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Opinion Letters Space alien calling Shirley Ches

Ms. Ches’ letter in the July 21, 2011, Macon County News asked why, in her words, we brain-damaged, observation damaged, conservatives from some parallel universe can’t see the United States the way she and her liberal Democrat cohorts do.

In Hollywood movies, space aliens were usually portrayed as extremely intelligent, powerful, and even cuddly — like “E.T.” I think Ms. Ches may be on to something.

We conservatives tend to be more thoughtful and analytical when considering issues our country faces. Liberal Democrats tend to blindly parrot their party’s talking points.

A liberal Democrat shouldn’t declare what conservatives believe. She has no earthly idea what we conservatives believe!

I want open-minded readers to understand what this conservative believes. Lack of space will allow rebuttal of only two of many misstatements made by Ms. Ches.

Ms. Ches asked, “Why advocate cutting Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid…?” Most conservatives believe these programs must be changed, or they will self-destruct if they continue on their current trajectory of rapidly increasing costs. The liberal Democrat’s own ObamaCare already cuts Medicare funding by $500 billion.

Most conservative proposals on Social Security I know of would not cut payments to current recipients, or anyone over the age of 55. But liberal Democrats keep trying to scare “granny” with their distortions of this fact.

The report from President Obama’s own bi-partisan, but liberal- controlled, National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform (Debt Commission), published in December 2010, said “Unless we act, these demographic changes will bring the Social Security program to its knees.” These demographic changes are that 75 years ago when Social Security was created life expectancy was 64 years, and the earliest retirement age was 65. Today life expectancy is 79 years, retirement age is 62, and people spend 20 years in retirement. In 1950 there were 16 workers paying taxes per beneficiary, today there are three.

When politicians from both parties get serious about saving these programs from economic collapse, they will have to make changes which could involve cuts – for future beneficiaries.

Ms. Ches claims conservatives are “aiming to remove them [Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid] entirely…” Wrong again! I don’t know of any conservative proposal to do that. Conservatives believe in “safety nets” for the needy. But when these programs take up over 40 percent of an out-of-control federal budget, changes must be made.

To quote from the Preamble of the bi-partisan Debt Commission report, “After all the talk about debt and deficits, it is long past time for America’s leaders to put up or shut up. The era of debt denial is over, and there can be no turning back ... If the U.S. does not put its house in order, the reckoning will be sure and the devastation severe.”

Conservatives believe in smaller government, less government spending, and freedom from excessive government control. The Debt Commission apparently agreed with our first two beliefs, and freedom will result from smaller government.

Vic Drummond — Franklin, N.C.


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