Conservative David Brooks recently wrote, “Anybody who doesn’t take on entitlement spending is an enabler of big government.”

Republican members of the House have chosen to cut the budget without touching Social Security, Medicare, veterans’ benefits or military spending. The proposed cuts are done without concern for the merit of a program.

Republican cuts would eliminate funding for public television and radio and AmeriCorps. The cuts would deeply affect energy conservation and efficiency programs. They would cut the Environmental Protection Agency, which regulates air and water quality. They would cut legal aid, making it more difficult for the less fortunate to obtain advice.

Their cuts all are geared toward energy conservation, protection of the environment, education, disease control, job training, and transportation. Nowhere do they cut oil and farm subsidies, or cut their personal retirement and health benefits.

Republicans want President Barack Obama to make the first proposal on Social Security. I believe they would then vilify him for whatever he proposes.

In the 1950s, the middle class was created in spite of high tax rates. It was the government that provided payment for education for veterans and the creation of our infrastructure of roads and bridges.

In Maine, Gov. Paul LePage has said he does not want to use bonds for two years. Without bonding, roads, bridges, water and other projects cannot be done. The infrastructure will further deteriorate.

If both parties are truly serious about the deficit, they would use the bipartisan Simpson-Bowles deficit report as a place to start.

Stan Tetenman, Poland


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