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11:48 PM Thu, Oct. 18th

Reader Letter: Romney/Ryan budget causes great concern

I retired to Globe four years ago but still have ties to the Kingman area, and I have a current concern about the upcoming election and its impact on seniors. It does not appear to me that the ads for the two candidates for the U.S. Senate are giving us enough information to make a sound decision.

Dr. Carmona says that neither the Democrats or the Republicans have made the right decision in regard to health care, but he does not give details about what his answer to that would be. And he does not address Social Security at all. But these issues are at the heart of the campaign, and are clearly defining the difference between the two parties.

Mr. Flake is advertising on TV that Dr. Carmona is "Obama's man" in Arizona, but this appears to be untrue. Dr. Carmona was Surgeon General of the United States from 2002 to 2006, appointed and serving under President George W. Bush. Dr. Carmona, running as a Democrat, appears to be very middle of the road, a bi-partisan independent.

I am actually more concerned about Mr. Flake's stance on health care as well as on Medicare and Social Security. I have tried to get Mr. Flake to reply to a direct question. "Where do you stand on the Ryan-Romney budget?" He is refusing to respond to this directly, although he has voted in favor of the Ryan budget twice. So I do not know why he wants to hide this information from the voters.

The Ryan budget clearly defines where the candidates stand on certain issues. They want to not only keep the current Bush tax cuts for millionaires, but they want to give them an even greater tax cut. And they want to increase our military spending, even as we are winding down the wars we have been engaged in.

The way they plan on paying for these two things is to severely cut all services to the public, completely dismantling the safety net. They will remove the funding for Meals on Wheels for homebound seniors. They will remove the funding for transportation for the handicapped. But they will also kill Medicare and turn it into a voucher system, which will not benefit any seniors, but will make the insurance companies very happy. It will not guarantee health care to any senior. You will be on your own to find an insurance company that will agree to insure you.

The Ryan budget will also turn your Social Security funds over to their friends on Wall Street, and they also plan on removing the current restrictions and controls on Wall Street, so they can gamble with our money any way they please. I don't know if anyone else had the same experience, but the lack of regulations on Wall Street in 2008 caused the financial collapse and cost me personally about 2/3 of my 401(k).

Ryan and Romney are trying to assure us that turning our Social Security money over to Wall Street will not have any consequences for us, personally. It will only affect those under 55. I have four children who have already paid into that fund for the past 25 to 35 years, and I cannot agree to simply give away their money.

The only issue Mr. Flake will talk about is getting rid of Obamacare, but that new program is already benefiting seniors by reducing the costs of medication and providing low cost preventative care. In addition, I have one grandchild with severe chronic asthma who can now get health insurance because of the new health care bill.

VanHassel lives in Globe, Ariz.