To The Editor:

The difference between today’s Republicans and those of yesteryear is impossible to ignore.

In the 1980s Republican President Ronald Reagan joined with a Democratic Congress to nearly double the Social Security and Medicare payroll taxes. Economist Ravi Batra described the reason for doing this, “That tax created — for the first time in history — a giant savings account that Social Security could use to pay for the Boomers’ retirement.”

This brand of reasoned legislating is no longer possible. In fact, today’s GOP seems intent on reversing the sound policy making of their political forefathers.

Not only did every Republican member of Missouri’s congressional delegation, including Blaine Luetkemeyer, vote to allow the United States to default on our debts, they seem determined to cut Social Security and Medicare benefits.

In fact, Rep. Vicky Hartzler joined her Republican colleagues in sending a letter to Speaker John Boehner demanding “reforms” to Social Security. The letter recommended changes to Social Security, including: raising the retirement age; “adjusting the inflationary formula used for calculating future growth”; means-testing benefits for high-income recipients; and lowering the cap on wages subject to the Social Security tax “to its Reagan-era levels.”

Interesting that the GOP can remember the wage cap of the Reagan era among other ways to cut benefits to seniors but ignores the Reagan-era payroll tax increases baby boomers have paid for decades to ensure their benefits.

Missourians should be watchful for other “bait and switch” tactics from today’s Republicans. It is likely senior citizens won’t be the only ones promised one thing by yesterday’s GOP and given another by today’s Republicans.

Darrin Gilley