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Letter to the Editor - Feb. 1

February 01, 2013

Does government consider how slashing affects society?

To the editor:

It seems to me that we already have a model for what needs to be done — not Simpson-Bowles, but the auto industry bailout.

When the government supplied capital to rebuild the auto industry, it required that the industry reorganize itself by shedding legacy costs (pension and health care for retirees, etc.) and eliminating marginal or unprofitable units, reducing the number of dealers supported by the industry, etc. The controlled bankruptcies spread the cost of the industry’s mismanagement on to the businesses that profited from the industry in the first place. Those businesses took the write-down to stay in position to profit from the industry in the future. It seems to me that the government needs to apply the same process to various areas of government.

We can talk about slashing this or that but what effect does it have on society as a whole? There is talk about slashing Medicare with no concern as to the effect on society. There is talk of doing away with Social Security because it is somehow linked to our fiscal problem. There is talk about slashing Medicaid with no regard to the impact on our society.

In each instance, these programs were designed to take the burden off of individuals and individual families, and bear the cost broadly across our society. Closing any of these programs does not eliminate the burden to our society; it merely transfers the unavoidable problems back to the individual family.

Bob Ayrer
Falling Waters, W.Va.

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