Letters to the Editor

Won’t vote for GOP candidates

Mr. Sneller asked 23rd District voters to support Republican Mr. Olsen and explained what Republicans stand for: lower taxes, and less spending (“Supports Olsen for 23rd District rep,” page A4, Aug. 17 Herald).

He also stated that “like Republican VP candidate Paul Ryan, Olsen is the reform candidate ...” Sorry, but somehow, in my  mind, reform and Republicans have only one thing in common. They both start with the letter “R.”

Republican philosophy reminds me of Goethe’s Mephistopheles in the tragedy “Faust.” M. introduces himself with: “I am the spirit that always denies, for everything that is created is worth to be destroyed ... this is my proper element.” Whether Social Security, Medicare, Civil Rights, “Obamacare,” tax increases to pay for education and infrastructure, assault weapons restriction, or clean air laws were on the agenda, the Republicans voted nay. Progressive legislation has mostly come from the Democrats.

If Ayn Rand disciple Paul Ryan has his way with his dystopian social/capitalist philosophy, he’ll set social and economic conditions in the U.S. 200 years back. Call me naïve, but I trust my government more than a private corporation to look out for my best interest in healthcare, Social Security, education, and general standard of living.

If Mr. Olsen and Mr. Ryan are really reform candidates, they should be much more open-minded to real healthcare reform, e.g. President Obama’s plan. While it may not be perfect, it is a huge step in the right direction. In the U.S., we spend $8,000 on health care per person. In all industrialized nations in Europe, the cost is between $4,000 and $5,000 for universal healthcare — everybody is covered. Being nay-sayers is not productive.

Real reformers are not “tax increases over my dead body only” ideologues either. If we support education, good roads, bridges and government functions that benefit all, we need to pay for them. Are our taxes really too high or is this issue just a motive to get votes? Mr. Romney claims to have paid never less than 13 percent in income taxes. In Germany (I pick on that country because it seem to be doing economically and socially quite well), a person making over 250,000 Euros pays 45 percent. Income below 250,000 Euros is taxed progressively from 15 to 42 percent. Corporations pay a minimum of 33 percent. How do we compare?

Mr. Ryan, according to a Seattle Times article, plans to balance the budget by cutting or privatizing government services and reducing everybody’s taxes, except the 20 percent low-income folk have to pay an additional $159. As a retiree, I probably qualify to pay the $159.

My question to Mr. Sneller is: Why on earth should I vote Republican?

James Behrend
Bainbridge Island


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