Two letters published in the Summit Daily News

To be Together Again!

In the July 21 article by Michael Reagan (son of Ronald Reagan), he asserted that Democrats went “nuts” with glee when our President “screwed up.” Not so! It would be better for ‘our’ nation, if the Republican Party could be Great Again! Once Ronald Reagan (voted for him twice) stood up to the Russians and said “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” Once, conservative Republicans, during the Clinton years, created a budget surplus. Now a Republican Congress has passed a tax plan, benefiting corporations and the top 1%, that has created a $1.5 trillion budget deficit, just to get some temporary growth in the economy. Once Republicans were for family values, now they separate families from their children. Once, Republicans were for strong alliances with our friends. Now they demonize our friends while praising dictators that are no more than gangsters. Once Republicans, in bipartisan cooperation, passed the Fresh Air and Water Act, (Nixon), The Voting Rights Act,  Dodd Frank reforms protecting us from a 2008 type financial fiasco, immigration reform, gun reforms and civil rights protection. Now Republicans are driven only by ‘donor power,’ no matter what the public thinks.  Once we had diplomacy and civility, now we have Tweets and over 3,000 documented lies. I haven’t left the Republican Party, they left me.

It is unfortunate for our country that 87% of Republicans approve of our president’s actions. They have hitched themselves to the star of an unscrupulous personality that pulls us apart as a nation. Instead, we have to be aware of our potential, both individually and as a great nation. A new era of globalization, multiculturalism, automation and a carbon free economy is descending on us. We must address these challenges, as opportunities. It will be Great, to be ‘Together Again!’

Keeping the conversation going

In a letter published July 28, Garnett Payne asserts that “We cannot afford the radical left wing socialist agenda of free pre-K, free college, free health care,…etc. ” I disagree! We cannot afford ‘not’ to address these issues, while allowing huge tax cuts to corporations and the wealthy and creating a $1.5 trillion deficit, just to get a temporary jump in our economy.

The American Dream is quickly fading for many and so is the prospect that our children will be better off than us. Many cannot afford health care, are paid a wage that cannot provide for their families and many cannot afford college for their children or have a huge college debt. Every day 6,000 people are being evicted from their homes. This is why? Between 1980 and 2017, all of the income growth has gone to the top 1%. One family, the Walton’s earn more income each year, than the bottom 40%, or 130 million Americans. With productivity up, there have been little increase in working wages and yet CEO pay has gone up from 65 times, to 250 to 500 times the average worker’s pay.  Small businesses and entrepreneurs, who employ 80% of the nation’s people, are being squeezed out of business by unfair advantages given to Large corporations and Big banks. According to a recent Pew Research report the United States, as ranked against other nations, is 70th in health care, 44th in math scores, 39th in basic education, 34th in access to clean water, 35th in meeting basic human needs, has the highest first day infant mortality rate and the highest child poverty rate (21%) among industrialized nations.  That’s one in every five of our children living in poverty!  As great nation, we must be better than that.

You say you wish to open up a dialogue. However, while you say you are a fiscal conservative, your party has taken a far right turn toward libertarianism, that only helps the rich while declaring anything for the ‘common good’ as Socialism.  Socialism is when the government controls everything, including industrial production. Democrats are merely asking to create a level playing field of opportunity that promotes the general welfare for the benefit of the entire nation.

Carl M. Birkelbach