Investment return not entitlement

I just about jumped out of my skin when I read David Brooks' column on the federal government and spending.

He said, "The federal government is a machine that takes money from future earners and spends it on health care for retirees. Entitlement spending hurts the young in two ways."

It's not entitlement. Like many other retirees, I have paid Social Security taxes for 50 years, and payments I receive are money from my investments in Social Security. Just because the feds mismanaged all the gazillions paid from the public should not impact the small return on investment for retirees. Even when you take part of the payments made by retirees for social programs, there should still have been sufficient payment to cover Social Security and Medicare.

Brooks made a few good points about future earnings for young workers and the potential hardships they could endure. Blame the feds for that, not the retirees.

He needs to realize that return on investment is not entitlement. That type of thinking really angers people who have worked all their lives and contributed to these programs.

Get a clue, pal.

Bob Cummings

Brentwood

Fans need to accept 49ers aren't perfect

The 49ers had a good year. But all I heard leading up to the Super Bowl was that they can't be beaten. All the news media and sports writers locally boasted that the 49ers have a 5-for-5 record in the Super Bowl.

Now the 49ers lost, news media and fans are crying about the last play of the game. There was a late hit on the Ravens' quarterback, but no roughing the passer was called. The 49ers didn't get a pass interference call at the end of the Falcons' game.

I wish the fans would quit crying and accept the fact that the 49ers are not a perfect team.

Robert Hunziker

Fremont

Pregnancy decisions not about income

The amount of money a woman has or doesn't have should not be the main factor in making decisions about the outcome of her pregnancy, including abortion and giving birth.

In the State of the Union, President Barack Obama called on Congress to build stronger families, stronger communities and a stronger America. We also need to consider what the president himself can do.

At ACCESS, California women tell us every day on our healthline about how economic pressures and coverage issues impact their decisions around pregnancy.

Recently, a mother from a rural area with a very-wanted-yet-unviable pregnancy shared that her insurance would not cover the necessary termination, forcing her family to spend their limited savings on traveling a long distance and paying for the procedure out-of-pocket.

Accessing reproductive health care should not threaten any family's ability to provide and care for their children. While it was heartening to hear the president commit to economic parity for minimum-wage families, he must also ensure that every woman has coverage for a full range of pregnancy related care, including abortion, whether she is enrolled in government-funded or private health insurance.

Currently, lawmakers withhold coverage of nearly all abortions in the federal budget, penalizing women who qualify for government-funded health insurance. The president should stand up for these families and send a clean budget to Congress that lifts restrictions on coverage of abortion care for all women.

Samara Azam-Yu

Executive director ACCESS Women's Health Justice Oakland

Balanced reporting on Los Gatos gun shop

I want to compliment Tracey Kaplan on her article "Quiet opening of a gun shop gets a noisy reaction" (Page A1, Feb. 17).

As a resident of Los Gatos concerned with the opening of the gun store and our town's lack of transparent process on this land use issue, I appreciate her accurate and balanced presentation of the situation here without the drumbeat of Second Amendment rights, which has tended to dominate other media coverage. Thanks for a good reporting job.

Mary Ellen Kaschub

Los Gatos