Regarding John Balentine’s column of Nov. 13 (“Now more than ever, socialism’s evils need to be unveiled”),  I am amazed and somewhat amused at the current penchant for the vilification of socialists and socialism.

I am proud to pay my taxes for the following “socialist” programs; Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, SNAP benefits, heating assistance benefits, worker’s comp, disability benefits, the G.I. bill., the Interstate highway system, the C.D.C, the national park system and many other beneficial government programs that help me and my fellow Americans live a more fulfilling and healthy life. One might even argue that government subsidies to the pharmaceutical and fossil fuel Industries are also a form of socialism in that they help defray the costs of research and development for the good of all Americans.

Additionally, when it comes to paying taxes that support these “socialist” programs we need a new paradigm.  Those who are affluent enough to limit or avoid their tax obligation should be denigrated as the least patriotic.  Those that pay the most should be honored as the most patriotic and lauded as American Heroes.

Stephen Perazone
Portland