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Letter to the Editor - Aug. 17

August 17, 2011

Don’t play politics, put people to work

To the editor:

This is an open letter to U.S. Rep. Roscoe Bartlett.

Dear Congressman Bartlett:

We watched in helpless horror while this ugly, partisan debate over debt and default spooled before our eyes. Now we are forced to live with the consequences of Congress’ foolish brinkmanship.

Washington has wrought a credit downgrade, retirement fund shrinkage and another black eye to Uncle Sam’s reputation. We aren’t happy about it! We wanted jobs, not political point scoring. We want safer highways, effective public transportation, reduced college tuition, smaller classrooms and certainly an end to these endless raises in health-care costs.

We don’t believe an increase in taxes for corporations or millionaires divests anyone. To the contrary, Jefferson suggested, “Our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor!” Pardon my populist position, but the afflictions mentioned above fall on your middle class constituents like a massive obscured tax.  Please end the partisan standoff and proceed to a balanced correction of the budget deficit. A sensible plan to lead us from this briar patch requires equilibrium between tax revenues and spending cuts.

Many of the things we need have to be built. We gladly accept public jobs for these building projects until the private sector decides it is ready to spend its stockpiled trillions on domestic work and wages.

Have you signed a No-Tax pledge? Like some recent presidents, you may regret that position. Pain is necessary to a real recovery. We already feel the gathering skin around the injection site. Inadequate revenue will slow the healing, further torturing the sufferers. Shameful! The poor, the elderly, the children and the infirm are already overburdened with the high costs of entitlement reductions.” So, look with great care at whom of your constituents shoulder the choices enacted by Congress.

Remember, we want jobs! We need more work and wages right here in Western Maryland. Budget cuts mean fewer jobs in law enforcement and corrections, education, public health services, highway repair and maintenance and social services. So don’t boast about cutting the federal budget when you know that private jobs are not ready to fill the empty space that will be created by government layoffs.

M. Douglas Becker

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