Monday, June 22, 2009

Letter to Representative Benoit (R), CA Senate District 37

As a Republican, there are a large number of basic premises that we disagree on, and I will not of course be able to touch on them all here. But I would like to simply voice my support for tax increases and continued, if not increased, government spending, and give you a brief explanation for why.

I have no illusions about the enormous benefits we all get from choosing to base our economic system on free markets, as well as the many pitfalls in having the government provide services for us that might be done better in private hands.

But I do strongly believe that there are basic inequalities that are either events of misfortune or stem from past inequalities. For example, catastrophic events that put families over the edge, or the historical effects of undereducation and poverty that cripple generations.

In these situations the free market is not capable of, nor should it be required to provide the needed correction. There's generally not a whole lot of money in teaching poor kids or providing free health care! Where possible, the market should be able to step in. But we must realize that ultimately it is larger society that will be bearing the burden.

As for the stimulus, well, that comes down to an embrace of Keynsianism that is beyond my pay grade. But economists tend to believe that stimulus is effective. And I've yet to hear a rational explanation for how simply cutting services and taxes is going to pull us back from the cliff. Especially as the honest misfortune I just spoke of is going to require a shared burden.

I believe in helping my fellow man as best I can. Whether it is the private market or the government that guarantees health care, libraries, low-income reading groups, mental health clinics, etc. then that's what I want.

Thank you for your time,
Eli Rector

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