, Gloucester, MA


September 28, 2013

Letter: GOP is dead wrong on health-care denial

To the editor:

Funny how you can change your mind about something.

I’m still thinking about my own uncertainty. First, it was uncertainty about Rockport’s plan to set off fireworks from Granite Pier last month. Who doesn’t love fireworks ? I certainly do, and was awed by the display I witnessed from my living-room that Saturday night.

Then why the initial hesitation? It was because my first thought was to ask, “With all the poverty that exists in every town in America, why allow your dollars to go up in smoke? Why not give, whether as individual donor or as proportionately taxed Rockport citizen, a small sum, to health care, school enrichment, affordable housing … not fireworks?

My answer came in the newspaper following the fireworks, which told the story of what the citizens of Rockport had gained from those exploding bouquets and golden showers in the night sky. The annual American Legion sponsored “Lobsterfest” had added 200 more participants to their usual 500. The crowd that was there for the big show was estimated to exceed even that for the parade on The Fourth.

Of course! Why hadn’t I thought of it all along? You have to sometimes spend in order to jump-start an economy. Now where have I heard that ?

I know!

That’s what President Obama has been saying all along — and his Republican opponents have been denying. If everyone contributes a fairly determined, small sum in taxes in order to reap in return quality services to our schools, environmental repairs, housing needs and sorely needed health care, we will reap the benefit in terms of folks who want to move here, visit here, and spend money here.

Instead, we are hamstrung by Republicans’ denial and their resort to invoking the “trickle down theory”, which says, in effect, “no taxes for the super rich; just take services away from the middle class and the poor.”

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