Everybody loves a good slogan, like “More Tea, Less Government,” but before I vote, I want a clear vision of what I’m voting for. I’m particularly confused by the people who dress up like revolutionists and call for a return to the good old days.

I don’t know what they’re imagining, but my first thought is: You mean when only white men with property had rights and could vote?

True, there weren’t many government programs in the early days of the nation. People with mental illnesses were thrown into cages, people who couldn’t pay their bills were thrown into debtors’ prison and people who couldn’t afford a doctor often died. If you needed help, your family was just about your only hope.

I, on the other hand, see the government as the only thing standing between we the people and the greed of big companies (from BP to most of the financial institutions). Who else would hold them accountable after the debacles of the past few years?

Government regulations grew over the years to protect people, from each other and from industry. For example, government protected children, who were once allowed to work 40 hours a week. It protects you from your next-door neighbor who wants to turn his back yard into a toxic waste site.

Perhaps the new tea party activists are imagining something in between the government of 1800 and that of 2010. But I’d like to hear them describe their vision in detail. For example, what do Sarah Palin (and many of the new faces in politics) really stand for? She never makes it clear, except that she’s against whatever we have now.

A lot of people are voting against something this year, but do they know what they’re voting for? I hope they can envision it and then own it.

Beverly Wood

North Berwick

 

Who, as writer and political theorist Naomi Klein predicts, follows when opportunity beckons but the grim reapers of greed to milk tea party rage for every penny extractable?

Not that Daddy Warbucks needs it: As writer Holly Sklar reports, incomes of the richest 400 are up 399 percent in 15 years, while real income for the rest has fallen 7 percent since 1973. The wealth of the top 1 percent equals that of the bottom 95 percent!

After 30 years of squandering trillions on arms, wars, tax cuts and loopholes for the rich, the know-nothing tea party folks – underpaid, overworked, jobless, without benefits, in debt, foreclosed, flirting with a Depression dependency on government as the last resort – cry alarm at government regulation of Wall Street and scream that government spends too much.

It votes for the party of a corporations-kept Supreme Court – aiming its concealed weapons directly at its own feet! Backlash? They lash their own backs!

We drown in the blood of a half-century of racist wars on the innocent poor – millions murdered, more maimed, homeless, tortured, whole countries destroyed, nothing gained save notice of our obscene might. Our expensive failed partnership in Afghanistan, marked by madness, mayhem and misogyny? Not an issue.

The climate change heater destined to toast our common derrieres aside, we are fast making Earth a toxic, uninhabitable wasteland, undoing in 300 years what it took billions to create. The BP spill? Not an issue.

For 50 years, single-payer health care has ensured quality care for other industrialized countries as free as we are; we inch forward, dragging the HMO albatross that prefers us dead. The yahoos gulp the poison propaganda pill of demonizing socialism and let’s go back to pre-existing conditions and no insurance Russian roulette!

The rest of the world has already written us off as irresponsible, hopelessly insane.

William H. Slavick

Portland

 

There is a travesty going on in this country with election monies. It is obscene how many hundreds of millions of dollars are being thrown about.

Now, thanks to the Supreme Court and tax loopholes, we as the populace will not be able to find out where the money is coming from.

Can you imagine what kind of benevolence can come out of hundreds of millions of dollars? How many hungry voting Americans are hungry and homeless right now? We have got to demand reform in elections or it will just keep getting worse.

Jenson Steel

Portland

 

Medicare costs, COLA lack keep SS payments too low

 

After paying into the Social Security system for 28 years (starting at the age of 14), I started working for a firm with a different pension plan.

At the age of 63 plus eight months and some amount of days, I decided to retire. Down to the Social Security office I went to enroll.

I knew at that time I would be receiving a reduced amount due to a pension I would be receiving for my last place of employment. All well and good. But now for the kicker!

A month before I turn 65 (this month) I received a letter from Social Security stating that once I turn 65, they will be deducting $110.50 per month from my check to pay for Medicare Part B. I was never informed of this cut in my check when I applied for Social Security and for the 49 years I paid into Medicare.

Now, let me get this straight. First I am penalized for having a pension plan, and now I receive $110.50 less in my check because I turn 65.

I am very fortunate that I have another pension plan and a husband who is still working. For those who are not in the same position as I am, for the life of me I cannot imagine how they can survive.

The population that is 65 and older worked very hard to make this country what it is today – and for that, their blood, sweat and tears, they are penalized.

America is the home of the free and the brave. Just don’t turn 65!

Dottie Berry

Gray

 

An interesting article by The Associated Press appeared Oct. 15 regarding the pending freeze of the COLA for Social Security recipients (noting that seniors were especially vulnerable) for next year.

Andrew Biggs, former deputy commissioner at the Social Security Administration and now a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, was quoted as saying, “It looks bad, but (seniors) are actually not being treated unfairly.”

It’s not the “unfairness” part I’m worried about, but the “looks bad” part. It stretches the cost of living to the breaking point for seniors.

Eleanor Lehmann

Scarborough

 

Correction

 

The author’s name and hometown were inadvertently omitted from a letter in the Sunday Telegram on Oct. 24 supporting a “yes” vote on the Oxford casino. The author is Raymond E. Veroneau Jr. of Scarborough.