinion.

I appreciate Chiquillo’s column regarding honesty while discussing abortion, but she forgot to mention the other half of the debate. While a six-week deadline for dealing with an unexpected pregnancy is indeed draconian, we need to set reasonable and humane limits on how late an abortion can be performed. Polling has indicated that a large majority of Americans are very uncomfortable with allowing abortions after earliest viability (in our modern medical age, around 22 weeks), with many drawing a red line after the first trimester (16 weeks).

Sixteen weeks — almost four months — is ample time to detect a pregnancy and make family planning decisions. I would find it a lot easier to consider the arguments of abortion advocates if they were transparent about where they draw the line on abortions. Once upon a time, the party line on abortions was to make them “safe, legal and rare.” Now it feels the most rabid of the pro-choice crowd want them unrestricted, omnipresent and paid for by taxpayers. There has to be a middle ground.

Beverly Lowry, Dallas/Old Preston Hollow

What about men’s responsibility?

Women are protesting the heartbeat bill with enthusiasm. I can see why. What puzzles me is, where is the responsibility of men in this issue? Near as I know, there is a man involved in every pregnancy but we restrict the freedom of women with never a word about the responsibility of men.

What is the problem, governor? You can pursue voting fraud with a vengeance in the almost total absence of evidence that it exists. Yet you, and your male-dominated Legislature, are determined to punish women and let the men go free. Get real, governor.

Fred Leo Christen, Dallas

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