Thursday, August 18, 2005

Lunch with Ann Northup

Kentucky 3rd district congresswoman Ann Northup was here today for a lunch time talk about the looming Social Security crisis. I am concerned about this issue for a number of reasons. Number one, I work at a company that is a major player in long term health care (nursing centers). Changes to Social Security and/or Medicare directly affect business. Also as a younger worker, I’m 31, any changes made to the Social Security program today will directly affect me in my retirement years.

As mentioned in a previous post, I attended President Bush’s town hall meeting on the same topic in March of this year. I know that the presentation was packaged for a mass audience and geared for sound bites, but even so after hearing him speak I was still very confused as to what he intended to do to fix the problem. He did a nice job of building consensus that there was a problem that needed to be fixed, but he was very short on solutions.

Not so with Ms. Northup. She did an outstanding job of taking a complex topic and making it understandable, clearly outlining both the problem and the proposed solution that she supports. In addition to the plan that she supports, she talked about the other plans on the table and why they are not as good. What impressed me most was the question and answer session at the conclusion of her talk. She was able to address a wide variety of concerns from the audience, and I came away with the distinct impression that she had spent a great deal of time getting to know this topic in intimate detail.

As for me, I’ve still got some more thinking and research to do before I make up my own mind as to whether private accounts are the way to go or not. However, I now have a much deeper understanding of the issues at hand and I’m very grateful to Congresswoman Northup for that. Thanks Ann!

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