EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Opinion

June 10, 2013

Editorial roundup: ON

A roundup of editorial opinion from other New England newspapers:

The federal government’s secret grab for the private phone records of millions of U.S. citizens exposes a further erosion of our constitutional rights in the name of fighting terrorism.

The federal government has exercised ever-expanding authority to bypass the normal court process to carry out surveillance, even of its own citizens, since the 9/11 attacks.

Much of these powers are shielded from normal public accountability in the name of national security.

The order to turn over millions of phone records taken with recent revelations about targeted investigations of Associated Press and Fox News journalists raises the disturbing specter of a citizenry under constant and secret government scrutiny.

There’s little chance that Americans will receive a satisfactory explanation when the government is unwilling to admit the records grab took place at all. No one has a chance to challenge this government action because the process is secret.

Government transparency and due process are the most powerful tools we have to preserve our civil liberties, including those enshrined in the Constitution.

Neither are at play when government has the power to spy on its own citizens without any apparent limits.

— The Burlington (Vt.) Free Press

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A Medicare trustees’ report earlier this month all but guarantees the current Congress will do nothing about the program’s pending insolvency. Issued at the same time, another trustee’s report spells the same fate for setting right the beleaguered Social Security System.

A quick read of the Medicare headlines brags the program will last longer than expected — 2026 instead of 2024.

“Medicare Trustee’s Report Eases Concerns on funding,” declares The Wall Street Journal, only to provide the bad news four long paragraphs into the story.

To quote the Journal: Despite its more optimistic forecasts for the next few years, the report said Medicare’s long-term growth remains on an unsustainable path. The program’s hospital fund had costs that exceeded its income last year.

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