I would prefer not to be paying for Tony Payne’s monotonous answer to the challenge of inadequate funding to meet government needs: Cut spending, like his mother did, stretch a penny. (“Maine can learn from Bank of Mother,” July 25).

Of course, mother never faced a medical bill five times her family’s worth or had her job moved to Thailand, followed by uncertain low-wage employment. She never had to forego educating her children, as penniless Haitian mothers must, for lack of pennies for tuition, books and uniforms.

Payne’s boilerplate Republican response is invariably to cut teachers, cut prison guards, demand furlough days of public employees only, deny court-required care to mental patients, postpone bridge and road repairs, ad nauseam.

At the federal level it would be to deny Indians or black farmers the stolen billions legally due them, to refuse care to tens of thousands of military personnel suffering PTSD after three tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, to kiss off the unemployed when time-limited benefits run out, to stint on regulating deep-sea oil drilling while squandering hundreds of billions on needless wars, weapons and rescues of irresponsibly greedy banks.

The few remain comfortable; everyone else faces insecurity or worse.

If Payne ever traveled to Germany, he must have been wearing a blindfold and ear plugs. In that social democracy of family living wages, child care, six weeks of vacation, single-payer health care, no pot holes, higher production, fewer unemployed, strong unions and worker councils, effective bank controls, half the poverty, serious efforts at reducing pollution, economic policies that promote manufacture and modest public debt, the needs of the common good trump tax stinginess.

Slightly higher taxes to assure a just order, sustainability and freedom from want are recognized as a small, acceptable price to pay.

It is called society.