LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Delaware needs to re-invest in seniors

In response to an article featured in the Delaware State News Opinion page, Wednesday, Jan. 3 (“Delaware needs to invest in state’s children”), Amanda Owen Van Horne points out the many benefits of the Nurse Family Partnership Program (NFPP), and suggests “following the recommendations of the Coalition for Delaware Kids.”

Checking out the Coalition for Delaware’s Kids, apparently this is a new group that has been recently formed, I imagine by a majority of those working in education or preschool facilities. If the money is selected to go into their programs, the money will likely remain in Wilmington.

In a brief review of mentioned The Brookings Institute, their essential research seems to be global and focuses on policies and economics worldwide; no mention of preschool education benefits. It also appears there are controversies regarding their funding by foreign countries that reflect bias in their research programs, as in “do not demean this donor.”

I question just how in-depth the research is for first-time mothers and preschool learners. The websites http://brook.gs/2CT4gJD and http://bit.ly/2BS9UPl, referred to in the Opinion piece are only good if you wish to download the Bit Ly program, which I do not wish to do.

All three websites (also http://brook.gs/2CT4gJD ) when Googled merely bring up the writer’s Delaware State News article from January 3. It isn’t clear where the numbers cited in the opinion came from, i.e., “Participating families are 82 percent more likely to have the mother employed by the time the child is age 4…” and “…the NFPP reduces the likelihood that a child will end up in the emergency room in the first two years of life by 50 percent.”

And so, if suggestions are being garnered for the $55 million surplus in the state of Delaware’s treasury, my recommendation would be to begin by distributing it back to the 16 percent of Delaware’s 65-and-over property taxpayers, the senior tax credit that was reduced by 20 percent in 2017 by Gov. Carney (House Bill 99).

It is very possible that the $55 million has come from this source. Most seniors cannot afford to lose any of their stagnant retirement benefits, while expenses — including school taxes — are continuing to rise right along with those of people who are still working and hopefully getting increases in their paychecks.

Many seniors had relied on our senior centers for their only nutritious hot lunch of the day; now this too has gone away.

Once the 20 percent tax credit has been restored to Delaware’s property taxpaying seniors, then it can be shared elsewhere.

“Our society must make it right and possible for old people not to fear the young or be deserted by them, for the test of a civilization is the way that it cares for its helpless members.” — Pearl S. Buck, “My Several Worlds”.

Gloria Markowitz

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