Traverse City Record-Eagle

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February 8, 2014

Letters to the Editor: 02/08/2014

Liabilities to worry about

An article in the Record-Eagle pointed out that in 30 years the unfunded liabilities of the state health insurance program would add up to $12.7 billion, meaning that funds are not regularly being set aside to cover the future costs of the program.

Social Security is often cited as having an unfunded liability by those who want to privatize it; they usually fail to mention that the liability does not start to occur for 30 years.

Why do you never hear defense spending called unfunded liability? Yet, at $700 billion a year in 30 years the unfunded liability of the Pentagon will be about $21 trillion. Since Reagan’s cold war and Bush’s hot wars, it is borrowed money that has funded the Pentagon. The “unfunded liability” of the Pentagon’s past 20 years is clearly visible as the National Debt.

Also as unfunded liabilities are the nation’s infrastructure problems, leaking pipes, weakened bridges, contaminated water and air that sooner or later must be paid for.

The tea party should worry more about the condition of the climate and the infrastructure that we are passing on to our grandchildren than they do about the national debt.

R. E. Reinert

Northport

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