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Three things to help U.S.: Social Security, Medicare, infrastructure

You can help the president–elect improve the life of middle- and low-income Americans of all ages, in my opinion, by contacting U.S. Reps. Lou Barletta and Charlie Dent and U.S. Sens. Pat Toomey and Bob Casey (email/addresses conveniently located on the Viewpoints  page of the Press And Journal) asking the following: to legislatively strengthen Social Security, Medicare and the American infrastructure.

A person earning $300,000 a year contributes the same amount to Social Security as a person earning $118,500 a year.

Ask to ensure all persons are consistently and fairly contributing to Social Security each year.

Medicare has four parts. Three of the four (B, C and D) are just fine. However, Part A, which covers hospital visits, hospice care and nursing facilities, needs some tweaking because only 79 percent of the Part A expenses would be covered in 2040.  Part A is financed mainly through payroll contributions of 1.45 percent on earnings paid both by workers and employers, a tiny increase now will maintain the financial ability of Part A to deliver in 2040.

A permanent funding stream for American infrastructure improvements can be put in place with revenue that taxes corporate overseas profits. It is known as “repatriation,” and would require U.S. companies to bring back earnings to the United States at a 14 percent tax rate, generating an estimated $238 billion to pay for infrastructure improvements.

In my view, simple small steps will help middle and low income Americans of all ages.
Social Security is the baseline, safety net income that each American relies on and is expected to be there at retirement and everyone should pay their fair share now.

Medicare has an administrative overhead of 3 percent compared to the 2,300 U.S. health insurance companies with a 10 to 15 percent range.  

Our American infrastructure needs an infusion of permanent funds that is leaving America.
Please consider writing to your federal legislators to ask them to review and validate these numbers and give you a reason why they can’t support three simple improvements for all.                                                    

Don Hossler

Last Updated on Wednesday, 07 December 2016 16:35

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Why did P&J article publish negative items about ‘Huff’?

I read the David “Huff” Hoffman article in last week’s Press And Journal and it has weighed heavily on my mind ever since — so many questions.

 While the article began well, it fell short at the “Dailey Living” juncture.

 Shame on you for publishing such a demeaning piece about a deceased person who has no possibility of defending himself. I was shocked that the Press And Journal would print such hateful words about a deceased person under the guise of quotes.

I thought I was going to read a little about David Hoffman, the man I used to see around town for years, but never knew. Instead I read a self-praise story about his caregiver, inferring that he was doing God’s work and peppered with his remarks about Huff’s hygiene and thievery.

How did you verify that Huff was a thief? Or did you just assume it was OK to write those words because he’s not here to defend himself?

 Even if it was true, why would you publish those remarks and not use your power to edit?

To what point would you share such mean-spirited gossip and call it interesting?

These aren’t remarks about Huff being quirky. They are simply degrading. What merit is there in sharing gossip of this nature and who talks about the dead this way? Silly question since I just read the article in the Press And Journal.

 In your feeble attempt to entertain your readers, you seem to have lost sight of common decency. Speaking ill of the dead lacks regard and respect.

Brenda Via Rabuck

Last Updated on Wednesday, 07 December 2016 15:53

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New Thing’s 3rd anniversary is a blessed event

New Thing’s third anniversary is upon us, and we are so excited.

Dec. 1 will be the anniversary of our hard launch. So much has happened. Some expected. Some we could have never imagined, but then, that is the very nature of the God we serve.

Our hope three years ago was that we would be a place of connection for people in the neighborhoods of Highspire and Lower Swatara Township. Our hope was that we would reach people who had never had a relationship with Jesus and perhaps those who had abandoned the community of faith. That has happened. But we have been surprised that we have also become home for people from Middletown and Steelton. 

We have been surprised that God has allowed us to be a place of safety and healing for families with children on the autism spectrum, for people with physical and developmental disabilities, for survivors of domestic and child sexual abuse, for people in recovery from various addictions, for people experiencing life transitions. It is a place where the hopeless are finding hope, the rejected are finding acceptance, the broken are being healed.

It is also a place with a stronger sense of connection than we could have projected. Unlike many churches, a majority of New Thing people are very engaged in the life of the community of faith. Whether it is worship or Bible study or a mission project or participation in God’s Kitchen or an outreach event, New Thing people show up to participate and/or accomplish the goal. 

