From Our Listeners

Letters: More 'Balloon Boy' Headlines

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Talk of the Nation challenged listeners to come up with headlines for the so-called "balloon boy" story for specific media outlets. Also, listeners took issue with Cynthia Tucker's take on President Obama's plan to send Social Security recipients $250.


It's Tuesday and time to read from your emails and Web comments.

Cynthia Tucker's stint on the Opinion Page ruffled a few feathers. She called President Obama's plan to send $250 to every Social Security recipient in lieu of the cost of living adjustment - there were no rise in the cost of living last year - just an attempt to placate cranky seniors.

Andrew in New Jersey pleaded for some realism about what seniors actually get. My mother only collects Social Security of $360 per month. How is this fixed income and not poverty level? She's 98, and that is all our government gives her as far as Social Security. She survives only with the help of me and my sister.

Marie in Santa Rosa, California, disagreed. The nation is in crisis and everybody should share the burden. And I know that a lot of seniors do not even need their monthly checks. There should be a way to give a minimum amount to the haves and a more livable amount to the have-nots. The seniors are not entitled to automatic raises. And yes, I am a senior.

And Virginia in Nashville argued that everybody needs a raise. I'm 42 and still working for a living. I haven't gotten a raise in two years now, thanks to the economy. Yet my health care costs have gone up. Essentially my income has gone down overall. I'm sorry the seniors aren't getting a cost of living increase, but why should they automatically get one when so many of the rest of us are struggling even harder? I find it difficult to feel too bad for them when I'm wondering how I'm going to pay my own bills.

And the creativity of our listeners soared when we asked them to come up with their own satirical Balloon Boy headlines. We couldn't get all of your gems on the air, so here are a few more.

From Theresa in Washburn, Wisconsin. Martha Stewart Magazine: How to cook your own goose using hot air.

Mark in Santa Rosa went old school: What, me floating? MAD Magazine takes a stab at balloon hoaxes.

Jesse in Fresno went green. Environmental magazine: How to get your head out of the clouds and save some falcons.

And Ryan came up with an idea to take the headline straight into a Southwest Airlines ad campaign. Kids fly free, really.

Thanks again for your headlines. They had us giggling for days. And of course we want more than your mock headlines. If you have comments, questions or corrections for us, the best way to reach us is by email. The address is Please let us know where you're writing from and give us some help on how to pronounce your name.

(Soundbite of song, "Up, Up and Away")

THE 5TH DIMENSION (Music Group): Would you like to ride in my beautiful balloon?

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