The reason many Orthodox Jews, among others, have problems with President Trump is not simply due to his style. It is his coarseness, combined with his astounding ignorance, unwillingness to study or think deeply about issues our nation faces, constant lying, and cruelty to others who dare question him (including his competitors in the past and upcoming presidential elections).
I appreciate all the good things the President has done for Israel and the Jewish people. I abhor political correctness, which I believe will cause America’s downfall. I’m glad President Trump fights this destructive trend. Thankfully, President Trump listens to wise people on crucial issues such as Israel, national defense, and judicial appointments. (Thank you, Sen. Mitch McConnell, for revitalizing our federal courts!) Will Trump get my vote in the upcoming election, assuming he’s the Republican nominee? You betcha.
A Jew who cares about Israel and the social/moral future of America can simply no longer vote for a Democrat. However, we Republicans could have made a wiser choice for our nominee, one who would reflect the moral and intellectual values we hold dear.
Arlene Ross, Forest Hills
Congress passed a 3.1% salary increase for federal employees effective January 1, 2020, as part of the recent $1.4 trillion spending package. This will fully fund the federal government until September 30, 2020. It included increasing overall spending by another $50 billion. Then the President signed it into law. Based upon end-of-year personnel evaluations, they are also eligible for cash awards ranging from several hundred to several thousand dollars or more. There are also bonus in-grade step increases rather than waiting for periodic automatic in-grade step increases. These raise the base salary between one and two thousand dollars. They receive monthly transit checks to help pay for commuting by public transportation to work. This can average one to two hundred dollars monthly. They usually pay for weekly or monthly bus, subway, or commuter rail tickets. These transit passes can be used after work evenings and weekends for non-work-related travel. Contrast all of the above with the meager 1.6% cost-of-living increases for retired federal employees enrolled in the old Civil Service Retirement or newer Federal Retirement systems along with millions more Americans on Social Security.
The current COLA calculation for retired federal employees and those on Social Security fails to accurately measure seniors spending. In 2019, spending by seniors for health Insurance went up 18.6%. Many retired people in their 60s and 70s are taking care of parents, aunts, uncles, and older brothers and sisters, as more and more people are living into their 80s and 90s. Others serve as parents to grandchildren and foster kids. The 2020 COLA of 1.6% will be insufficient to keep up with various costs that have grown at a higher rate. Isn’t it only fair that the Congress and President offer retired federal employees and those on Social Security the same Cost of Living Increases as current federal employees?