To the editor:
According to some politicians and many well-to-do people, our society is made up of givers and takers. They believe the takers are the folks who receive handouts such as food stamps, Social Security checks, Medicare, Medicaid and any other government-assisted program.
I have to go along with some of this rhetoric, but only when a taker doesn’t need that assistance — a person or corporation with wealth who may be collecting Social Security dollars or the type of assistance gobbled up by those banks that were too big to fail.
I worked until I was 69 years old and paid dearly for my Social Security and Medicare benefits. I also collected unemployment benefits when the politicians passed laws and started wars that caused the economy to tank. So do they consider me a taker?
In reality, the true takers are the self-protecting senators and representatives in Washington, D.C., who have an average salary around $175,000, along with many other freebies. Don’t forget they are paid for with the help of our individual tax dollars.
These politicians do not know what a 40-hour work week is, nor do they worry about going bankrupt if they get sick because they sure know how to cover their butts when it comes to health insurance. Instead of trying to promote and help create a good medical plan for everyone, they will fight tooth and nail against any plan to keep what is good for them and not for us.
It is impossible to determine how many dollars the wealthy and corporations have spent creating death panel ads against the Affordable Care Act and lobbying these self-centered politicians who tried to repeal the law nearly 50 times. To those politicians and folks who constantly have their eyes and ears glued to the Fox News politico pundits railing about repealing Obamacare and taking away needy people’s benefits, I say what goes around comes around.
War on inequality
To the editor:
So President Barack Obama has proclaimed that one of the greatest threats to our way of life is income and wealth inequality. In this country, about 20 percent of the population earns 80 percent of the income and 20 percent have about 80 percent of the total private wealth. This reminds me of Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto, who in 1906 was amazed that in every European country he studied, approximately 80 percent of the wealth was owned by 20 percent of the population. He could not explain it. Being a gardener, he also could not explain why 20 percent of his pea pods produced 80 percent of the peas.
But let’s get back to President Obama and our economy. With the New Deal, Fair Deal, Square Deal, War on Poverty and more, we have not budged Mr. Pareto’s ratio. Even with the president’s $830 billion stimulus and shovel-ready projects, his massive deficit spending that has increased our country’s debt by over 70 percent since he was elected, and his 25 percent increase in taxes on the rich, he has failed to change that ratio. With all of his programs, spending and speeches, we find that in the last five years, only the top 20 percent have seen an increase in their net worth and income. The bottom 80 percent find themselves with the highest percentage of members on food stamps and Social Security disability than at any other time in our history.
So I am wondering: What the president will do next to rid us of this great threat? His ideas so far have not worked. He cites more money for schools, pre-school programs and taxing the rich. But those efforts haven’t shown any real results. I am sure the promise of hope and change will certainly reach fulfillment when he pulls the next program out of his hat.
Maybe, just maybe, President Obama will look at what President Ronald Reagan did to get the economy booming. Or maybe he will just keep blaming the Republicans. We’ll have to wait and see, and of course, hope.