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Re "The Sacred Cows" [Dec. 13]: I think Michael Crowley is wrong to suggest cutting Social Security payments. Most Americans have paid into the fund their entire working lives, some starting as young as 14. There would be plenty of money there, except that both parties have dipped into the fund for other projects. Maybe we should make it easier for a poor person to become a Congressperson.

Phyllis Hagmaier, WILLIAMSBURG, VA.

The real culprit was borrowing when we didn't have to. Financing the tax cuts and spending sprees with massive borrowing--including Social Security cash surpluses--set us on a course for hard times.


Crowley refers to the Pentagon's Tricare health program, "whose $460 annual premium is unheard of in the private sector." Our son currently serves, deploys from his family often, performs hazardous duty and subordinates himself to the Uniform Code of Military Justice, where it's a federal crime to quit without permission--all for a salary unheard of in the private sector.

John Perryman, HUNTINGTOWN, MD.

Smells like Team Spirit

As a onetime male chauvinist, I take my hat off to the winning University of Connecticut women's basketball team and coach Geno Auriemma ["Guy Coach, Girl Team, No Losses," Dec. 13]. Unlike in men's basketball--and in spite of past stars like Diana Taurasi, Tina Charles and now Maya Moore--the UConn women have always operated as a team devoid of showboating and one-woman acts. Go UConn girls.

Kenneth Chain, GUILFORD, CONN.

Equal-Opportunity Wars

Re the Moment, which refers to the objections among some U.S. military to the repeal of "Don't ask, don't tell" [Dec. 13]: As the gay son of a World War II POW who was unconditionally loved by his father, I would say that if a soldier cannot effectively fight alongside a gay soldier, maybe it is that person, not the gay soldier, who is not tough enough to be handed a weapon and serve in this country's armed forces. I'm pretty sure there are greater stresses on the battlefield than one's thoughts on whom a neighboring soldier prefers to sleep with.

Mike Dalena, KANSAS CITY, MO.

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