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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

I wonder how many seniors remember when LBJ wanted to pass Medicare? The conservatives and insurance companies yelled "socialism" and predicted dire consequences. Now some seniors are trying to disrupt discussions about health care for everyone, because they are so afraid of what will happen to their Medicare.

Will people ever learn not to buy into these scare tactics? Doctors have been counseling people on end-of-life issues for years. Now all of a sudden when the government wants to pay them for that counseling, the conservatives are spreading the lie that the government will euthanize seniors and the disabled.

As for those of you who have insurance, do you really think it will stay the same forever? How many of you are paying more premiums, co-payments and deductibles already? Even if you do continue to have good insurance, shame on you for not wanting other people to have the same.

Our health care is ranked 37th in the world, with France at No. 1.Canada, Great Britain, Italy, Norway and many other countries rank above the U.S. Yet, all the conservatives have to do is bring up the dreaded "S" word and many members of the public are terrified. — Christine Mitchell, Phoenix

I'm writing in response to the rant in the letters to the editor about a woman using food stamps. First off, let me say I am happy for the man who wrote the letter that he does not need food stamps; may he always find himself in such a position that he does not need help to survive.

I would like to applaud the woman in his letter, who he mentioned had four children. Good for her for ensuring that her children were fed, and what a wonderful blessing to live in a country where we have that assistance available.

I would also like to point out that taxes pay for that program and ideally a person who finds themself in the position to need that assistance will not always need it and will pay the money back into the system via their taxes.

People who need assistance are not mooches or leeches, they are mothers and fathers, they are people who work hard and still only make a minimum wage. I would hope we would have compassion for those in need, not disdain. In my opinion, the letter writer's lack of compassion is a much more sobering commentary on society than a person accepting government assistance. — Maisey Yates, Ruch

I am angry, shocked, outraged that nine banks that received government aid (i.e., our tax dollars) spent $33 billion in bonuses for their employees. Six of the nine paid out more in bonuses than they made in profits. One in every 270 employees made more than $1 million apiece; a few made $10 million.

It's time to tell our elected employees this has to stop now! Why does anyone have to have a bonus for doing their job and doing the job the way they did got us into this recession in the first place. And these are the very people who bemoan and cry out that the federal minimum wage is going up 25 cents an hour. Hypocrites, liars and thieves. Remember, it is easier for a camel to jump through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to get into heaven. — Chris Matthews, Cave Junction