Letters: What Do You Think?

This week: Opposition Rhetoric Skewed, The Candidate Speaks, Grim Today Without Tomorrow, and We Can't Afford it, but...

Comments (6)
Thursday, April 01, 2010

Opposition Rhetoric Skewed

Poor John Boehner! So bitterly you wept as you bemoaned the Democrats ramming health care through Congress, and so pitifully you sob that they've violated the will of the American people! But you see, John, I have an attention span, so I remember the past eight years, when both Congress and the entire Bush administration were doing both of those every minute, and you were loving it! Typical Republican hypocrisy...

J. Andrew Smith
Bloomfield, N.J.


Critics called it "a cruel hoax and a delusion," a socialist program that would compete with private insurers and kill jobs. If it passed, Americans would feel "the lash of the dictator," and "end the progress of a great country." One New York Republican Representative said, "Never in the history of the world has any measure been brought here so insidiously designed as to prevent business recovery, to enslave workers." We were told that to cooperate with it would be "complicity in evil."

Am I describing the outcry against Obamacare? No. Those quotes are from prominent Republican opponents of Social Security in 1935, and Medicare in 1965. Same party as today, though. Same fear-mongering, same predictions that the sky would fall if America extends a hand to its most needy. And now today's Republicans must slouch back to their districts and expain why a bill that prevents insurers from refusing to cover you, or canceling you if you get sick, is somehow the work of the devil. They'll find a way.

Ken Shilling
via email

The Candidate Speaks

My thanks to the Valley Advocate and Matt Dube for bringing attention to my run for Congress ["Move Over, Olver," March 25, 2010]. That said, I'd like to offer two corrections: I'm on Medicare, not Medicaid, and I do plan to conduct an active radio advertising campaign this fall.

Michael Engel

Grim Today Without Tomorrow

I am aware of the grim prospects for print media in the years ahead. Advocate editors may be preoccupied and unsure where to take the paper next, and therefore have grown inattentive to the preferences of longtime readers. Otherwise, I am not sure how to account for the replacement of a trenchant, heroic comic such as Tom Tomorrow with the mildly baffling Mild Abandon.

Even so, I take it as a thumb in the eye when you print not just one but two Mild Abandon "gags," especially the NASCAR joke, immediately beneath letters complaining about Tom Tomorrow's departure from your pages. Maybe that's your idea of humor, to taunt your disappointed readers? Or the juxtaposition may have been unintentional. Either way, I hope you know what you are doing.

Brian Turner


We Can't Afford It, But It Has to Be Done

When my daughter announced that she'd received a small scholarship for the college of her choice, and that I'd pay for the remainder, I had two simultaneous thoughts: I can't afford it, and it has to be done.

Decades ago, when America began providing guaranteed income and medical care for the elderly, we faced the same dilemma: we can't afford it, and it has to be done. At the time, Republicans dutifully warned of the cost, pointing out that entitlement programs for the elderly would grow out of control.

They were right. Costs for Medicare and Social Security spiraled, probably more from the sheer fact that our population is aging than mismanagement, but is that the whole story? Not really. The real story is that America did the right thing.

We took proper care of the men and women who made sure the world wasn't ruled by Nazis, who built our highways and schools and factories, who gave us TV and movies and modern medicine. The cost for such humanitarian extravagance was—and indeed continues to be—breathtaking, but in the end, that doesn't matter. We're a civilized nation, and we don't let our seniors spend their final years in Dickensian squalor.

But there's more. America has just decided that we won't let citizens hit by catastrophic illness wither away out of sight. We won't tolerate bread lines and homeless shelters for people who need appendix surgery when they find themselves in between jobs. We decided that such indifference is not American, and for such a decision, we should be right proud of ourselves.

So can we afford to offer such a benefit to our citizens? Perhaps not. Is Obama fibbing when he says all this can be done fairly cheaply? Almost certainly he is. We can hope that having a healthier working force will lead to increased worker productivity, which in turn will decrease budget deficits.

