I would like to address the plastic bag issue. Plastic bags are no longer being allowed in Oregon. We are offered a choice: Bring your own bags into stores with you or pay 5 cents for every bag you use at the store.

People who use EBT or WIC are exempt from paying this fee.

I would like to know why this does not also apply to people on a fixed income, such as the elderly and those on Social Security. Social Security received a raise of around 1.8% this year. Medicare increased 7% (approximately $144.30 per month). When Social Security receives a cost of living raise, Medicare raises their monthly fees — what Social Security receives Medicare takes away.

People who receive Social Security and Medicare benefits are often made to feel as though they are receiving government handouts. These so-called benefits are ones we have paid into from our paychecks: 6.2% of our paycheck goes to Social Security, and 1.45% from our paycheck goes to Medicare.

I think it is only fair those on Social Security should receive the same benefits as those who are receiving public assistance. After all, we paid for our benefits.

In fact, I think it would be fair if everyone received free bags. After all, our tax dollars go to support public assistance.

James Hiscocks,

Ontario

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