Don’t let Republicans slash Social Security, Medicare

To the editor:

There have recently been many excellent letters on this page in support of various candidates for local and state office. The national issues fly by us at a breakneck spee and it’s difficult to sort them out or keep up with them.

However, one of these that will surely negatively affect you and I and our families is the proposed reduction to Social Security benefits and Medicare that Republican leadership is prepared to implement. After reducing Federal revenue with a $1.5 trillion tax cut which largely benefits corporations and upper income taxpayers, as well as signing off on a $675 billion defense budget, Senate Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell reiterated recently that “the only way to lower the record-high federal deficit ( which has increased 77 percent under his watch) will be to cut entitlement programs like Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.”

(Note that the word “entitlement” is increasingly used disparagingly, as if these programs are an undeserved gift which can freely be withdrawn, when in fact you and I and our employers have been paying a percentage of our earnings to fund them all of our working lives.)

This plan is real and will happen if there are sufficient votes in Congress after the approaching election. Some Republican candidates claim that they would never vote to reduce Social Security or Medicare, but observations these past years of party members voting in lockstep place those statements in grave doubt.

In summary — there are many good and legitimate reasons why each of us might choose to align ourselves with one of our two major parties. But if you care about your children being able to rely on Social Security, or your parents on Social Security and Medicare, or if you depend on any of these programs yourself, I urge you to vote in this particular election for the Democratic candidates who represent the party that instituted these programs in the first place, and will preserve them, rather than those Republicans who have promised to decimate them.

Judith Nelson

New Ulm