Social Security benefit cut is reverse Robin Hood-ism

A column in Monday's paper claims that we need to reduce Social Security benefits in order to help control the runaway debt.

But Social Security benefits have been paid for by contributions from workers, and by their employers on their behalf.

Yes, down the road, these accumulated Social Security funds may fall somewhat short of covering full benefits, but that can be solved in large part by extending FICA contributions to apply to all earnings.

Cutting Social Security benefits now in order to reduce the debt (caused in large part by the recently enacted tax reductions for very wealthy people and corporations) is simply reverse Robin Hood-ism — stealing from the trust funds for the poor and middle class to create an unearned windfall for the wealthy.

Henry Bright, Sarasota

Adjective-driven reporting skews our view of Trump

To say that President Trump has been at the center of controversy ever since his election is probably an understatement. But the more I read, the more I see a blurring of the line between punditry and reporting.

James Comey recently wrote an entire book denigrating President Trump. President Trump responded (make that Trump "lashed out") with a series of tweets (make that a "tweetstorm").

Trump rarely gets a chance to mull something over; he is too busy "seething."

He is also slow to anger because he is in a constant "state of rage." Many times he goes directly to "furious."

If there are no overt happenings to characterize as wild or frenzied in nature, we are kept simmering by ongoing reports of a "chaotic/disrupted" White House. If you don't believe it, just ask anyone "familiar" with the situation, who must remain "anonymous" because he or she is "not authorized" to discuss it.

The news folks continues to break out the Thesaurus to cast the desired glow on even the most benign stories. We are getting played in the process.

We should demand that discernible attribution of sources must start and that adjective-driven reporting must stop.

Not once did I use the term fake news.

Paul Kemmy, Venice

Student's 'hilarious statistic' found to be fairly accurate

Regarding Monday's letter "Student's views on guns should be based on facts":

Out of curiosity, I did some research concerning the writer's questioning of what he called a “hilarious statistic” about professional shooters made by Booker sophomore LaShaughn Waiters.

What I found was that she was in the ballpark with her numbers! From at least 10 sources, I found that trained police officers hit their target from 7 percent to 28 percent of the time.

Fact checking is important for all of us.

Judith Paxton, Palmetto

US attorney, not Mueller, authorized the Cohen raid

A recent letter writer was wrong in his assertion that special counsel Robert Mueller set up the raid on President Trump's lawyer, Michael Cohen.

Mueller's mandate was clearly set out and approved by Congress: If, in his investigation to determine the facts of the Russian intrusion into the 2016 election process, he discovered possible evidence of other criminal behavior, not related to his investigative efforts, he had the authority (and the duty) to refer the matter to the discretion of a U.S. attorney in the district where the alleged criminal action took place.

So the raid on Cohen's offices and home were authorized, after great scrutiny and deliberation by a U.S. attorney and a judge, not by Mueller.

If Trump is so "shocked" by these actions, he might have come clean earlier about his relationship with the porn star (which, while morally reprehensible, did not rise to criminality) and that would have been an end to it.

Why Trump would not is unfathomable, since he had no problem suggesting during the campaign that if he were to shoot someone on Fifth Avenue, he would still be elected.

Like Nixon and many others, (John Edwards, Bill Clinton, Ollie North, Ronald Reagan come instantly to mind ), it is always the coverup that does them in.

Stephen Japhe, University Park

Stroke victim's injury tied to chiropractic treatment

The front-page article about Kati Council’s stroke and subsequent treatment by my talented colleagues at Sarasota Memorial was excellent, and I say that as a trained vascular and general surgeon.

However, buried in Barbara Peters Smith’s account is the fact that the injury to the artery in Kati’s neck likely came at the hands of as chiropractor as a result of an aggressive manipulation. This is a dangerous procedure and caused a completely unnecessary injury which almost robbed her of a healthy future.

Kati would do well to hire a competent personal injury attorney before the statute of limitations runs on her case, if she hasn’t already. And your readers need to be aware of similar para-medical “treatments."

Dr. James Fogleman, MD, FACS, Sarasota