But it is not just members of New Thing who show up. We also have members of other communities of faith and people who don’t/won’t align themselves with any faith community who are committed to missions, Bible study and outreach at New Thing.

Throughout our three years, we have been blessed by the people we call “New Thing’s Army.” These are the people who come alongside us with prayer support, contributions of materials, helping hands and, yes, financial support. Some of these people we have never met. Some have moved to different ministries but still invest in all that God is doing here. Without all of you, New Thing would not be able to accomplish all that God has allowed us to accomplish.

We are located in an economically marginalized community. We have a core group of people who are committed to trusting God through tithing. Many of our folks struggle day by day to make ends meet, yet they are growing in their faithfulness, taking consistent steps to live into God’s call to stewardship. But we could not do all that we do without the help of so many others. 

We have learned that we serve a “just-in-time” God. Again and again, God has given us a vision, it has seemed to be impossible to accomplish, but just-in-time, the right combination of committed people and resources has come together to achieve the unimaginable. And we are beyond grateful.

JoAnn M. Darrow

lead pastor

New Thing Community

2285 W. Harrisburg Pike



Last Updated on Wednesday, 23 November 2016 15:31

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My candidate lost, but we wish Trump the best

I am thankful the Press And Journal gave space in the run up to the election for viewpoints in favor of each of the two principal candidates. This is especially important since two elected officials in the town vociferously came out for Donald Trump. 

We now know that the state of Pennsylvania flipped to red for the first time since the 1980s. 

If I feel crushed that my candidate, Hillary Clinton, lost, I can only imagine how she is feeling right now. Clinton won the popular vote and yet lost the election. 

Fortunately, she was gracious in defeat and the markets were encouraged by the calm meeting between President Barack Obama and President-elect Trump on Thursday. 

Writing in the Washington Post on Saturday, Colbert King said we have been speaking in euphemisms, being unwilling to say out loud we resented Obama and his family being in the White House for eight years.

“White people put Trump in the White House,” he wrote, noting that those who voted for Clinton are a diverse group. The so called “forgotten” white men in rural America, comprising a large part of Trump’s support, nevertheless were found to be earning on average $70,000.

I hope Middletown will continue to be a place where all will feel welcome and have a sense of belonging. The Blue Raider football team is an example of successful working together to reach a winning goal. Penn State students from near and far add much to our community and have made new business ventures possible. 

We all hope for the best when Trump is inaugurated in January.

Hermine Clouser


Last Updated on Tuesday, 15 November 2016 14:46

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I’ll build Historical Society railings for free

To the trustees of the Middletown Historical Society regarding their Nov. 2 letter to the editor:

Regarding your new treated lumber steps — if you like them, I’m happy for you. They go well with your plastic mini-blinds.

To anyone else who agrees with me that they are an architectural travesty, please support the zoning overlay being proposed to Borough Council.

The purpose of my original letter was to express my support for the overlay. I wasn’t trying to offend the well-meaning members of The Historical Society. Ironically, in a very pleasant phone conversation with a trustee of the Historical Society, she said that they also support the overlay. I guess that means they support it for everyone else.

In an attempt to avoid the unpleasantness of a letter-to-the-editor battle, I offered, in an email to the trustees, to pay to prepare plans for their approval; to provide all material, consisting of red mahogany, Western red cedar and Douglas fir and; to provide all labor to rebuild the steps, along with appropriate handrails, posts, caps and balustrade. 

This material (all to be purchased from Middletown Lumber, unlike your treated lumber) would be primed with three coats of paint (you don’t have to wait a year to paint good quality material) and be ready for a colored finish coat.

These suggested woods have been chosen throughout colonial times to the present because they hold up well to weather and, unlike treated lumber, they don’t twist, check, crack and splinter.

I guess my offer was rejected since I never received a response, other than the letter to the editor from all the trustees, defending their creation.

Finally, whether you received a building permit or not, the flat 2-by-4 stair rail doesn’t meet building code requirements for “graspability.” An actual, appropriately sized, enclosed hand rail should be added on both sides, inside your treated-lumber-railing-thing. I would be happy to supply and install these railings after submitting pictures for your approval, at no charge.

Herbert C. Moore


Last Updated on Tuesday, 08 November 2016 16:37

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