Friday September 7, 2012

In a recent column, David Brooks wants us to compare the two presidential candidates and party agendas. He says that the country’s biggest problem is national decline. I like David Brooks and national decline is our big concern. However, do we solve it by cutting back our social programs which are more important than ever now that so many former middle class people have fallen out of the middle class? There are always going to be good jobs for the fortunate but what about the rest of the folks, not the slackers but the people who want to work? There aren’t many decent paying factory jobs left, the unions have been demonized and government jobs have and are being cut.

Decent paying jobs like policemen, firefighters and teachers are being cut big time. Without good-paying jobs people need social programs to get them through daily life. A government should measure its success by the well-being of all of its citizens, not just the fortunate ones.

In most of the eight years of the Bush administration the Republicans had control of the Senate and the House. Did they do anything about the health insurance mess or the looming Medicare and Social Security problems? No, what they did was start two unfunded wars and pass a budget-busting prescription drug plan for Medicare which turned out to be a boon to the pharmaceu tical companies. It takes time to clean up a mess like this.

They are big on defense and want to increase the military budget (ours is currently bigger than the next 17 counties combined). War is still going, the human and monetary costs keep rising. War isn’t cheap and as Colin Powell said they are easy to start but hard to end.

They’re also not very alert, as 9/11 took place well into Bush’s presidency, New Orleans didn’t fare well and they couldn’t find bin Laden. Why should we have confidence in them now? They’re still the same old gang only crazier and more obvious.

Mitt Romney says corporations are doing very well, he considers them people. Maybe these are the ones he plans on lifting up.

David Brooks wants to halt the decline of our country. What constitutes America, the corporations, the rich and powerful? I always thought it was everyone. We’re all in this together: the fortunate and the not so.

ALAN FORSTER

Great Barrington