Like a lot of senior citizens, I paid into Social Security for a long time. I received my first card at age 12, when I traveled to work for Mario’s Pizza in Poland for a starting 50 cents an hour. For more than five decades I paid into that institution, not realizing early on that I was taking part in something that would, in large part, ensure my retirement security years hence. I came to respect the establishment of that program, which was opposed by the majority of Republicans of that era.

Recently, at a local buffet, I heard a self-pronounced young Republican loudly protesting his dissatisfaction at having to “support” all the senior citizens he saw around him, whose presence in the restaurant he was enabling through his Social Security payments.

I could hardly bear that Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said there were “entitlement programs” — which Congress for decades has been reluctant to address — that need cutting back for national debt reasons; those being Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. That announcement came on the heels of the tax cuts that greatly raised the national debt and mainly benefited the highest income population in the country. President Trump confirmed that to his friends at Mar-a-Largo when he said, “I’ve just made you all richer, with these tax cuts, you know.”

When will people wake up to what the cruel and cynical right-wing agenda is — especially in light of its largely un-wealthy support base?

Paul Baribault, Lewiston

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