As I look back over the past year I am happy that I didn’t lose many friends or relatives, which was not the case in previous years when I hated to answer the telephone because I feared more bad news. My wife and I had enough funds to replace cheap windows and siding along with adding more insulation to the sides of our home. I also thought back to growing up in the 1950s and ’60s and even though my family was poor, somehow the times are remembered fondly. I was too young to know much about the Korean War and too naive to realize that America was heading for war in Vietnam, something that would affect me the rest of my life. I fondly remember my first long-term employment at a family-owned automobile parts store where I thought 75 cents an hour would make me a millionaire.

But all that was way back when, although the memories are heartwarming. Now I look at the direction America is heading and I wonder if I was born a couple of decades too late. I was taught to be self-sufficient and I still feel pride never having received an unemployment check even though I was unemployed several times. Now I sit and wonder if our very own government has figured out that lying to us about employment and unemployment figures is good for us because it makes us feel good that our country is doing well.

I recently read an article on how the government fudges figures, similar to the old saying: Figures don’t lie, but liars know how to figure.

What I mean here is that the government makes you invisible if you run out of unemployment benefits and haven’t found a job yet. When you add that figure along with all those who only work part-time (they’re counted as working), suddenly the amount of people needing full-time employment is around 14 percent instead of 7 percent.

I remember when someone stated with pride when something was made in America. I witnessed the shuttering of many mills in New Hampshire and all across New England as well. I know people that purchased a Chevrolet product thinking it was built in America and then they found out it was completely manufactured and assembled in Mexico or Canada. I have seen lists from car auctions where Hondas are still being sold although they have 300,000 miles on them. I will state that my wife and I had a Chevy Camaro for 18 years and more than 250,000 miles but it took a lot of repairs and two complete body jobs to keep it going that long.

But what I fear the most is America’s march towards socialism and what that entails. Obamacare is just the beginning of that as far I am concerned. I don’t see it as affordable as our president touts it to be, which makes me wonder what the true cost of it will be. Due to the deductibles being in the thousands for the supposedly cheaper plans, many young people might never receive any payment from their health plan for years to come. Then I have to wonder what our government will force us to do next in the name of protecting us from ourselves.

Lane Hiltunen, of Windham, agrees with the 9-percent approval rating of the U.S. Congress.


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