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Are we better off?

The Republicans ask, "Are you better off than you were four years ago?"

Four years ago, we were heavily involved in two wars, two U.S. automakers were in trouble and millions of Americans were without health insurance. Today, one war is over and we have an exit strategy for the other, the automakers are in good shape and, thanks in part to our former congressman, Baron Hill, many Americans now have health insurance. Papa John's said they will increase their price by 15 cents to pay for their employees' coverage. This is a small price to pay.

Mr. Ryan said Carter was a better president than Obama. President Carter warned us of the coming energy crisis and said we must learn to conserve. Today, power companies are urging us to do just that and President Obama has set a 54-mpg standard for autos by 2025, which the Republicans oppose.

Mr. Romney says he will make us "energy independent by 2020." What that means is there will be more off-shore drilling for oil, drilling in national parks, a pipeline from Canada to Texas and leveling of mountains in eastern Kentucky to increase coal production. Republicans do not believe the environment needs protection.

Republicans say what is good for big business is good for the country. What is good for big business are no regulations and no unions. Last session, the Indiana legislature took care of the union problem. Our own congressman, Todd Young, says he wants to "eliminate all government regulations that harm business." What he is talking about are the EPA regulations that protect us from industrial waste and pollution.

Republicans say they want to cut spending, but they refused to compromise with the Democrats on various spending bills. Meanwhile, our Mr. Young has voted to increase defense spending.

We are told the economy is bad, yet business did well last Christmas, the cheap seats at the Super Bowl were $1,000, people line up to buy the latest $500 smartphone or the newest $250 Nike shoes and the stock market is up.

Republicans say they want a smaller federal government and less federal taxes. That means the states would have to raise their taxes to pay for the funding the federal government now provides.

So, are we better off? In some ways we are. In other ways we could have been; however, I'm afraid that if the Republicans gain control of the White House and the Senate, we will be a lot worse off.

William Wilson

Jeffersonville, Ind.

William Wilson
Jeffersonville, Ind.
September 19, 2012

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