Most will lose money

under Social Security plan

Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan and Frank LoBiondo have been strangely silent on Social Security, especially since this was a major part of Ryan's "Roadmap for America's Future."

Their premise is that Social Security "won't be there" for younger workers. Actually, the Congressional Budget Office predicts benefit payouts to future retirees will be better, adjusted for inflation, than those today. For example, a middle-income worker retiring in 2050 would receive $19,000 a year versus $18,000 for those retiring now. So the current program is far from "broken."

Nevertheless, under Ryan's plan, Social Security would be partially privatized, traditional benefit payments would be reduced, and the full payment retirement age would be raised to 69 by 2080. Under the plan, the traditional Social Security benefit will be cut even if you don't invest in a private account, by 39 percent for a middle-income worker. The traditional benefit will go away completely if you invest the maximum allowed, even though you would still be paying 1.15 percent of your salary into the traditional program and your employer would continue to pay 6.25 percent - unless the employer contribution is eliminated, which some suspect is the real motivation here.

Can a private investment account make up for these cuts?

Even with historically optimistic annual stock market returns (5.1 percent per year above the inflation rate), lower-income workers could not invest enough over 40 years to make up for the cuts in the traditional program. Middle income workers could match but not do any better than the current program. Higher income workers (those earning more than $110,000) could exceed the current program's payouts by about 17 percent.

At more modest - and realistic - returns (a 2.5 percent average above inflation), benefits for low-income workers would be 75 percent less than the current program's. Middle-income earners would get 58 percent less. Higher income workers would lose 50 percent compared to the current program.

Privatizing Social Security is unnecessary. It should be resoundingly set aside at the ballot box in November.

ROBERT STERN

Beach Haven

PBS programming

could educate Romney

In saying he wants to end government funding of the Public Broadcasting Service, even though "I like Big Bird," Mitt Romney seems to equate PBS with childish entertainment. Apparently he doesn't know that PBS is called "America's largest classroom" because its programs educate people of all ages.

For example, by viewing PBS programs such as "Frontline," Romney might learn that many Americans don't pay income taxes because they have lost their jobs since Romney's companies have outsourced their work to other countries.

EARL WARMAN

Atlantic City

Who won debate?

Independent voters

Who won the first presidential debate? Independents.

President Barack Obama fought off blistering attacks from Republican candidate Mitt Romney. The president stuck to his main points for rebuilding the economy while defending saving government programs instead of scrapping them all for tax cuts for the wealthy. He remained calm and cool rather than rushing to make the next "zinger."

Independents actually respect facts, not baseless attacks. Independents pay attention to policy analysis, and they want a detailed plan for the economy that is based on sound principles.

Romney debated well. He spoke fast, interrupted the moderator, and added much-needed organization to his thoughts in his closing argument. He spoke to the moderates of his party by recommending a less extreme approach to cutting needed government programs like education, Social Security and health care. The problem is that much of what Romney said conflicts directly with his own party line and positions on the economy that his party has promoted for the past four years. Romney has even been fact-checked by his own campaign - damage control to reign in promises made at the debate.

Obama may have "lost" the debate, but independents will win the war. Independents will ultimately choose a candidate who sticks to the facts and lays out specifics. They will not follow a candidate who drastically changes his position for the sake of convenience.

LUCAS T. NASCIMENTO

Ventnor

Interview experience

shows A.C. cronyism

Recently, I had a job interview at an agency in Atlantic City. I am qualified for the position, but I don't think I'm going to get the job.

While I was waiting in the lobby to be interviewed, a very rude woman was speaking to another employee, and, while using profane language, very loudly said, "That position is already slated, (so and so) is bringing their friend in. I dont know why they waste their time bringing people in off the street."

I think that was unprofessional and uncalled-for. There is no reason to make me feel uncomfortable. I am only trying to obtain gainful employment, and I should not have to endure that type of treatment. No wonder this city is so corrupted.

GIL CEDENO

Atlantic City