Retirees contributed for years to get S.S. benefits

Mar 4 2013 - 6:21pm


The opinion editorial published Mar. 2 entitled, "Another View: A time to lead" left me angry and rankled on two issues.

I am 67 years old and retired after over 40 years of working. I'm now living on a fixed income, part of which is my Social Security. I am very distressed about the fact that right-wingers consider Social Security and Medicare as nonessential and expendable. I, and my employers, have jointly paid into the federal Old-Age and Survivors Insurance Trust Fund (with emphasis on insurance and trust) my entire working life. The article echoes an increasingly prevalent, extremely insulting and negative implication that anyone collecting SSI payments is a freeloader. I still contribute to FICA through my retirement annuity for my hard-earned benefits. I earned them.

Issue 2: Every time I hear or read the words "Mr. Obama," I want to scream.  

President Obama is the highest elected official of our country and should be addressed with the honor that we, the American people, conferred upon him when we elected him in 2008. This Washington Post opinion article addresses him as Mr. Obama six times.  

This not-so-subtle method of disrespect is all too common. Journalists, in particular, should know better. The AP Stylebook dictates:

"AP Style doesn't use courtesy titles like Mr. It's the president or Obama on second reference. An exception would be if the courtesy title is used in a direct quote."

When in print or speaking in third person, initially he should be called President Obama or Barack Obama. If you're standing in the room with him, then it would be permissible and proper to address him as President Obama or Mr. President. After he is out of office, he will be known as Former President Obama until his death.

Drop Mr. Obama from your brain and don't use it anymore! It's an affront to our country, the office and President Obama.

Harold Lanier


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