Letters to the Editor: 3/16/17
Tossed to the Wolves
Trump’s “Make Health Care UNAFFORDABLE Act” is a giant tax cut for the wealthy on the backs of the old, sick, disabled, poor and working class. Even many in the middle class will be unable to afford it.
Trump, while campaigning, was in favor of a “ Single Payer” Medicare for All system. Lest we forget, insurance companies were wildly abusive. Still are. That’s because they are “for-profit” enterprises. I remember a time when Blue Cross/Blue Shield was a non-profit company and coverage was great and cost low. Health care should not be a commodity traded on Wall Street.
Representative Lee Zeldin should not support this horrible hatchet job of a bill and vote it down. Trump should not support it. I suggest both go to the Public Citizen website and read up on single payer: http://www.citizen.org/Page.aspx?pid=1253.
They should also not touch Medicaid, though the ideologues are out to slash and burn everything.
Today, March 13, 2017, I see from the folks at “Social Security Works,” that, “…Trumpcare raids Medicare to the tune of $275 billion and gives drug companies a $25 billion tax break—part of a $465 billion tax handout to the wealthy and healthcare companies…” Great! More money for them to secret away in offshore accounts while the rest of we peons are thrown to the wolves.
Please publish this letter to Congressman Lee Zeldin.
Dear Congressman Zeldin,
I am writing, close to despair about the behavior of our President and his administration. Unlike President Trump, I am a longtime Republican and have always, except at our most recent election voted thus. However I believe that this administration has lost all credibility. The list of lies grows exponentially, to the point where we can believe nothing from the President or his administration, especially as they retain the right to “more fully explain” the true meaning of the president’s pronouncements. Witness most recently, Trump’s Obama “phone tapping”, Conway’s microwave oven cameras, the CBO job numbers and the entire conversation regarding health insurance. I could go on and on, the list is long and growing. This is crazy and this is dangerous. This is what leads to the decline and fall of great societies.
The hollowing out of our cherished institutions continues apace. The Department of State is an empty shell. The Mexican foreign minister visits Washington and that fact is unknown to the silent Secretary, Tillerson and staff at Foggy Bottom? Unbelievable! All Obama appointed foreign ambassadors gone and not replaced? Dangerous! The Department of Energy is headed by Rick Perry who publicly proclaimed his intention to dismantle it? Crazy! Scott Pruit the head of the EPA denies that CO2 has any influence on our climate? Ignorant! Watching Health and Human Services Secretary Price dance on the head of a pin, spinning mental reservations? Priceless, if it wasn’t so sad. The sudden and immediate firing of all US attorneys en masse? Sobering. Etc.
White house press briefings are now more akin to Lewis Carroll’s Mad Hatters Tea Party. Watching seasoned reporters trying and failing to understand how they might ascertain when the President is telling the truth or not is frankly terrifying. My greatest fear is that we are defining our democracy down, to the point that we will have no valid reference points. We will live in a world of alternate news and facts, lies and dissemination. As difficult as it will be for mature adults with established world views and news sourcing habits to maintain an equilibrium, for our children coming of age in the world of Bannon, Trump and their alternate facts, it will be impossible for them to establish their moral and civic core beliefs.
Democracy does not end at the polls, that is where it begins. Tin pot despots and dictators go to the polls, Putin goes to the polls, elections in North Korea are held every five years! Democracy is the full force of all of our institutions including a free press acting in concert, in support of and in contention with each other. This administration has adopted Bannon’s declared and destructive policy of undermining these institutions in the hope of creating chaos to nefarious ends. It would appear that he shares Shakespeare’s sentiments in Julius Caesar when Mark Antony declares “Cry ‘Havoc!’, and let slip the dogs of war.” Recently Bannon declared that “The United States and China will fight a war within the next 10 years over islands in the South China Sea, and there’s no doubt about that”. At the same time, the US will be in another “major” war in the Middle East. How a war with China would unfold is anybody’s guess. Dangerous sentiments.
The future of NATO, pax americana and the western alliance that has served us all so well for over 70 years is in serious jeopardy. Infused with Bannon’s ideology, it appears to be the administration’s intention to destroy the structure and institutions of our society and to promote the fracturing of the European Union. Never ever forget that European wars in the 20th Century were directly responsible for the death and injury of over 1,300,000 American servicemen.
Congressman Zeldin, as the representative of all of the people in your district you have a great responsibility to speak truth and to decry autocracy. Your early and consistent support of President Trump notwithstanding, there is never a wrong time to do the right thing and stand up to this abomination of our shared values as Americans, Republican, Democrat or Independent. I suggest that in this instance you might look to Senator McCain for example and guidance. The stakes have never been higher, the future never less assured. It has become impossible for my wife and I to explain the President’s lies and erratic behavior to our children. How do you do it?