I would like someone to explain to me why two retirement systems are needed in America. There is the Social Security system for those who have worked their whole lives and contributed into, and then there is the system that Congress has contrived for itself that seems to be slightly more lucrative.

Many Americans, with the exception of Congress, have taken a hit in the pocketbook, by losing their jobs or their houses or helping to pay back loans to banks and companies (whose first payments went to CEOs to be sure they got their cut).

I have a very simple solution to the Social Security crisis: one retirement system for all Americans. Not one for the politicians and one for the masses.

I would wager that if that happened, the one system would have more than enough funds to last to the next century and beyond.

One other item that needs attention is that members of Congress have been able to vote themselves raises. There are three divisions in the federal government for a reason. At least, have the executive or judicial branch vote on it and make it contingent on whether anything has been accomplished in the past year.

If it were contingent on performance, Congress certainly wouldn’t have warranted a raise for the past year. The sad fact is, those raises are for more money than some Americans earn in a year.

Dana Stevens, Sumner

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