It seems to me that the views expressed by Rep. David Schweikert ("100 Days of Progress," Ahwatukee Foothills News, April 15) are unrepresentative of the common good for American society.
His main concern appears to be to dismantle much of government, to work at "lowering the scope...of government." He seems unaware that government provides safeguards that private business and industry have traditionally avoided even at the expense of human life.
Without government stipulating equal opportunity, producing laws that disallow discrimination and racism, developing regulations that provide work safety practices and environments; without government that is founded on the principle of "for all," we would have a vision of the future that lacks a common good with equitable and fair opportunity and justice.
Schweikert neglects to address the revenue side of the long-time, in Republican and Democratic administrations, developing national budget crisis. What is his plan for increasing taxes on the wealthiest Americans and U.S. corporations?
If, for example, 10 percent of the wealthiest individuals and corporations own/control 90 percent of the wealth of this nation, why are they not sharing 90 percent of the cost of this nation? A system of economic democracy that extends the values and rights of democracy into the economic sphere would be a goal for the common good of all, equitable and fair "for all."
Regarding health care, he insists that the new health care law "restrict(s) an individual's right to health care coverage." The new law, in fact, already benefits millions who were previously excluded, allowing young adults coverage on their parents' policies in ways that they themselves would be unable to obtain. Other millions who have been rejected for pre-existing conditions by private health insurance companies can now obtain coverage.
The new law transitions us toward more universal coverage, especially for the 47 million-plus who have been excluded, at what will be lowered costs per person. What is his positive proposal to continue toward every person having the right, and the means, of health care coverage? What is his plan for health coverage "for all?"
How does Schweikert seek to enhance Social Security? Privatizing the system would eliminate many options for low income people. Instead, how about proposing a more inclusive system that would increase the Social Security tax brackets to include all the highest income levels? Rather than capping the Social Security tax at an annual income of $102,000, if everyone above that level would be asked to continue to pay into the system at the same rate, Social Security could continue to provide benefits, especially to those in need.
What is his positive plan for safe, clean and green, and less expensive energy that also provides jobs? We live within a fragile and limited biosphere. Private business and industry seem generally to have sought the most accessible, cheapest, most easily exploitable energy even at the expense of pollution and destroying the environment, the biosphere which all humanity depends on for sustaining life. Will Schweiket's policies, and government, help us save and enhance nature that benefits the common good, "for all?"
Hopefully, Schweikert will be able to grow in his understanding of the role of government that protects the common good and provides equitable and fair opportunity and justice "for all."