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Government still dawdling with fix to ‘notch baby’ problem

Monday, January 20, 2014
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Government still dawdling with fix to ‘notch baby’ problem

Recently my aunt, born in 1919, brought to my attention the concern she has about being a “notch baby.”

Not being familiar with that term, I looked through a folder she has kept over the years regarding those American citizens born between 1917 and 1921 who have received smaller Social Security benefits than other beneficiaries because of a faulty benefits formula passed by Congress in 1970. And, because of the gradual implementation of the 1970 legislation, the effects of the reduced benefits carried over to those born between 1923 and 1926.

In this folder was a letter written to your paper in 2011, addressing this issue. The writer was hoping that affected “notch babies,” totaling approximately 3 million Americans, would receive compensation of $5,000 (through proposed federal legislation) to somewhat offset the loss of benefits due to the faulty legislation. The writer stated that he hoped Congress would act before many more aging “notch babies” passed away.

Also in this folder was [a] letter written by my aunt two years ago to Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, who has a reputation for dealing effectively with all kinds of “people problems” in New York state. To this date, the letter has not been answered.

In this regard, I sent an email to Rep. Paul Tonko expressing concerns about this problem, and the hope that it would be resolved in the near future. As of this writing, I’ve received no response.

As of this writing, my aunt remains a “notch baby,” deprived of compensation over many years because of a U.S. government error. I truly hope that in the very near future, this long-standing problem will be resolved.

Robert Malin

Niskayuna

Global warming not rocket science, and it’s happening

After reading Gerald Havasy’s Jan. 16 letter, in which he doubts the scientifically substantiated facts of global warming, I can only shake my head in disbelief regarding how he and other people like him think when it comes to our planet’s atmosphere and how we humans are changing it.

I believe his way of thinking is harmful, especially when some nearsighted political figures are in agreement with him. If nothing else, that line of thinking helps Big Business energy suppliers continue their egregious, gluttonous, profiteering ways, in conjunction with spewing so many harmful pollutants into the atmosphere.

I would like to ask Mr. Havasy and people who follow his line of thinking on global warming a question: What do you suppose would happen if you went into your closed garage with a gasoline-powered lawn mower running for a few hours, and a thermometer? My guess would be the temperature would go up a degree or two, and the quality of the air wouldn’t be anything you or I would want to breath.

Now that I think about it, you may as well forget the thermometer, because after that experience it’s highly unlikely you would be able to read it, anyway.

Perhaps this is the “dose of reality” Mr. Havasy is looking for.

Louis Restifo

Schenectady

Military only follows orders from politicians

Richard Alvarez “[Jan. 13 letter, "Hawkish Gates was wrong about Obama, Biden”] apparently does not realize that war is an extension of politics. The military prosecutes a war as directed by the president and other civilians. The military cannot start or end a war — it can only advise and fight.

As for Joe Biden, he has very seldom been right on foreign policy. Nor has he ever served in any branch of the military, which might give him a little insight on wars.

Also a few years ago, Joe “B” had pieces of his brain removed because of a stroke, and he is a heartbeat away from being the leader. OMG!

Don Vanderwarker

Malta

Kind-hearted citizens are not a thing of the past

Yes, Virginia, there are wonderfully kind people about.

On a recent very cold morning, I drove my wife to have her hair done. When finished, I could not get my car started. A very kind client [of the salon] drove my wife home while I tried to call for help.

While I was trying to get AAA, a gentlemen came to pick up his wife and realized my predicament. He drove his wife home [then] came back to help me. Plus, a young man walking by eventually jump-started my car. (They told me to get in and drive without stopping, to have the battery replaced.)

They spent 40 minutes in the cold to help a senior. How very thankful am I.

Morris Weissman

Niskayuna

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