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Letter: A fatal weakness

In response to only points in Daniel Brown’s column of Oct. 30: It might be of interest to Mr. Brown that in fact there are plenty of people in western Massachusetts who are “better educated, more intelligent, and less susceptible,” to use his words, and some of us even subscribe to the Recorder. To label Fox News coverage as “deceitful drivel” merely means that he disagrees with its point of view and anyone he disagrees with is either misinformed or stupid.

That is a fatal weakness: failing to recognize that people with whom you disagree may have valid, reasoned opinions of their own. To cite one example: Mr. Brown describes Paul Ryan’s budget proposals as “cruel in cuts.” But look at it this way: at the end of a second Obama term the national debt (now $16 trillion) will likely rise to $20 trillion. At that point, it will not be long before this country will be in the same position as Greece currently finds itself; that is, we will be required to make immediate austerity cuts in all programs — Mr. Brown’s own “cruel cuts” — or face collapse of the dollar, and no one will be willing at that point to rescue us by buying our debt, no matter how high an interest rate we offer. Once again, that’s Greece all over. Do we want to let that happen or do we choose to begin to trim federal borrowing gradually while we still can? Keep in mind that the federal government currently spends $4 billion each day. Tax the wealthy at 100 percent of their incomes? It wouldn’t make a dent in the growing debt.

WALTON CHAPMAN

Shelburne Falls

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