To the editor:

I happened to be in Allentown NJ recently and had breakfast at Woody’s Towne Café and picked up a copy of Our Town. it is a nice paper with some good ads, good jokes and other interesting features. However, I found the lead article very disconcerting because the author is doing to liberal progressive left-wing individuals just what he claims they are doing to right wing conservatives: Voicing a one-sided opinion with no rebuttal.

I am liberal and I didn’t vote for Donald trump however I have a great deal of respect for the office that I served and defended. I just have problems with any person, politician or non-politician, that does not tell the truth. Regardless of political affiliation or beliefs that person cannot be trusted. I read a speech that the President gave during his first year in office that had 32, yes 32, untruths. How can I, as a Christian and voter, accept that? I know it has been said that all politicians lie but when I catch them, no matter who they are, I no longer believe them at all. People bashed Obama for playing golf. Our current President took more vacation in his first 245 days in office than Obama took in eight years. There are plenty of negatives on all sides.

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I live in Hunterdon County which is a Republican dominated county. Although bi-partisanship is making inroads it is still one-party rule. I don’t believe any municipal., county, state or federal government should be one-party rule. When they are the politicians lose their moral compass and ethical beliefs and absolute power corrupts absolutely. I think Congress being one party and the Senate the other is a good idea. Then you have checks and balances.

Contrary to what right wing voters claim liberals don’t think people should be paid subsidies for not working or not being ready willing and able to work. There are those who need help. The single mother who takes a job and no longer gets health care or the single working mother who doesn’t make enough to get health care. They need subsidies. What about the homeless or the homeless Vietnam veterans who fought for us and now we turn a blind eye and a deaf ear to their situation? I collected unemployment when I was younger and unemployed. I was also locked out from work and collected food stamps. I had to do something. I had a wife and kids. So there but for the grace of God go I. It is the responsibility of those of us doing well to help those who aren’t. All of us.

You can’t go by unemployment figures to prove that jobs are being created. Unemployment figures don’t show how many people have dropped off the grid and can’t collect which make the unemployment figure drop. Not eligible you can’t collect or you have maxed out and can’t collect.  At least we could create jobs that offer a living wage. The following shows living wage for New Jersey.

ANNUAL EXPENSES

1 ADULT

1 ADULT 1 CHILD

1 ADULT 2 CHILDREN

Food

$3,477

$5,124

$7,715

Child Care

$0

$8,863

$13,918

Medical

$2,737

$7,949

$7,605

Housing

$12,189

$17,409

$17,409

We don’t need to do away with subsidies we need to fix the system. We don’t need to do away with affordable health care we need to fix the system. My son is a single parent and makes a decent wage but his employer wants $1,000 a month to cover him and his kids for healthcare. Thank goodness for NJ Healthcare. I pay for them and it is only about $100 a month for two. We don’t need to do away with  immigration we need to fix the system. If we really need to look where the immigration problem is, we need to look at legal immigration and see what group is becoming the majority and it is not Hispanic.

I am retired. Last year with my pension and annuity, which I receive from being a union member for 46 years, and my social security I made $103,000. Decent money however due to changes in the tax laws, changed by the conservative side and the President I had to pay an additional $6,700 because my deductions were capped at $10,000. I had $28,000 from interest, property taxes and charities and I had to pay $6,700 more. It wasn’t the liberal side of the aisle that caused me to pay more. I probably paid more than a lot of people making more than me. I think we should all pay a percentage. A lot less paperwork and a lot more equitable.

I think it is time to take a stand. Not as liberal or conservative or Republican or Democrat. As Americans. We need to take our country back. Not in a violent way. Not by force. Not by riots. By sitting down and compromising. If we continue to weaken each other some group is going to take over and neither conservatives or liberals will be strong enough to take a stand. Let’s stop bashing each other and help each other. Let’s put it all back together and let’s do it in my life time.

John E Mackay

Raritan Township