U.S. should put citizens ahead of big business, war

October 14, 2013 

In an Oct. 6 letter, Mr. Gary Atwood claims that Medicare and Social Security are broke. This is not true.

Social Security has a hefty surplus. Medicare does cost a lot, but that's because the medical industry overcharges. We pay twice as much as other countries, with worse outcomes.

Mr. Atwood does not define his terms. "Progressive ideals are running this country into the ground and are the opposite of freedom?" What ideals? How are they running us into the ground? How the opposite of freedom?

If "progressive ideals" means a government caring more for the welfare of its own citizens than pandering to big business or making war, that is for the greater good. The price of one bomb would buy a lot of food for our hungry children.

Corporations exist to make money. Many have no ethics, morality, or conscience. They use their Supreme Court-guaranteed "free speech" (a.k.a. money) to write laws favoring themselves and to buy congressional votes.

Our big expenses are not our social programs but our military ones. We spend twice as much on that as the next top 10 countries combined.

The Republicans are the big spenders, not the Democrats. Our current deficit is basically caused by four Bush programs: two unfunded wars, one unfunded drug program, and the bank bailout passed by Bush but implemented by Obama.

Obama has steadily been reducing the deficit, even as Republicans whine about it, and he has enacted less new spending than any other recent president.

Why do conservatives hate social programs like Medicare and food stamps? Why shouldn't we use tax money to make our own lives better? If you hate welfare queens, go after the real ones: profitable companies paying no taxes and oil companies getting huge government subsidies.

The food stamp program is peanuts compared to that.

Ann Stormzand

Bradenton

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