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SMARTAct will save, transform entitlements

America is on the brink of a national fiscal and retirement-security crisis (“Tax-friendly entitlement Rx,” Commentary, Sunday). Social Security has a massive unfunded liability of $12 trillion, and in 2017 the program runs into the red as benefits paid exceed contributions. Together with Medicare and Medicaid, these entitlements constitute a massive one-third of the national budget.

Thankfully, successful reform can be found in new legislation from Rep. Jeff Flake, Arizona Republican, that will create accounts “Securing Medicare and Retirement for Tomorrow” (SMART). Mr. Flake’s SMART Act (H.R. 4181) will reform Social Security and Medicare together by establishing a personal Social Security savings program.

This innovative plan solves the crisis these debts created by gradually transitioning to a system where workers own their own retirement and health care security.

The bill allows every working man and woman the opportunity to become an owner and an investor, and to prepare for their retirement through the creation of large personal retirement accounts. These accounts would be funded by allowing workers to dedicate a significant portion of their payroll taxes to them.

It is good to see bold leadership from Mr. Flake, and it would be even better to see more members of Congress show support by co-sponsoring H.R. 4181, the SMART Act.


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Bush reclaiming rightful powers

Columnist Bruce Fein is filled with Bush hatred (“Vapid vassals,” Commentary, Tuesday). He claims that “Congress and the American people have degenerated into effeminate vassals ill-suited for self-government” [because] “they have played spectator to President Bush’s serial vandalizing of the United States Constitution.”

Well, I have a different take. My view is that President Bush is finally reclaiming for the executive branch those constitutional duties specifically reserved for the commander in chief during wartime from the other two branches of government that have usurped presidential powers through the years.

Mr. Fein attempts to lure the reader into agreeing with his premise despite such qualified statements as the destruction of CIA interrogation videotapes “may have constituted obstruction of justice; the CIA’s interrogators may have committed torture … .”

Mr. Fein is so desperate to make his case against the Bush administration that he laments that not one member of either the House or Senate Intelligence committees is doing his or her patriotic duty by publicly exposing President Bush’s impeachable offenses for violating his oath of office.

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