LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Term limits would help solve some of nation’s ills

Dear Ms. Hotte:

In responding to your editorial, writing a scathing rebuttal to your opinion serves no useful purpose. (“Of Socialists and social programs,” Aug. 16 responding to “Democratic Socialism dangerous to our way of life,” Aug. 13) I am entitled to my thoughts as you are entitled to yours. While I totally disagree with your editorial, I spent my entire adult life in/out of the U.S. Army to defend your right to differ with my opinion.

I indicated that capitalism wasn’t perfect, and yes, the stock market is a crap shoot. That said, what alternative do the Democratic Socialists have? It would appear that you are a follower of the teachings of Bernie Sanders, an incredibly gifted orator who expertly masks the true meaning of his language.

The quotes I outlined in my article are those of the Democratic Socialists, but have you ever heard Bernie talk about them as they are written? No, and you won’t because he spews his dribble to the most easily influenced segment of our society — college students.

They and a couple of generations before them are products of an educational system that is more concerned about what bathroom a student has the “right” to use or hurting someone’s feelings. Remember when we starting giving everyone participation trophies? We destroyed the concept of what it means to win or lose, and how that helps you grow and learn.

Among other policies, Bernie advocates for a $15/hour minimum wage. He uses heart-tugging words to describe the $15, but understand what he’s really saying. His basis for the $15 is that the government knows what’s best for every position in every company, regardless of the true economic value of those positions.

At $15/hour, the cost of each and every employee is over $30,000/year. Do you not see or understand what’s happening at McDonalds with the addition of their ordering kiosks? More importantly, the main economic driver of our economy is small business. How many of them will survive, or how much will prices have to increase, if the government mandates a $15/hour wage? Understand that fighting for a $15/hour minimum wage reduces our economic philosophy to a political ideology, and the beginnings of socialism.

I am not necessarily opposed to Medicare. However, do you know what the term IRMAA means? As for Tricare, when I reached 65, Uncle Sugar dumped me into Medicare, and made Tricare my secondary insurance. Understand the transformation that Tricare is going through as it’s slowly being phased away and transformed into a payable insurance program. That is not what I was promised when I agreed to stay in the military and go wherever the Army sent me, putting my life on the line for this country and our right to independent thinking without reprisal.

I never said it was only the Democrats who raided the Social Security Trust Fund. I said it was Congress — yes, the Republicans are as much to blame as the Democrats. That’s one of the reasons I strongly believe in term limits for both houses of Congress.

You recommend a lottery to eliminate the national debt in 10 years. For your recommendation to work, there are some basic assumptions that will have to be correct. First, Congress will have to pass a balanced budget for the next 10 years, adding zero to the existing $20-plus trillion debt. Second, Congress will have to enact legislation denying them access to the lottery fund. Third, enough funds will have to be generated to pay all of the administrative costs of running the lottery, and paying out any prize(s).

Fourth, as you are assuming a linear decrease in the debt each year, paying off $2 trillion a year will require approximately $167 billion per month. That figure does not include the administrative costs. Therefore, out of the disposable income of the average American family, you are advocating raising over $167 billion a month plus, for 120 months, to pay off the debt. Is that realistic?

My solution — give the president line-item veto power; pass a law requiring a balanced budget; eliminate as much “pork” as you can; and enact term limits.

Unfortunately, I don’t think either solution works. Congress has been spending our hard-earned dollars foolishly and wastefully for as long as I can remember. I believe that until we get term limits, Congress will not change until it’s too late. Then, we’ve all lost, and all our gentile congressmen and women, on both sides of the aisle, will point their fingers away from themselves and at anyone who happens to be in their line of sight.

Of all the comments you made, the one that surprised me the most was your reference to sending me back to 1929 or making me a collier in a coal-mining town prior to the unions. You know nothing about me, my family, my education or my work history, but your presumption that transporting me back to rough economic times will somehow educate me, and perhaps see life through your eyes. Believe me when I say, in my 69 years, I have seen and endured plenty of rough times.

I am pleased that you found the time to read my article, think about it, and write a rebuttal. While I disagree with your rebuttal, please understanding that attacking my person versus my thoughts only fuels the anger that is currently engulfing this country. That anger is well on its way to reaching a boiling point, putting us back into the mid to late 1960s. Is that what you really want?

Frank Daniels
Colonel (Ret), USAR

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