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Letter: Return power to the people

To the Editor:

Our politicians are cowards who lack the intestinal fortitude to deal with the real issues which threaten our nation. Washington, D.C., is dysfunctional and filled with incompetent people who govern based upon donations from lobbyists, public opinion polling and political correctness.

It’s time Americans deal with the tough issues rather than continue to kick the can down the road to the next election cycle.

Social Security has been pillaged by career politicians, with the help of lobbyists and those who have learned to use and abuse the system like parasites. We cannot trust the people who have cut holes in our retirement safety net to mend them. We cannot trust the political insiders who have sold our seniors down the river to enact legislation to stop the ship from sinking to the bottom.

According the Congressional Budget Office, the Disability Insurance Fund will run out this year or in 2017 and Social Security will become insolvent within 14 years. Due to the increasing elderly population and rising benefits, Social Security spending will climb, on average, 6 percent annually. In 2013, 46 million retirees collected benefits; that will surge to 63 million in the next decade.

If you listen to the other 2nd Congressional District candidates or read their propaganda, one can ascertain that none of them is talking about this issue.

As a small-business owner who serves seniors every day, I know the struggles they face in stretching Social Security checks every month. Not only has Washington failed to live up to its end of the social contract, it has stolen our buying power through inflation. This isn’t only felt by those on fixed income, but also on the middle class, who have seen costs rise dramatically on everything from health insurance, to housing, to college education, to the price of a cup of coffee, while our incomes have remained stagnant and interest rates on savings are non-existent.

Our Founders envisioned a Congress made up of intelligent, reasonable people from all walks of life. They didn’t want a nation ruled by the elite, the politically connected or by those who had enough money in their checkbooks to buy a seat, like the other 2nd District candidates. We need to return this power to the people. Who will stand up for the elderly and the working man against these powerful forces? The choice seems clear.

Matthew D. Erickson

Cottage Grove, Minn.