To the editor: The main difference between the Democratic and Republican parties’ philosophies is the role that government plays in our lives. Democrats believe that government can be used to help people. Republicans want to limit or eliminate that role.

One of the obvious differences concerns health care. Democrats support and want to expand programs like Medicare, Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, that lower costs. Republicans want to abolish or at least cut these same programs, as they have already done with Obamacare. They have no answers for the high costs of medical care. Many workers have at least part of their health care costs paid by their employers. Expanding health care programs would eliminate high costs by industry and individuals and result in higher wages.

The same Republicans who said that government cannot afford programs that help people gave tax breaks to a rich segment of the population that did not need them. Their claim that lower taxes would result in lower deficits was never true. Their intent was and is to starve government and make programs like health care unaffordable. (As I write this, it has come to light that the latest tax regulations’ biggest breaks favor one business above others: real estate. Guess what business Trump and his family are involved in.)

Another related issue involves the appointment of Judge Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. Republicans think they can use the so-called “mob rule” of the Democrats to reinvigorate their base. They deflect from the fact that decisions by the Supreme Court will involve the main issue, the role of government in our lives. Its decisions will concern health care, consumer and worker rights, campaign finance, the environment, corporations, women’s rights, voters’ rights, guns, education and other issues that, with Kavanaugh on the bench, will benefit a small segment of the population and impact most of us in negative ways.

In the time remaining until election day, Republicans will inundate the airways with ads designed to cloud or confuse the issue of the role of government. They will call it socialism, communism, the nanny state. But we don’t need labels. Government help with costs can simply be called “the right thing to do.” No one called Lincoln a socialist when he said “...a government of the people, by the people, and FOR the people.” (emphasis mine)

Jack Strausser

Elysburg

(1) comment

Schreff

Very misleading opinion piece. Using Lincoln as an advocate for socialist programs is like a fairy tale about Old Mother Hubbard and birth control. Lincoln never was and never would have been advocate for " Free Stuff " which results in a welfare state where work is a bad word. Can anyone truthful state that our Founding Fathers would have ever envisioned that our Federal, State and Local Government would have grown to the point where they are bigger than the private sector. President Reagan got it right about our Federal Government being the problem not the solution. Folks, think about it, how much free stuff can we afford and when is the free stuff going to end. Socialism has been a failure not a success.

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