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Letter: The Missing Republican Platform

To the Editor:

In typical Republican fashion, U.S. Senate candidate Jim Rubens is still trying, unsuccessfully, to shift blame for the national debt to Democrats. Not only did Republicans engage in unfunded wars and create the most severe recession of all time, they compounded the crime by reducing taxes that mostly benefited high-income families.

In his Nov. 5 letter, Rubens attempted to say that Sen. Jeanne Shaheen is just like the Republicans because she voted “to launch a bombing war against Syria” on the Foreign Relations Committee. He failed to chastise Republicans who voted the same way.

I noted in my Nov. 1 letter that Republicans are good at saying we need to do something about various issues, but, “I am still waiting to hear what that ‘something’ is.” Since that “something” is not forthcoming, I am going to provide Rubens a meaningful platform on which to run.

∎ Social Security: Phase out Social Security at a certain income level, but start the FICA tax at the top income level and adjust the tax so that it is progressively lower as you go down the income scale, with no tax on incomes below $80,000. This would put more money in the pockets of the middle class, where it belongs, than any other identifiable program.

∎ Medicare: With approximately 30 percent of Medicare money being spent in the last two years of people’s lives, promote palliative care. According to an excellent article in the May 4 Valley News, 30.2 percent of cancer patients die in the hospital; 65 percent are admitted in the last month; 24.7 percent are admitted to intensive care in the last month; 6.2 percent receive chemotherapy in the last two weeks; 9.3 percent receive life-sustaining treatment in the last month. Instead of crying out that the Democrats want to “kill your grandmother,” Republicans should support programs to improve decision-making regarding treatment for those whose quality of life is marginal.

∎ Job creation: Support President Obama’s program for an infrastructure economy. According the Society of Civil Engineers, $3.6 trillion is needed by 2020 to improve infrastructure to current standards.

∎ Funding: Get realistic and examine all options for cost reductions and revenue generation.

Bill Tate

Hanover

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