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Biden is right on Social Security benefits

Vice President Joe Biden  |  AP file photo

Vice President Joe Biden | AP file photo

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Updated: November 18, 2012 7:02AM

I am a 75-year old middle-class American. At age 16, for my part-time after-school and summer jobs, I obtained my Social Security card and began paying into the system. For 50 years until I retired, I paid into the trust fund and when I graduated to full-time work, I paid the maximum in payroll taxes, every year.

Later, as a semi-retired, self-employed training program designer, I was still paying into the trust fund. A few years ago, as a retiree, I began receiving the benefit of my investment.

It irks me when I hear some politician complain that my Social Security income is an “entitlement.” That is, as Joe Biden expressed in his debate, malarkey! Social Security is an insurance system where one who has paid the premium for dozens of years gains a paid-up policy. I paid thousands and thousands of dollars into the trust fund.

When that person, like me, begins receiving the return on that investment, it isn’t an entitlement. It is an earned benefit. Don’t let anyone tell you differently. Especially some politician who might be now, and very probably will be in the future, receiving his or her earned benefits.

Vern Lee, Willowbrook

Get rapid-transit buses rolling

The Illinois Medical District, located between Ashland and Western, employs more than 20,000 people and welcomes 75,000 daily visitors. Thousands of our employees, patients and visitors rely on public transportation to get to and from work, receive medical attention or visit loved ones receiving care. It is imperative that the nations’ largest urban medical district is able to rely on a robust transportation network. After reviewing the Bus Rapid Transit program and learning the success it has had in other cities, the Illinois Medical District supports this faster, more efficient transportation initiative.

The introduction of bus rapid transit service on Ashland and Western avenues — two very congested streets — would allow users to easily access the district, whether to receive world-class care from our doctors and medical professionals or simply to commute to work more easily.

Warren Ribley, executive director,

Illinois Medical District Commission

A novel idea

Steve Huntley should consider shifting the focus of his literary talents to that of fiction. He’s almost there anyway.

Tony Galati, Lemont

Read the history

I would like to respond to an Oct. 1 article written by Neil Steinberg, “So where has Farrakhan led his Nation?” in which he disparages the Honorable Marcus Mosiah Garvey.

Steinberg calls “Garvey champion of the moldy idea that blacks aren’t part of America and can find success only by forming their own society, ideally back in Africa.

Steinberg fails to convey the reason Garvey or any leader would take such a position. Steiberg fails to convey the racist climate of colonialism in Africa. He fails to address the oppressive, brutal, separate but surely not equal “Jim Crow” system in America.

These are some of the reasons why the Great Marcus Mosiah Garvey advocated that we should do for self. When he visited Costa Rica, Panama, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Honduras, Columbia, Venezuela, America, all that he saw was black suffering!

Contrary to Neil’s opinion, the Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League was a huge success: from 2 ,000 members in 1917 to 6 million members by 1925, with 900 branches all over the world..

Read the history for yourself!

Maceo Leon Thomas, Loop

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