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Reader takes issue with columnist’s views on U.S. politics

Where to start in responding to Bill Lewis’ Dec. 17 column, “Conservative groups increase in criticizing Obama’s policies”?

The anti-war protesters of the 1960s and ’70s helped bring an end to a winless war which was depleting our resources and where over 50,000 Americans were killed and countless wounded for what? The civil rights movement brought equal rights to blacks who had been denied rights for over a hundred years.

In terms of deficit spending, conservative President Ronald Reagan increased spending while cutting taxes, which led to the largest deficit in American history. It was liberal President Bill Clinton who reduced the size of government and left office with a balanced budget and a surplus. It was conservative President George W. Bush who cut taxes on the rich, which resulted in the top 1 percent of the country having more wealth than the bottom 90 percent.

This is class warfare. Bush depleted the Clinton surplus by conducting an unnecessary war without raising taxes. This was the first time in history that a war was conducted without raising taxes — again depleting resources and adding to the budget deficit. It was the conservative policy of deregulation of financial institutions that caused the current economic disaster.

Government intervention prevented the current economic condition from becoming the Greatest Depression, just next to the Great Depression. The current tax on capital gains is about 15 percent for most. The tax on labor-generating income is at least double this. This is class warfare.

The term Lewis used about “socialized medicine” is comical in its inaccuracies and is another way conservatives have effectively gotten people to vote against their own best interests. If Lewis is so against socialized medicine, he should say that to the veterans who have it. Will he not take Medicare or tell seniors to get rid of it? I hardly think so. Does he want to give up Medicaid for the poorest of us? This is compassionate conservatism?

If he is against socialized medicine, he should not accept Social Security. I wonder what the country would be like if the Republicans had succeeded in privatizing Social Security by putting it in the hands of the people who created the current mess. This would be class warfare because the rich would not be hurt. Unless Lewis is independently wealthy, he and the “teabaggers” would be in economic ruin.

It is yet another fallacy that a government program would take away people’s right to chose their own doctor. This is not true. It is also a fallacy that the government would be making medical decisions. This is a lie. Right now you have insurance company bureaucrats making medical decisions with their only concerns being profits and their bottom line.

Who do you think pays for all the insurance company buildings? Higher and higher unaffordable premiums that more and more people cannot afford. That would be rationing.

Former U.S. Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan had a great line: “Everyone is entitled to their own opinion but not their own facts.” Lewis’ column is packed with lies.

Stewart J. Frimer

Forest Hills

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