Is the US trending toward Socialism? No

To the Journal editor:

I read with interest Gary Merrill’s recent (letter). I don’t know Gary, but I have to assume he’s a solid citizen with concern for our country. I certainly respect him for that. However, our political ideologies don’t line up. Gary’s main concern is that we are moving in the direction of socialism. I guess if Social Security, Medicare, and bailing out a business “too big to fail” (doing so for GM proved to be right) then I guess we are moving toward socialism.

Gary’s concerns include our right to bear arms, our freedom of religion, and attacks on “white Catholic boys.” With respect to the Second Amendment, I think Gary can rest comfortably. We as citizens (including myself) own some 393 million firearms, which is 40 percent of all the firearms in the world. Even in our gun-crazed society, especially the school shootings, I know not one piece of legislation to minimize the possibility of firearms getting in the hands of citizens who probably shouldn’t have one. As a school bus driver, this concerns me.

As for “free” health care, I don’t know how Gary can call it free. We’d all be paying for this coverage (individual citizens and employers). My former employer, who is self-insured, paid over $40 million in health care costs back in 2004, would in all likelihood see their share paid to a national plan substantially reduced. I personally pay $480/month in health care premiums. I believe this would also be reduced under a national plan. If Canada’s national plan wasn’t working, they would have dumped it by now. If Gary is my age (66) or older, I assume he’s receiving “Social” Security and Medicare benefits. If not, I cannot believe he would turn these benefits down when eligible. And who’s in better position than the federal government to negotiate lower medical/prescriptions costs for all.

WIth respect to freedom of religion, I have never personally had this freedom infringed upon, however, this may not be true for all citizens.

Our Pledge of Allegiance (written in 1892) states in part “Liberty and Justice for all.” In reality, it has been Liberty and Justice for white males over the age of 18. Women didn’t receive the right to vote until 1920 and our black citizens didn’t receive some Liberty and Justice until the passage of the Civil Rights Act in 1964. Both years after the Pledge’s writing.