Dear Editor:

Instead of using socialism as the newest political bogeyman, let’s have a conversation. Socialism in a Democracy is taxpayer funds being used collectively to benefit society as a whole, despite income, contribution, or ability. It benefits each and every one of us in one way or another everyday. Here are some of the ways tax-funded socialism has shaped and built America:

Highways/Roadways/Bridges; Public Libraries; Police; Fire Departments; Postal Service; The Military/Pentagon/FBI/CIA; Student Loans/Grants; Farm/Ranch Subsidies; National Museums and Parks; GI Bill; Congressional Health Care for all Congress Members; Social Security; Medicare; Environmental Protection Agency; Public Schools; Federal Prisons/Jails; Corporate/Business Subsidies; Veterans’ Health Care; Food Stamps; All Elected Government Officials Salaries/Offices; Sewer Systems; Court System; Hoover Dam; Zoos; Free Lunch Programs for Children; Food and Drug Administration; Health Care for 9/11 Rescue Workers; Disability Insurance; Municipal Parks/Beaches; Corporate Bailouts; Unemployment Insurance; City and Metro Buses/Trains; National Weather Service; NASA; PBS; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Family Welfare; Public Street Lighting; Federal Emergency Management Agency; Public Defenders; Public Prosecutors; Amtrak; NPR; The Department of Homeland Security; State/National Monuments; USDA; Occupational Safety and Health Administration; Department of Health and Human Services; Census Bureau; Department of Energy; Customs and Border Protections; Department of Education; The Secret Service; Department of Justice; The White House.

We may love or hate certain of these programs, and we can argue their merits, but what is true of all of them is that they are taxpayer funded. Democratic socialism and capitalism have always co-existed in America. If we use any of the programs listed above while using socialism as a cudgel against those we do not agree with, then we may want to rethink our weapon.

Sincerely,

Catherine Matthias

Stewart Jones

Joseph OR 97846

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