2010.09.15 Kathy & Ray Ramsdell: Readers rebut Rep. Latta's remarks

Written by David Green. Posted in Letters

In the Aug. 25 issue of the State Line Observer, my husband and I read of Congressmen Bob Latta’s visit with the Fayette Chamber of Commerce. Some of the statements he made were of great interest to me. As one of his constituents I found his lack of problem solving ideas and his “bandwagon” remarks to be without merit.

For example, “Health Care.” According to the article, “Latta said there’s no one in the room who agrees with the new health care legislation.” Health care remains a serious concern for my husband and me. Does Latta believe that everyone really thinks the way he does? Why do we live in one of the only countries in the industrialized world where 60% of bankruptcy is because of medical bills? Why do we still have such high infant mortality rates? Why do some people die when the proper health care could keep them alive? Because of inadequate health care! We are more than willing to see our tax dollars go to support health care for all in this country.

Federal debt—Latta said that we can’t afford our debt. We are very concerned about our debt and understand that there has been (for many, many years) legislation that seems to be out of order with “pork barrel” spending. That being said, we would also like to remind everyone that at the end of President Clinton’s tenure, our country was running a surplus. We would also like to remind people of what life would be like without taxes. What are you willing to give up? Good roads, snow removal, your new school? Or maybe you won’t mind when the local library is closed or maybe you would like to give up police protection and the local fire departments? Deregulation and lowering taxes seems to be the flavor of the day. In the meantime, the rich get richer, the poor poorer, and the middle class shrinks.

Perhaps one of the most troubling comments that Congressmen Latta made was with regards to being Americans. “I don’t want to be a European, I don’t want a model from someplace else. That’s why we left.” Europe did not have healthcare or similar freedoms to ours when our ancestors left. Europe had potato famines, religious persecution, and wars on their own soil.

He said that he responds to European questions about problems in America as follows, “Yeah, because you guys all sound and look the same.” You cannot be serious! The congressman’s statements reflect what must be very limited experience and education. Large cities in Europe are just as multicultural as ours! And things have changed tremendously in the last 200 years in Europe, just as they have here. What makes us Americans is very much because we are multicultural and multi-religious, and from every corner of the world! We are a country of immigrants. France gave our Statue of Liberty to us; what does it stand for? What is its inscription? Google it.

– Kathy and Ray Ramsdell

County Road 20, Fayette

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