Here is the unedited version of my letter to the editor, published:
I applaud your editorial “What real leaders do” (April 6, 2011 edition of Chicago Tribune) asking for Americans to react to Congressman Paul Ryan’s “proposal the way a nation of adults should”. However, it would have been more productive, if the numbers cited in the editorial were more adult-like. For example, you cited that Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid accounted for almost $1.5 trillion of $3.5 trillion federal expenses, leading one to conclude that social security is one of the three biggest instigators of deficit and debt. But what you did not cite is that social security tax revenue was $854 billion, little less than the $878 billion spent on social security and it is NOT one of the biggest instigators of 2010 deficit. This may be because you did not want to site too many numbers. Or may be you ran out of print space. Or may be it did not fit your ideologically conceived “adult” theme.