Letter to the Editor: Free Lunch!

How many of us still hold out for a free lunch? When it comes to politics, it seems to me that that promise of a free lunch infiltrates every candidate’s platform.

It’s either the rich that will be taxed at higher rates so others can have more money, or everybody will have their taxes reduced. Each candidate’s ads contain some message that the other candidate is taking your money, and if you want to hold on to your money, you’ll vote for them.

We have to face the reality that if we want services, we need to pay for them! We cannot continue with the view that governments will meet our needs and conveniences without dipping into our pockets in some way. Services cost money. Roads need to be maintained. Bridges need repairs and replacement. Water, power and protection need to be provided and paid for. Health and safety will never be free either. Even retirement costs.

For almost as long as I have been alive, the national debt has continued to grow. Neither party has reversed this trend, yet all promise to do so. Once in office, there is always a reason that this doesn’t happen. A war, an investment in our future, unforeseen expenses caused by natural disasters, the economy, etc. all lead us into greater and greater debt. 

When a politician presents a platform to increase taxes to rid us of our debt, it becomes political suicide. If we decrease the services offered, society suffers. Jackson, Mississippi, has become an example of delaying needed infrastructure maintenance. The fires out west and floods throughout the U.S. demonstrate unforeseeable expenses, as well as the war in Ukraine. 

When, where and how it will all end, I have no idea. But it has to start with us. Look past all the pied pipers, and seek ways to deal with this destructive financial crisis. Anything else will destroy this nation. 

James Stehle

Ellison Bay, Wisconsin