And, yes, America enjoyed a Clinton-era budget surplus after the dark, recession-ridden years of Bush, Sr., but there's no guarantee we'll see that again. Honestly, my guess is that we younger people will get 70 cents for every dollar we put into these dubious national kitties, and probably less. Of course I'm not pleased, but I don't want to live in a country that lets its citizens just go off in a corner and die. So with apologies to Guns 'n' Roses, this is not "the Jungle," it's America, and I'd prefer to remain proud of it, even if it means less money in my pocket.

Danny Doyle
via email

Comments (6)
Post a Comment

Your heats are bleeding pretty profusely. Maybe you should get that checked out on my dollar.

Posted by Seamus on 3.30.10 at 20:51

Bloomfield, NJ? "Via email"? Forgive me if I suspect these very same letters aren't being duplicated across the country.

Posted by Joe Everyman on 3.30.10 at 22:16

Seamus, that would be "hearts", not "heats."

No surprise that you can't spell. And in order for you to have a dollar you must be employed. Go back to sleep now...

Posted by Ag Synclair on 3.31.10 at 6:23

Ag, thank you for correcting my spelling. I don't know what I would do without someone like you. I must admit, even though your spelling is impeccable, your logic does seem a bit flawed.

Good thing there are such kind and courteous people such as your self to make sure I have health care. How could I possibly live without someone telling me what to do!?

Posted by Sea on 3.31.10 at 15:17

The same letters are being duplicated across the country. And I too have an attention span, well beyond 8 years. Bush had spent about $1.5 trillion on wasteful military spending and intrusive laws for the war on drugs. Every president I can remember has advocated spending billions on foreign aid, really military aid and other subsidies for dictatorships. We have had several unconstitutional wars.


Where were was the “tea party,” they were goose stepping to the support of every president who was wasting money and sending troops to foreign countries. When Bush lost 300 lives, 4 aircraft, and several sky scrapers to people out of the stone age the Tea party got behind him. They subsidize right wing failure. When Bush allowed several plane loads of Saudis to leave the United States after 9-11, the Tea Party was silent.


While the Tea Party claims to be a reform movement, they are pretty much aligned with the Republicans and many Democrats. This is the block that prevented the single payer system.


Exporting jobs has made the problem worse, People are losing their jobs, their houses, and their health insurance. They are losing them because Bush gave away the store to the banks. The Tea Party and the major parties never complains about this.


Now the Tea Party has become constitutional scholars. If Obama did it, they are against it. They have their marching orders, and it is not against the trillions in unconstitutional military spending, it is about $1.5 billion in health care. And they are the ones who build in the payments for the private insurance companies that they now complain about.


They are also great liars. “Death Panels”? The corporate death panels have been operating for years making health care unaffordable to many. Now we have a microchip scare. Really all the measure does is make existing treatment covered by insurance. .


We need a clean sweap of government at all levels, you do not see Canada, United Kingdom, or France wasting their wealth on the Middle East.

Posted by Robert Underwood on 4.1.10 at 10:44

When our founding fathers gave special rights to the press they envisioned the press would be the 4th estate and act as a check and balance on the power of government which includes both parties as well as the President and the judiciary. What he have now in America is a mainstream press that is biased, complicit, and corrupt helping and supporting President Obama and the Democrats. The media always was liberal but attempted to act somewhat objective. When Obama ran for President all they could think about was being part of "history". As such Obama was never vetted and his mistakes and problems were swept under the rug. Now that he is President the press is still looking the other way and propping him up. We had a stimulus bill that was supposed to keep unemployment below 8%. It did not. Iran is getting a nuke. We are spending ourselves into bankruptcy. A government takeover of healthcare was rammed thru congress against the will of the American people. If you protest your a radical, racist, and a bigot. Wake up America and go to the polls this November. Obama and the Democrats want to turn us into the United States of France. Socialism is failing throughout Europe and we do not need it in America. Make no mistake about it Obama is smooth and articulate but he is a socialist. That is not what made America great. Capitalism made this country and redistributing income from the producers to non-producers will only bring about a decline in America that we will never recover from.

Posted by James Anderson on 4.2.10 at 15:22



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