News From Terre Haute, Indiana

February 6, 2014

Readers' Forum: Feb. 7, 2014


TERRE HAUTE — Beware of scam in your mailbox

It seems hundreds of Wabash Valley residents are being bombarded with letters from Washington, D.C., asking for money to “Save Social Security.” I’ve been receiving such requests for over six months and had a box full of them. All have the same Washington zip code and most address the same request, “Send Money” or “I’ll lose my Social Security.”

It sounds like a serious threat. I’ll lose my Social Security if “they” don’t get money to campaign in my place and help save Social Security. I don’t appreciate those scare tactics against older Americans. And actually I think it’s a scam.

In the media, I heard these requests are sent out in batches of 100,000. If only half of those were returned with the $60 commitment they say is urgent, that would be a pay off to them of $3 million.

Postage, plus return postage at regular rates, would cost about $35,000, but most mailings have reduced postal rates. I may be a skeptical, suspicious person, but I feel strongly that these “monetary requests” are scams and the money is going into the pockets of those taking advantage of trusting people.

Gee, who would ever do that? I stewed about these letters for about six months and finally just threw all the requests away. If they had prepaid postage I did return some of those requesting to be removed from their mailing lists. Evidently it wasn’t noted, as I continue to receive the requests.

I am sending a letter to Matt Davies, chairman of the National Campaign to Guarantee Social Security, whose P.O. Box is 97157, D.C., 20090. That letter will say the same thing as I’m writing here. Until they convince me that Social Security can only continue if persons like me send them generous contributions, I will actively campaign against sending “contributions” to these unknown groups.

It is not OK for them to scare older Americans into sending them money. Social Security is my only income, the same as it is for many other women my age. I’m in my 80s, and chances of my earning money on a job are long gone. I have college grad grandchildren who can’t find a decent-paying job in or near Terre Haute, but that’s a subject for another letter.

I have not given up on my House and Senate representatives to help save Social Security. Without the votes of older Americans our reps are aware that they may well be looking for a job themselves.

— Pat Creasey

Terre Haute

Tax break would help Hoosiers

Recently, state Sen. John Waterman co-authored an amendment to Senate Bill 1 to eliminate the sales tax on propane gas that costs more than $2.50 per gallon. The exemption would be retroactive from Jan. 1 through the end of March.

In the Jan. 28 Tribune-Star it was reported that a local resident paid $4.56 per gallon for propane. Assuming the price is $4 per gallon, a consumer could save $75 on a 500-gallon tank of gas. With consumers hurting from the rise in propane prices and increased usage during this cold spell, the exemption is welcome relief.

This amendment was opposed by local state Sen. Tim Skinner. Obviously Sen. Skinner does not have his constituents’ interests at heart with his opposition to this.

— Dennis Wilkey

Terre Haute