Christie keynote speech

mostly about Christie

Was it just me, or could you also not tell whether Gov. Chris Christie's keynote address at the Republican National Convention was to promote Mitt Romney's candidacy - or to promote Christie's own candidacy in 2016?

STEVEN M. CLAYTON

Ocean Township

Change to a council

in Long Beach Twp.

Long Beach Township has three leaders - Mayor Joseph Mancini and Commissioners Joseph Lattanzi and Ralph Bayard - who are doing a fine job. I just wonder if our form of government shouldn't be changed to a five-member Township Council, which could better represent the separate segments of our split-up community.

We have Holgate, a large area from North Beach Haven to Brant Beach, North Beach, Loveladies, and High Bar Harbor. These elements of LBT could each have their own representative on a five-member council, one of whom would be the mayor.

Our current board is doing an excellent job of governing, but our system is such that we do allow others to participate and seek office to represent us. This election, Greg Kopenhaver of Brant Beach is running for election, and I will be voting for him. He is a retired police officer from Philadelphia, is very politically astute, always listens to people's suggestions and is very involved in LBT affairs.

I urge all registered voters in LBT to exercise their right to vote in the Nov. 6 municipal elections.

HANK DiPASQUALE

Brant Beach

Where are these people

called corporations?

There's a very puzzling aspect to the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision that corporations are people, and that corporate money given to political campaigns constitutes "speech."

I've never seen a corporation in my doctor's or dentist's waiting room. I've never seen a corporation shopping in the supermarket. Has your child ever had a corporation as his or her teacher? I've never dined in an establishment in which a corporation was seated at another table. Or where my waiter or waitress was a corporation.

Have you ever seen a corporation in your place of worship? Has a corporation ever addressed your congregation?

I've never seen a corporation driving a vehicle, or riding a bike, or walking the streets of my town. Have you ever attended a movie or other entertainment event where a corporation was seated next to you, or anywhere in the audience?

As far as I know, there is not a single corporation sitting on any local, state, or national governing body in the entire United States (although, given the influence of corporations, there may as well be).

Where are these "people"? Do they live in seclusion? Do they shun public appearances because they have something to hide?

JIM DAVIS

Avalon

Romney's tax returns

shouldn't be an issue

I'm pretty sure that both Barack Obama and Mitt Romney hire tax accountants to ensure that they avail themselves of every available provision in the tax law to lower the amount of taxes that they pay. If Romney did something illegal, he should be prosecuted. Otherwise, I don't see why this is a campaign issue. Romney has never been a member of Congress, which is responsible for the income-tax laws.

If 47 percent of tax filers in the United States pay no income tax, then who isn't paying their fair share? Shouldn't the voters be more concerned about how Obama spends their tax dollars than how Romney spends the money he made?

FRANKLIN A. KURTZ

Cape May Point

Ryan Medicare plan

costly, unnecessary

People are generally not aware of the detrimental impacts of Rep. Paul Ryan's budget plan on their own personal finances.

Regarding Medicare, the premise of the Ryan plan is that Medicare spending is "breaking the federal budget" and needs to be "reformed." Actually the part of Medicare funding that comes from the general tax revenue budget (where the deficit problem is) is now at 15 percent of those annual revenues and projected by the Congressional Budget Office to remain at that percentage, not breaking any budgets at all.

Nevertheless, under the proposed Ryan plan, Medicare insurance would be replaced with an annual voucher (initially $8,000) going toward the cost of buying private health insurance. The elderly would have to put in their own additional money and buy private health insurance. The CBO estimates that the added new cost to a 65-year-old to buy such health insurance would be about $6,400 a year. This new out-of-pocket cost would increase to $12,000 for a 75-year-old, and to $14,000 a year for a 77-year-old, the average age of seniors.

The vast majority of seniors could not afford this, leaving many uninsured. In addition, there is no requirement in the plan that private insurers have to offer a policy to a particular senior, especially those with pre-existing health conditions. This is a throwback to post World War II days when families were going broke trying to keep their moms and dads alive and well, which started the drive toward Medicare.

Recently, Ryan added a buy-in to Medicare as an option, seemingly as a comfort to future seniors, But this is a ruse. Private insurers, as they have done in Medicare Advantage Plans and elsewhere, will select the healthiest seniors to minimize their payouts. The ill ones will have to choose to stay in Medicare, but because Medicare insurance will now be populated by unhealthy, costly seniors, the Medicare buy-in cost will skyrocket and also become financially out of reach of most unhealthy seniors.

Ryan's plan that Medicare needs to be replaced is not grounded in deficit facts or societal need. It should be resoundingly set aside at the ballot box in November, so the country can address its real problems of jobs, income growth, opportunity and quality of life with rational, practical solutions that actually work.

ROBERT STERN

Beach Haven