An Oct. 27 letter to the editor attempted to discredit Sen. John McCain’s character and accomplishments. The response that comes to mind is that one should not try to be a fisherman unless he has walked in the shoes of one.
I’m a 1968 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy. The writer should understand that 30 percent or more of every academy class leaves before graduation, primarily because of academic failure (and these were the best of the best high schoolers). McCain graduated.
The writer should try to fly a combat jet laden with rockets and bombs over enemy territory and then return to an aircraft carrier at night before denigrating McCain by calling him a “hot shot fly boy.”
The writer should read McCain’s personal story in his own words. In his book, “Faith of My Fathers,” he describes his strengths and weaknesses. I would rely on this before a Rolling Stone magazine report on him.
Could it be that McCain reflects the character, discipline and strength of a real American hero, rather than a serial draft dodger?
No deficit fix
President Donald Trump and Congress are talking about their tax plan, but there’s little discussion about the federal deficit. My response? Think of the Carole King song, “It’s Too Late.”
That song was released in 1971, when the cumulative federal deficit was almost $400 billion. I recognized the $533 billion federal deficit as intractable when I graduated from college in 1975. (Yes, I’m ancient.)
Had Washington, D.C., committed itself to solving the deficit in 1971 or 1975, or even in the Reagan era, we might have had a chance. But now? It’s too late, baby.
We’ll have to inflate our way out of it, the way every other financially derelict nation has done throughout financial history.
Help foster kids
I know many people think the foster care system is broken. There are ways almost all adults can open their hearts to these children:
▪ Support others who are or will become foster or adoptive parents. It may not be right for you, but you can still help others along their journey.
▪ Encourage your children to complete service projects or small acts of kindness for children in need.
▪ Contribute to donation drives (such as back-to-school or holiday) for local foster care agencies.
▪ Become an advocate or mentor for children in need.
▪ Send a care package to a young adult who has aged out of foster care.
▪ Businesses can also support children in care or in need of adoption. Provide free or discounted services to foster families. Consider hosting the photo gallery from the Adopt Kansas Kids’ website. Offer space at your building for foster care agency events.
Undertaking any of these efforts will make a difference in the life of a child, but you might be surprised by the difference it makes in you.
Earned, not given
As a member of the federal community who served our country for 38 years, I am deeply concerned that my hard-earned benefits will be cut to offset proposed tax policy changes. I ask my representative and senators to oppose such cuts to the federal community.
I based my career and retirement planning on longstanding, promised benefit calculations. Any cuts to what I earned break that promise and denigrate the value of public service.
The claim that these cuts to my earned benefits would put the federal government more in line with the benefits in private industry is nothing to brag about. Just because private industry has chosen to abandon pensions and health care for employees and retirees in order to feed the greed of outlandish rewards to executives and stockholders does not make it a righteous banner of honor to emulate.
Congress is debating reforms to our tax code. Paying for touted middle-tax relief on the backs of middle-class federal employees and retirees is wrong.
My retirement and health benefits were earned through years of hard work. They are not gifts to rescind.
Louis G. Bornman Jr.
National legislative chair
Kansas Federation of
National Active and
Retired Federal Employees
Here I agree
In her commentary, “Poll says most white people feel oppressed. You don’t know the meaning of the word” (Oct. 27, 14A), Jeneé Osterheldt does make one valid point: “Bias is often so deeply rooted in our psyche we don’t even know it’s there.”